Edifier R1280T Speakers Review: Beautifully Simple Sound
By Yvonne

Edifier R1280T Review: A Beautifully Simple Sound. With barebones connectivity and a striking design and surprisingly good sound quality, both beginners and audio gurus will love the Edifier R1280T.

Bookcase Speakers - Edifier R1280T powered by Bookshelf

We like this
  • Sound of high quality

  • Beautiful design

  • Affordable price

The Things We Hate
  • Insufficient connectivity options

  • There are very few sound shaping controls

  • It is a little bulky and heavy.

The Edifier R1280T is an entry-level powered bookcase speaker that offers great value, sound quality, and beautiful design.

This article explains.
  • Design
  • Durability and build quality
  • Installation and control
  • Sound Quality
  • Prices
  • Concurrence
  • Final Verdict
  • Specifications

The Edifier R1280T powered bookshelf speakers were purchased by us to allow our expert reviewer to thoroughly evaluate and test it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.

Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers offer a wonderful balance of affordability and quality sound. These speakers were so full of sound that we surprised ourselves when we took them out of their box and connected them to our smartphones and an aux cable. These are not only great for sound, but also because of their design. You'll love the subtle wood tone, and unique light-gray grille. They aren't without their shortcomings—limited EQ control and connectivity options, for instance—but overall, the Edifier R1280T impressed us.

Related Reading: Monoprice HT-35 5.1-Channel Home Theater System Review: Great Sound for Budget Audiophiles

Design: Elegant and sophisticated

From a design standpoint, speakers aren't made to be eye-catching. The majority of budget speakers are just black rectangles that sit next to your television. While that design is fine, the R1280T was a great choice. We were pleasantly surprised at how well they looked when we took the R1280T from the box. Bose and Sonos are high-end speakers that look good, but they're also small and sleek. It was a pleasant experience to unbox a mid-level brand such as Edifier.

Their footprint is smaller than a shoebox, measuring in at 9.5inches in height and 6in in width. They are 7 inches in depth, but we found them to be a little bulky at the long end. This is something you should consider when choosing speakers for shallow shelves. These speakers have a natural look that is almost 70s-inspired. The sides of the speaker are made from a light, tanwood. The front cloth grille is made of a light-stone-gray fabric with an accent line in the center. The bottom of the Edifier logo is also made from the same material and color.

The grille is located at the soft crescent in the front, which makes it a nice change from most passive speakers' flat black grilles. If the light strikes the grille correctly you will see a subtle shimmering of the cloth. The entire grille is plain and matte gray, with the exception of the two tan panels at the sides. This is not as elegant as leaving the gray cloth plates on. However, it does allow you to leave the speaker cones visible. It's an excellent look for these speakers to make a strong statement on your shelves.

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Build Quality and Durability: Strong and reliable but quite heavy

Edifier doesn't provide much detail in their product descriptions about the speakers' materials, however we believe that the majority of construction is made of either a polycarbonate or molded plastic enclosure. Two wood slats act as panels on each speaker's sides. The main woofers are made of cloth-felt material and the tweeters use standard silk. These choices of material are consistent with what we expect from a speaker in this category.

These speakers are very substantial when in use. These speakers have a luxurious feel due to the wood panels on their sides. The plastic enclosures, however, are heavy and thick. The speakers are heavy due to their weight. It is best to place them on strong shelves and not in corners.

These speakers are substantial when in use.

All of the knobs, buttons, inputs, and even the standard speaker-wire clamps all feel high quality—much more so than we'd expect at this price point. Although we can't say if the speaker has been used for years, the audio, controls and physical integrity felt just as good at the end as they did the beginning.

Related Reading: Logitech Z906 Review: Great Sound from Small Speakers

Installation Process and Controls: Barebones, with few modern touches

One speaker is a powered speaker and the other a passive speaker. The setup is straightforward as they can be connected using standard stereo speaker wires.

A small remote controls the volume (up/down) and toggles for mute on/off. There are two EQ knobs (treble, bass) and a volume knob on the side. They feel great and work well, however we would have preferred a middle control or an RCA input selector.

This pair of speakers has a few drawbacks. Edifier offers a variety of units. Many offer Bluetooth connectivity, sound control, and other features. Bluetooth connectivity is not available on the R1280T, which can be a significant gap in their functionality. The back has only two stereo RCA inputs.

This pair of speakers has one major drawback: they lack connectivity.

These are probably the inputs most people use, however, it is important to point out that the back doesn't have an aux input. Edifier includes a stereo RCA to-aux cable in your order. This will allow you to use standard music players straight out of the box. However, it would be great to have more flexibility on actual ports.

Sound Quality : Amazingly rich and deep

These $100-powered speakers are from a middle-tier manufacturer with few EQ controls. We will admit, our expectations were very low. These speakers are powerful enough to play music. We'll start by going over the specs on paper before we dive into the actual experience.

The output of each speaker is 21W, which may seem low given the speakers' size. These drivers have 4-inch woofers running at 6 ohms and are paired with an 13mm, 4-ohm tweeter. The signal power of the Edifier is 85 decibels, with less than 0.5% harmonic distortion. These numbers are all acceptable, given the small size of each unit.

These speakers are powerful enough to listen to music alone.

We were amazed at how the speakers performed during our testing. These speakers accompanied us for about one week as we went through daily activities. They were put through a variety of tests, including a morning routine that included pumping up top 40 music and a quiet evening with acoustic music. These were tested at half the volume, which is more than sufficient to fill our apartment.

The bottom of the speaker has a very nice body, which is more than one would expect given its size. The speaker enclosures used and their design are likely to be responsible for this. The cabinet's front has a slightly flared bass port that is just slightly bigger than the tweeters. This seems to indicate that the tweeters are doing most of their work at the lower end of the spectrum. But what's also surprising is just how much detail is available on the higher end of the spectrum—something that is usually sacrificed with more bass in smaller enclosures.

These speakers are tuned to play compressed music but they don't seem as good for speaking voice, like podcasts and radio talks shows. These instances were a little muddy. The R1280T's response is excellent.

Prices: Very affordable with better quality

We are pleased with the Edifier R1280T's value at just $100. The majority of speakers in this price range are entry-level. This means that you get smaller drivers and a less-expensive build. This will result in a poor listening experience. The R1280T offers high quality sound at an affordable price. The brand name is not as important (no Bose or Sonos), but you don't get modern features such as Bluetooth or diverse inputs or variable EQ. You have to make some compromises in order to find speakers that produce decent sound quality for $100.

Competitor: Only a handful of contenders at this cost

EdifierR980T This step-down model from Edifier offers an all-black look, slightly less expensive build and, most importantly, thinner audio at a much lower cost.

Onkyo TheOnkyo brand is best known for its home theatre speakers. However, the Wavio small-powered speaker is the entry point into this class. The R1280T is more expensive than the Onkyos, however you will get more value for money.

EdifierR1700BT: To get the same sound quality and build quality but with Bluetooth connectivity, this model is from Edifier. Expect to spend about $50 more.

The Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers are amongst the most powerful for their price. While you won't get Bose-level sound quality, the price is not prohibitive. Look no further if you are looking for powerful speakers that sound great and have limited connectivity and control.


  • R1280T powered bookshelf speakers
  • Product brand edifier
  • UPC 875674001345
  • Prices starting at $99.99
  • Oct 2015 Release Date
  • Weighing 12.5 pounds
  • Dimensions of the product 5.71x9.45x6.89in.
  • Tan and color gray
  • 2-year warranty
  • Bluetooth no

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