Edifier audio manufacturer started its journey in Canada but now the headquarters reside in Beijing, China. It has been making audio products like sound systems, speakers, headphones, and home entertainment systems for around 24 years. One of the best speakers under $100 is the Edifier R1280T.
In this Edifier R1280T review we will cover unbiased sound testing so that you will really know what you are going to buy. Now, if you are an audiophile and don’t want to compromise music, then this is not for you. The Edifier R1280T powered bookshelf speakers can be considered as an affordable entry-level speaker.
Edifier R1280T review:
The Edifier R1280T are active speakers. If you are wondering what is the difference between active and passive studio monitors then you should know that the active speakers have a built-in amplifier whereas the passive ones need additional amplifiers.
The R1280T specs are listed on their official website. With a dimension of 5.75in x 9.5in x 7in (WxHxD), the R1280T active studio monitor is smaller than standard bookshelf speakers. At this price range, the speakers look classy with a wooden vinyl finish. The top has a matte metal finish and it will blend well in any room whether it’s an office or a bedroom.
The front of the speaker has a light-gray cloth grille. You can also remove the grille exposing, tweeter, woofer, and bass port. The right speaker has several controls on its right-side including master volume, bass and treble controls. The remote has a minimalistic design with only three buttons including mute, volume up, and down.
Unpacking the box will reveal the following things: Edifier R1280T manual, speaker connection cable, dual RCA to dual RCA cable, 3.5mm to dual RCA audio connecting cable. Setting up the speakers is very easy and straightforward and since they are active speakers you don’t need additional devices for the setup.
Follow the steps below to complete connection setup:
- Use the 8-foot golden-colored cable to red wire and silver to the black wire to make a connection between the right (active) speaker with the left (passive) speaker. You can use the Connect 3.5mm to RCA connector to pair a PC sound card with the right speaker or active speaker.
- Use the A.C power plug to connect the speaker to the power supply
The Edifier 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors have a 4” woofer and a 13mm silk dome tweeter that has 6 ohms and 4ohms impedance respectively. How is the performance of these small bookshelf speakers? While they are not audiophile-grade speakers or can’t fill large rooms, the audio is powerful enough for its size and price.
The midrange and highs are premises, clarity is moderate and bass is decent but not room-shaking.it delivers flat response and the drums are quite natural. The bass is satisfying compared to its size but some distortion results at the highest volume.
It has a total output power of 42 W for two speakers and it is magnetically shielded which means it will minimize any interference with TV. This speaker has a bass port beside a tweeter that works incredibly well in the low-frequency range. The high-frequency tones are detailed as well. You will have optimum experience sitting close which makes them the best nearfield monitors.
The sound gives a V-shaped pattern. Tweaking the bass and treble dial tunes the sound for low-end and high-end frequency. The treble is easy- going that has a roll-off at the top so you can use the speakers to listen for a long time.
Changing the bass dial deals with mid and sub-bass making them sound deep and punchy. In most cases, turning the volume up halfway is loud enough. The sound is crisp and bright for some tracks. The mid-range is clear and it intelligently represents vocals.
We listened to different music genres for hours and realized the audio is produced without any coloration. The audio performance makes them one of the best budget powered monitors.
Adjusting EQ settings:
You can increase the bass dial for more bass in the speakers. The bass and treble and +6 to -6dB range so you can adjust these based on your preference. If you turn up the bass too high, the bass will sound ‘bloated’ or indistinct.
Rotating the knobs at 12’ o clock on the dial you will hear a click. You can also use an app called ‘Boom’ to tweak with some advanced EQ settings.
Quality: How long will it last?
With MDF and plastic build, the structure and texture are made from standard speaker materials. Using it for 6 months to years doesn’t seem to have an issue. We have surveyed consumers where they didn’t file any complaint about the speaker getting damaged or stopped working.
The driver materials are also standard and work fine for a long time. However, the remote often has issues but it can also be replaced. Overall, the speakers are affordable yet long-lasting and durable.
