Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1280DB: Which One is Best?

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The R1280T and R1280DB speaker systems by Edifier are bookshelf speakers that work great in an office, dorm room, living room, or apartment. They are intended to be stylish and functional but not obtrusive. What’s the difference, you ask? We get that a lot, so we wanted to settle once and for all the winner of Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1280DB. Let’s go!

Regarding the target market for these speakers, they work for just about anyone who wants affordable room-filling sound but where space is at a premium. Each of these models has a very small footprint (5.7 inches across the front, 7 inches deep, and only 9.5 inches high), and despite the small size, their depth provides plenty of bass tones beyond their small size.

Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1280DB Comparison Table

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They look identical, so you may ask what is the difference between them and which is the better deal? Here, we will break down the facets of each speaker and provide our recommendations for the best pick.

Breaking It Down: Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1280DB

We will review several aspects of each model speaker as sold: Design, accessories, utility, and, most importantly, sound quality. We will consider the elements of sound quality (tonality, bass tones, mid-range tones, and trebles) and give you our overall opinions on each speaker, plus our final recommendation. Let’s get to it!

Edifier R1280T Bookshelf Speakers

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The Edifier R1280T is a set of bookshelf speakers (about the size of a bread loaf) with a classic appearance. The side panels are a maple-stained wood that appears oak and imparts warmth and weight to the speakers.

The front panel cover is gray cloth over a mesh screen with the word Edifier at the bottom and a mid-transverse fess of dull silvered metal. The speakers (woofer, tweeter, and bass vent) all face the front and have a recessed control module on the side for bass, treble, and volume.

Specifications: Measuring The Goods in Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1280DB

Dimensions: 5.7×9.5×7 inches; wood (maple stain) and metal

Amplifier power: 42 W RMS (root mean square)
Case: Bass-reflex
Drivers (each speaker): Woofer (4.17-inch), dome tweeter (0.51-inch)
Frequency response: 75 Hz to 18 kHz
Ports: All front
Wired connections: RCA (2), spring clip pair I/O (2)
Signal-to-noise ratio: 85 dBA
Input sensitivity: 750 mV
Wireless connections: wireless remote
On-board: Adjustments for bass, treble, and volume

Design

The design of the R1280T is nearly identical to the new model, R1280DB (see below). Both speakers use the same case, wood, and metal components (except the R1280DB is also available in a black wood stain for that modern look).

The wood side panels come with a maple stain on genuine wood that is likely oak. The speakers have a rich, warm quality to their appearance due to the wood side panels and look like a piece of furniture.

Apart from the IR remote control, the left side panel has a recessed box with knobs for bass, treble, and volume for direct control. The control knobs are not cheaply made but operate smoothly and have some weight, allowing for fine adjustments to settings.

A power switch and spring I/O connectors at the speakers’ rear are intended to slave the left speaker to the right main. For aesthetic purposes, the front fabric clips to the speaker’s face mostly cover the woofer, tweeter, and bass port. The speakers can be operated without this cover (some users claim a subtle improvement in sound quality without them).

[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B016P9HJIA” apilink=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016P9HJIA?tag=speakerchampion-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ img-sizes=”500:500″ imgs=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41JdMdErl7L._SL500_.jpg” link-imgs=”false” specs=”2 x AUX INPUT – Convenient connection to any device that has a 3.5mm headphone output or dual RCA output. Connect to two devices via AUX at the same time, no plugging and switching needed. (None Bluetooth version)~~~STUDIO SOUND QUALITY – Natural sound reproduction from 13mm silk dome tweeter and 4 inch full range unit~~~REMOTE CONTROL – Adjust volume at your figure tips. Bass and treble control located on the side of main speaker.~~~CLASSIC WOOD FINISH – High quality MDF wood build finished with wood effect vinyl serves as a great compliment to any home decor.~~~2 YEAR WARRANTY – Guaranteed high quality and reliability with hassle-free parts and labor warranty for two years in USA and Cana” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”Buy on Amazon” alignment=”aligncenter” hide-prime=”0″ hide-image=”0″ hide-price=”0″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″ banner=”” alt=”Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers – 2.0 Stereo Active Near Field Monitors – Studio Monitor Speaker – Wooden Enclosure – 42 Watts RMS”]Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers – 2.0 Stereo Active Near Field Monitors – Studio Monitor Speaker – Wooden Enclosure – 42 Watts RMS[/amalinkspro]

Accessories

The R1280T comes with a speaker connection cable (8.2 feet), an RCA-RCA cable (5.5 feet), an RCA audio cable (5.5 feet), a remote control, and a user manual.

