Powerful, versatile, and affordable this set of desktop PC speakers is easy to recommend, if you have space for them.
The Edifier R1280DB have been around for a while but continue to be a mainstay of the company’s PC speaker range. With a price of just $130, they offer loads of features, including Bluetooth connectivity and a remote control, and come with a powerful 42W sound output rating.
Edifier R1280DB design
The design of these speakers is exceptional, given their price. Available with either wood texture sides (all black or a grey and wood-coloured finish) or plain gloss white, we’ve used both the black and wood finish versions and they both look great. There’s a typical Hi-Fi speaker aesthetic to them but the rounded corners and generally clean lines have a distinct charm that remains if you chose to remove the front cloth grilles.
Where the R1280DB can’t compete with the likes of the Audioengine A1 and Ruark Audio MR1 MkII is the size of the speakers. The Edifiers are much larger units, more akin to a full-size Hi-Fi speaker, though they are at least a good bit (5cm) shorter in height than the Klipsch R-41PM. Nonetheless, you’ll need a reasonable amount of desk space to accommodate these units.
Edifier R1280DB connections and features
For features, the R1280DB offer up Bluetooth support for convenient connection to a phone or other mobile device and include both analog and digital inputs. In fact, you get two analog inputs in the form of two pairs of RCA inputs (RCA to RCA and RCA to 3.5mm jack socket cables included in the box).
Round the back of the right speaker are all the connections, with an optical and coaxial digital input joining the analog inputs, plus you get a chunky mains power switch, the spring clips for connecting up the left speaker, and the tethered power cable – it would’ve been nice to see a removeable cable. The one obvious missing feature here is a USB audio input – these speakers will require a sound card with analog or digital outputs to connect to any PC that doesn’t have Bluetooth.
Round the side of the right speaker are the controls, consisting of three dials for treble, bass, and combined volume/input/power. The latter controls volume when turned and switches the speakers on or changes inputs when tapped. Hold it down and the units will go into standby.
Alternatively, you can use the little button cell remote control. It uses cheap popper-style buttons that are a little unsatisfying to press, but it’s simple to use with buttons for power, volume, Bluetooth playback, and individual buttons for each input so you don’t have to cycle through inputs like you do with the dial on the side.
Inside each speaker, you’ll find a 4-inch bass driver, which puts these speakers in the same league as the Klipsch R-41PM for driver size, along with a 13mm tweeter and front-facing bass port that means you don’t have to worry about leaving a gap behind the speakers for sound ventilation.
Edifier R1280DB sound quality
This combination of a relatively large speaker housing and large main driver makes for a very smooth, unforced, and full sound. Sub bass isn’t cranked up and booming as it can be for systems with a separate subwoofer but there’s none of the tailed-off bottom end that we see with the Audioengine A1 and Creative T100.
Top-end detail isn’t the most sparkling, with more expensive speakers delivering more crispness and definition but again it’s the smoothness of the presentation that makes the R1280DB so likeable. They’ll play anything perfectly well and at very decent volumes too – these could easily step up from late-night kitchen party duties to full-on house party levels of noise.
Edifier R1280DB pros and cons
- Smart design
- Packed with features
- Great value
- Smooth, full sound
- Quite large units
- Lacks a little top-end detail
Edifier R1280DB specs
The Edifier R1280DB specs list is:
|146 × 196 × 234mm (W x D x H)
|1 x 100mm woofer and 1 x 25mm tweeter per speaker with rear bass port
|Nominal power output
|55Hz – 20,000kHz
|3.5mm stereo input, digital optical input, USB audio input, Bluetooth 5
|Remote control, volume, source, and power buttons on right speaker
Edifier R1280DB price
The Edifier R1280DB price is $130, making them a low to mid-priced set of stereo PC speakers that are great value.
Price: Expect to pay $130 (£130).
Edifier R1280DB review conclusion
The Edifier R1280DB (and their Bluetooth-less cousins the R1280T) are a fantastic low-end to mid-range PC speaker. Perfectly balancing features, design, ease of use, and audio performance, they’re a steal for just over $100. Spending more certainly gets you more top-end detail but these are still great for most uses, so long as you’re happy with how large they are.
For more computer speaker recommendations, check out our best computer speakers guide. Meanwhile, if you own a set of the Edifier R1280DB or are tempted to buy some, let us know your thoughts and questions via the Custom PC Facebook page, Twitter page, or by joining our 400,000+ member Custom PC and Gaming Setup Facebook group.