The active speaker has 3 dials including bass, treble, and volume. However, one of the problems we faced while rotating the volume dial is that it doesn’t have marks. It also lacks a mid-control or RCA input switch.
On the backside of the active speaker are all connections. There are two pair of inputs the first column is labeled as PC where you can use the 3.5mm to RCA cable to connect to PC, laptop, or mobile.
The right column is labeled as AUX that has an RCA-to-RCA cable. You can use it to connect to stereo gear, RCA supported TV, DVD player, or record player. One of the unique things about Edifier R1280T is that you can pair two audio sources such as a record player and PC and the speaker can play both signals at the same time.
If you want to play audio from a single source, then you have to either turn down the volume or turn off the power the other source. The Edifier R1280T isn’t Bluetooth compatible. People who want to connect multiple devices like PC, mobile, or TV can use this speaker easily.
In this Edifier Studio R1280T 2.0 review, we will discuss various connections and pairing devices with the speakers.
- How to connect Edifier R1280T speakers to a turntable via a receiver?
- You can use a receiver like JVC RX-450
- Plug the speakers into the tape out port of the receiver.
- How to connect the active Edifier R1280T to a subwoofer?
- The Edifier R1280T doesn’t have a subwoofer output
- You can use the speaker wire to connect one end to one speaker, then to the subwoofer, and finally to the other speaker.
- Or else, use the RCA to connect the subwoofer and the speakers. Adjust the volume knob.
How to control the speakers:
You can adjust the volume by the volume dial on the right speaker. But for convenience, there is a small and glossy wireless remote with only three buttons, mute, volume up, and volume down. The IR feature is very impressive because you can relax on the couch, point the remote in any direction, and still control the speakers.
It comes with a CR 2025 batteries which are long-lasting. Edifier recommends not to place the battery or remote on heat exposures like under the sunlight. If you don’t you the remote, then you should remove the batteries from them. You will get all these under $100 which makes Edifier cheap but good studio monitors.
However, it has some issues like:
- It is very small to hold
- It attracts fingerprints
What if I lost the remote?
Losing the ‘tiny’ remote or manual is very common for us so if you lost the remote you can either go to the speaker to adjust the volume every time but you can’t mute it because speakers don’t have any mute button.
If you are willing to spend, then you can contact Edifier customer support and buy another remote.
Since the speaker can be connected to the TV, PC, mobile, DVD player, or turntable, the Edifier R1280T compatibility is high. Along with that you can connect Google Home or Echo via other devices.
How to connect Google Home/Echo to Edifier R1280T?
Since the speakers don’t have any wireless or network capabilities, you can’t connect Google Home or the Echo directly.
- You need another device called Chromecast Audio. While Google discontinued Chromecast Audio, you can still buy used ones easily.
- A smartphone or PC to browse Google Chrome
- Go to the Google Home app and set up the Chromecast (Add → Set up device → Set up new devices.)
- Connect the Chromecast Audio to the power supply
- Connect the RCA plug into the backside of the active speaker and the 3.5mm plug into the Chromecast Audio
Similar to Chromecast Audio is the Echo Input. Connecting it with a 3.5mm plug and then to the speakers will allow Alexa to be used in external speakers.
How to connect AirPlay audio with the speakers?
- You need to purchase an Apple Airport Express
- Use the 3.5mm cable to connect the Airport Express with the speakers
- Use an iPhone or iPad to set up the Airport Express
- Use AirPlay to play your desired music
Edifier R1280T speaker placement:
Since these bookshelf studio monitors don’t have rear bass ports, it is not placed sensitive. Which means you can put them on a closed bookshelf (although not recommended) or near walls. It is best to put on an open desktop table with desktops or PCs. You should maintain the ideal distance suggested for bookshelf or desktop speakers which is 4 to 6ft.