Utility

The R1280T has standard RCA jack L/R inputs for two different sources of sound, one labeled PC and the other Aux (auxiliary). Control of the speakers is simple and direct by adjustment of the side knobs, or they can be controlled by the provided IR remote. The remote for the R1280T is very basic and has three buttons: volume up, volume down, and mute.

Sound Quality

Tonality: General sound quality is warm on the frequency low-end, and the treble is a bit crisp. These combined effects can fill a normal-sized living room despite furniture, books, and other sound-absorbing materials.

However, the proper placement is important to get the most out of these speakers since they are small.

Bass: If arranged towards the audience at or slightly above the listening level, the bass is deep and voluminous, especially in the mid-range of the bass, and blends well into the mid-tone sound region. These tonal highlights are appropriate for background music during parties and movie viewing.

Mid: You will not feel any bass kick or thump from these speakers, but the mid-range tonal richness will give you the perception of tonal depth and makes listening quite enjoyable.

Treble: Timbre in vocal ranges is good but falls out in the middle of the voice range. Most small speakers fail in the high-tone category, but the R1280T and R1280DB use a 0.51-inch silk dome tweeter that provides sharp and clear high tones that are crisp and undistorted but not too bright.

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Edifier R1280DB Bookshelf Speakers

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At first glance, the R1280DB looks like the R1280T speakers (in maple); they are the same in most respects. Performance for each model is nearly the same, they share the same cabinet and most of the same electronics.

That latter point is where the two models diverge, however. The R1280DB is an electronically upgraded R1280T with more input and remote-control features. It has the same build and nearly identical sound quality but has been made more amenable to modern sound systems and smart electronics.

The R1280DB has Bluetooth communication and optical and coaxial inputs, plus a remote that will allow you to control all these from across the room. It is also available in a modern-looking black stain for the wood side panels that would fit well in a modern-styled living room.

Specifications: Measuring The Goods in Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1280DB

Dimensions: 5.7×9.5×7 inches; wood (choice of maple or black stain) and metal
Amplifier power: 42 W RMS (root mean square)
Case: Bass-reflex
Drivers (each speaker): Woofer (4.57-inch), dome tweeter (0.51-inch)
Frequency response: 55 Hz to 20 kHz
Ports: All front
Wired connections: Optical TOSLINK (1), digital coaxial (1), RCA (2), spring clip pair I/O (2)
Signal-to-noise ratio: 85 dBA
Input sensitivity: 550 mV
Wireless connections: Bluetooth, remote control

Design

The wood side panels come in either a black or maple stain and have a beautiful appearance that complements any decor. These speakers have a decidedly classic, almost retro, stereo hi-fi feel like their counterparts above.

Accessories

The R1280DB comes with a speaker connection cable (8.2 feet), an RCA-RCA cable (5.5 feet), an RCA audio cable (5.5 feet), a fiber optic cable (5 feet), a remote control, and a user manual. The quality of these cables is very basic but does highlight the breadth of inputs these speakers can accommodate.

However, we recommend you replace the cabling with higher-quality products at your first opportunity.

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Utility

Here is where the R1280DB is distinctly different from the R1280T in terms of connectivity. The R1280DB is an up-ported R1280T with Bluetooth connectivity that permits wireless streaming from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Speaker electronics have a pairing mode that remembers recently-used devices, so later Bluetooth link-up is easy after the first time. In addition, these speakers have an internal DAC which accepts optical input and can pair up with smart TVs to serve as a sound system for movie and music video viewing.

The R1280DB has standard RCA jack L/R inputs for two different sources of sound, one labeled Line 1 and the other Line 2. Like the R1280T, the left speaker is slaved to the right main speaker through speaker connection cables.

There are two additional inputs: one for optical cabling and a coaxial connector. Control of the speakers is simple and direct by adjustment of the side knobs, or they can be controlled by the provided IR remote.

The remote for the R1280DB is more complicated than the R1280T and has 12 buttons for volume control and switching between various inputs: power, volume up, volume down, mute, Line 1, Line 2, Opt (optical), Cox (coaxial). In addition to these controls, there is a Bluetooth on/connect/pairing button and program forward, back, and play/stop buttons to remotely control a paired Bluetooth device such as a cell phone or MP3/4 player.

Sound Quality

The sound quality in all aspects is identical to the R1280T discussed above. Both speaker systems share the same cabinet design and are identically sized.

There is a small difference between the two models in that the woofer of the R1280DB is slightly larger (0.4 inches). This is enough to provide a bit deeper bass but still not a kick or thump

Winner of Edifier R1280T vs Edifier R1280DB: Edifier R1280DB

Although both speakers are fine, well-crafted audio electronics, there is no contest regarding our favorite. Since the price point difference between the two models is so close, and the electronic options you get with the R1280DB are so numerous, it is simply a no-brainer to choose the Edifier R1280DB model.

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