This is my first time reviewing speakers.
I needed to take my time and think carefully about how I was going to convey my opinion on these sleek, stylish speakers. The timing of their arrival was perfect, I was due to travel to Wales for a few days so thought, what the heck! I’ll take them with me so I can really crank the volume and test them without annoying anyone. Here’s my thoughts on the Edifier R1280DB.
I’ll get to the connectivity, styling and build quality later. What we all really want to know is how do they sound? I listen to quite a bit of rap or hip-hop music. These genres tend to emphasise the low and high range frequencies. This means, you need a good quality set of speakers to truly appreciate the music. And I really hoped they’d cope with a few days of punishment.
They are priced at £119 on Amazon so I wasn’t expecting epic studio sound quality but at the same time, I did expect a great audio experience. So how did they perform? They sound better than they should. And what I mean by that is for the size I’d expect them to sound a bit ‘tinny’ but they definitely punch above their weight and I was pleasantly surprised by just how loud I could turn up the volume before hitting any distortion, you do get a bit right towards the top but that’s to be expected. If you want your speakers louder, you’ll need to opt for larger drivers.
The bass is good, considering it’s only a 4-inch subwoofer and whilst it’s pleasing on the ears they won’t give a traditional HiFi speaker setup much of a challenge in the bass department. Saying that though, if you aren’t in desperate need of a massive amount of bass, these are ideal for home use.
Let’s talk connectivity now then. Once I’d plugged them in and connected the passive speaker to the active I tried to figure out how to connect them with my phone. They can be paired with your smartphone, tablet or any other Bluetooth audio device really. The device I used was my iPhone. The connection process is simple, switch the input to Bluetooth, go to your iPhone settings and pair with the Edifiers’. It took me less than one minute.
I did suffer a Bluetooth connection drop once or twice. The problem was intermittent and it could have been due to being in an old Welsh cottage. After the second disconnection, I turned everything off (including my phone) and back on again and it worked flawlessly from then on. So that maybe something to think about if you do live in an older building with thicker walls or in a location that has lots of interference.
Aswell as bluetooth connectivity you’ve also got the option to connect to these speakers using RCA, optical or coaxial cables. I’d have expected to see only RCA on a speaker at this price point so that’s a nice touch and gives you multiple options in terms of input device. I like that a lot.
Moving on to (in my opinion) their best feature. The styling. I love the wood and black plastic combination, these don’t look like a cheap pair of speakers and they’ll fit pretty much any environment! I placed them either side of a log burner in the cottage and they looked as if they’d been there all along and didn’t seem out of place.
The only slight criticism I have of the design (and it’s only my opinion) is the silver styling strip on the front of the dust covers. I’m not a fan of it and I think it’d look a lot cleaner without it.
Overall the R1280DB speakers are put together amazingly well and they feel solid, the weight of them gives that quality feeling. The plastic controls on the right hand side of the active speaker are made of tough plastic and they don’t feel cheap. Just tapping a plastic made button or control often tells you all you need to know, if it feels thin and bends inwards it’s cheap and poor quality. But the controls on the Edifier R1280DB feel like they’ll be hardwearing. It’s a strange comparison, but they remind me of the audio controls in my VW Golf!
The only thing I think you should be careful about is the wood grain, it’s not actually real wood but MDF with a wrap of some sort, probably vinyl. So if you can manage to avoid scratching them, they should be just fine and last you a lifetime.
So what’s the verdict? It’s a shame these are just a loan unit as they are a great speaker and I’d happily swap them for my current PC speakers. My current setup makes use of the Edifier Luna Eclipse HD. I prefer the styling on the Luna Eclipse but the R1280DB have a greater range of connectivity and are much better at handling audio at louder volumes.
The Edifier R1280DB TL;DR:
- Easy to setup and connect via Bluetooth
- Great audio quality and surprisingly punchy bass.
- Priced at £119 they are relatively ‘budget’ friendly
- Distorted at the very top end, but most speakers tend to do that!
It was really great reviewing these speakers, I have reviewed another product from Edifier over on my own blog. You can read my Edifier TWS1 Earbud review here. They are also fantastic.
- Total Power Output: R/L: 21W+21W RMS
- Signal to Noise Ratio: ≥85dBA (A)
- Noise Level: ≤25dB (A)
- Input Sensitivity:
LINE IN1: R/L:450±50mV
LINE IN2: R/L:550±50mV
- Frequency Response: 55Hz-20KHz
- Bass Unit: 4 inch (116mm)
- Tweeter Unit: Φ13mm silk dome tweeter
- Dimension: 5.75in x 9.5in x 7in (WxHxD)
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