Warranty and return policy
Edifier R1280T has 2 years of warranty. If you buy it from the original website, then you can have a 30-day return policy. Upon returning the speakers you will receive a full refund from them. If you buy it from Amazon then you will receive 90 days return policy after which you can replace or get a refund.
What is Edifier R1280T ideal for?
The Edifier R1280T is best for
- Small rooms or offices
- Desktop table or open tables
- You don’t want chest-thumping bass
- You don’t want to add any subwoofer in future
- You want to go connect any device via Bluetooth.
- You want a powerful speaker to enhance your PC sound for movies or games.
- Best for near field listening.
- You have kids or sound-sensitive neighbors
- You can use them as studio monitors for music listening
We have chosen some of the closest rivalries of Edifier R1280T and made a direct comparison with it.
Comparison table: Edifier R1280T vs Logitech Z623 vs Edifier R1280DB
Comment: The main difference between Logitech Z623 vs Edifier R1280T is that with Logitech you are future-proofed. While the sound performance isn’t very overwhelming, a subwoofer boosts the audio with bass. The high’s and clarity of the music needs huge improvement.
The Z623 has higher output power and better signal-to-noise ratio compared to Edifier R1280T. with better SNR, the signal is delivered with more clarity. While the R1280T is easy to control with a remote, the Z623 doesn’t come with one.
Comparing Edifier R1280T vs R1280DB, the R1280DB is a Bluetooth speaker and can get to a low-frequency of 55Hz compared to 75 Hz of R1280T. The driver size, SNR, and output power remain the same. In terms of sounds, these models are quite similar but the R1280T has a better and broader soundstage. Overall, both are entry-level affordable desktop speakers.
Comparison table: Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1700BT vs Edifier R1280Ts
Comment: Comparing Edifier R1280T vs R1700BT, we see that the R1700BT has Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Dynamic Range Control (DRC) that reduces distortion producing sound with clarity. It also has Bluetooth pairing capability. They both have a remote controller and the same SNR.
The treble driver size of R1700BT is slightly large than R1280T and it has higher output power. Along with that, the R1700BT can get as low as 60 Hz compared to 75Hz in R1280T. The R1700BT is also a Bluetooth multifunctional speaker.
The major difference between Edifier R1280T vs R1280Ts is that the R1280Ts have a sound field spatializer which means it produces a wider soundstage to have a room-filling effect. It also comes with a subwoofer output. It can get as low as 52Hz.
The Edifier brand is famous for its affordability and general music listening. While a large group of audioholics are available, another mass population simply wants to enjoy music by upgrading desktop speakers or TV sound. Edifier R1280T is one of the best budget nearfield monitors.
In this Edifier R1280T review, we have focused on all its aspects with specific emphasis on sound quality because that is what matters. The audio has a tight punch, clear mid-range with a smooth and neutral tone. It has better soundstage and accurate imaging. The speakers can get loud enough for small rooms.
The powered loudspeaker comes with a simple and user-friendly IR remote. The audio quality is not like the high-end speakers but what surprises us is that the performance is powerful compared to its size. The connectivity of these speakers is flexible but it lacks a subwoofer outlet or a headphone jack.
The bass and treble dial comfort us because you can tweak it up and down to improve the audio quality. You can easily use these active monitors for watching movies or listening to music from your phone, PC, or turntable.
What precautions should I take while using this speaker?
Answer: Certain safety measures should be taken so that the speakers last long. While using the Edifier R1280T make sure you are not blocking any opening of the speaker or don’t place them near radiators, stoves, or heat releasing elements. If you are experiencing a heavy storm, then unplug the speakers. Also, place remote in a cool place.
Should I buy the Edifier R1280T?
Answer: If you have space and budget constraints, the Edifier R1280T is the best choice. The price to performance ratio is high. The connections and options are flexible. One of the main reasons you may feel to look for other alternatives like R1700BT is the lack of Bluetooth connectivity.
Comparing the Edifier R1280T vs speakers with external amps, the R1280T is more compact, cheap, and powerful.