Edifier R1280T 2.0 Review
Most 2.1 sound systems are rightly or wrongly; it’s a matter of taste, discredited as “brainless” bass bombers, which are supposed to score with the largest possible subwoofer. The alternative for many more demanding users is near-field monitors, i.e., stereo loudspeakers, optimized for use on the desk.
However, these are usually quite expensive because they are primarily aimed at professional users. With the R1280T, Edifier offers a system that should stand out with similar features to these professional systems, but at a lower price. But can the Edifier R1280T be convinced in the test?
- It has strong audio performance with rich lows and bright, clear highs.
- Adaptable bass and treble.
- Can connect to PCs, mobile devices, and any gear with an RCA output.
- It can be driven to distortion at absolute top volumes.
- No wireless capabilities.
- Output power: RMS 21W × 2 (DRC ON)
- Signal to noise ratio: ≥85 dBA
- Distortion: ≤0.5%
- Frequency Response: 75Hz ~ 18KHz (+/-9dB)
- Input type: RCA stereo input (cinch)
- Input Sensitivity: PC: 750mV±50mV AUX: 550mV±50mV
- Setting options: master volume/treble/bass, remote control
- Tweeter: 13mm silk dome tweeter
- Woofer: 116mm (4 inch)
- Dimensions: 146mm (W) × 234mm (H) × 196mm (D)
- Weight (net/gross): Approx. 4.9 kg / 5.65 kg
- At this point, many thanks to Edifier for making the R1280T available; without them, this test would not have been possible.
Edifier relies on a fairly classic wood/silver design for the R1280T. The wood is not painted plastic, but the speakers are made entirely of wood.
The look is, of course, a matter of taste, but I find the R1280T quite chic without the speaker grille, especially if there is something in natural wood colors on the desk (or where you use it).
However, from a technical point of view, the two speakers are not equivalent. The left speaker is completely passive, while the right speaker also has the control unit and amplifier installed. Acoustically, both speakers have a 12cm woofer and a 13mm silk dome tweeter.
Both loudspeakers are connected via a normal loudspeaker cable, which is included in the 2m length but can easily be exchanged for another.
The edifiers are connected to the PC or television using a normal cinch/headphone cable. The Edifier R1280T 2.0 has two chinch inputs. These can be used to connect two devices to the speaker and play music simultaneously! The whole thing is controlled via three rotary controls on the right edge of the active speaker. One is used to manage the volume, and the other two control the bass and treble.
In addition, Edifier includes a small remote control with three buttons, mute, and volume up/down. However, the quality is rather cheap.
Let’s come to a somewhat unpleasant point, the power consumption. The Edifier R1280T only has a power switch on the bottom rear of the speakers, i.e., where it is almost impossible to reach.
The speaker cannot be switched off with the remote control either. Accordingly, the R1280T has a fairly high standby power consumption of 3.8W.
On the other hand, the power consumption during operation is positive, which is also 3.8W at room volume and only increases to a maximum of approx—7W at a very high volume. Therefore, if you have a master/slave socket, that would be ideal for these speakers.
The Edifier R1280T is not a professional near-field monitor; you can quickly hear that. I’m not saying that this look bad on the desk, but on the contrary, the Edifiers are designed to be a tad more fun.
The R1280T has a pleasantly round bass and is also fun as a subwoofer. Of course, the upper bass is very strong, but the Edifier R1280T has to admit defeat to systems with an external subwoofer in the low bass range. However, even in this area, the speakers still do an amazingly good job for a 2.0 system of this size and price range.
There is also the possibility to regulate the bass. So, if you want a little more or less, you can adjust this. However, the default setting is very appropriate, in my opinion. The highs are also very successful and belong to the clearer and more brilliant ones. The mids are not the Edifier’s greatest strength, but they are still quite strong compared to most 2.1 sound systems.
Of course, the Edifier R1280T 2.0 doesn’t manage to make an entire living room shake, but with the usual sitting distance at the desk, they produce a full and rich sound that leaves little or nothing to be desired.
The stereo image is decent, not completely outstanding. The bottom line is that the Edifier R1280T produces a completely different sound than most 2.1 sound systems in this price range. I would still prefer a good 2.1 system for movies and maybe games. However, for music or vocals, a setup like the Edifier R1280T is a lot better. The maximum volume is decent and without major distortions in the sound, as long as the bass switch isn’t turned past the middle.
Conclusion on the Edifier R1280T 2.0
The Edifier R1280T 2.0 is pretty much the best 2.0 system the market offers. In terms of sound, these are excellent with a quite full and fun sound; the same applies to the very good haptics and optics, provided you omit the rather ugly speaker grilles.
Points are deducted for the standby power consumption and the very unfavorable positioning of the off switch. There are bonus points for the power consumption during operation, which is quite low.