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Edifier R980T 2.0– Bookshelf Speakers

BA-SICK!

Listening to good sound while working on our desks is something we all crave. Edifier, a smaller and lesser known US audio company, has earned a central spot in the limelight over the past few years for making a wide variety of performant, feature nice looking budget speakers.

The R980T is their most basic powered desktop/computer speaker that comes at a minimal cost. These are made from medium-density wood fiberboard with nice wood veneer on them. The front mesh is very fine and elegant, and the elegant logo on the bottom only adds to their beauty. This model features all the inputs and controls on the back side of the speakers, with a master volume and bass level knobs and the two RCA inputs. Pretty basic stuff here that’s clearly intended to make this speaker as cheap as possible while still being passable.

The R980T is a powered speaker, meaning you don’t need a separate amp or receiver – it simply plugs in and is ready to play. The parent unit, in addition to volume/bass EQ knobs and a power switch, has two RCA inputs, so you could connect it to two devices at the same time. An RCA to 3.5mm cable is included (connects to any standard headphone jack) as well as some speaker wire to connect the second child speaker. With a flared bass reflex port, you’re sure to enjoy a balanced sound with enhanced bass. Furthermore, the bass is adjustable, and the speakers are equipped with a 13-mm tweeter as well, for you to experience the strongest audio output possible. The range spec is pretty decent for an inexpensive two-way bookshelf speaker, and the power handling is pretty minimal.

VERDICT

So if you’re looking for some basic augmentation to listen to talk radio or the like out loud for minimal cost, these speakers are an ideal choice. But if you’re looking for true reproduction, these won’t compete with more powerful speakers coupled with a subwoofer. Edifier does make higher grade powered speakers that do have subwoofer compatibility, among other features, but they’re more expensive.

Edifier R1280DB- Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers/ 4 Inch Near Field Speakers

MAKE THE SWITCH!

BANG FOR THE BUCK!

The R1280DB is the successor of the R1280T and now offers Bluetooth and digital input support. It uses the same design and driver setup as the R1280T and offers a similar look and identical performance. They also offer an all-black model which looks way more modern and frankly, a lot better than the normal ones. With a combined 42W RMS output, they don’t offer wall shaking bass, but a sound that is cozy, smoothly textured and room-filling.

Measuring 146 x 241 x 178mm per speaker, the Edifier R1280DB sit somewhere in size between a more typical PC speaker and a bookshelf Hi-Fi speaker. Rather than the plastic of many desktop speakers, what we have is a hefty MDF construction with a wood-textured vinyl wrap, just as you’ll see on a Hi-Fi bookshelf speaker. Said wrap can be either an all-black finish or a brown faux-wood one. Edifier has added some subtle but key details that elevate them well above what you’d expect for the price. There are rounded corners, a subtle switch from the wood-textured sides to the mottled-textured middle and a neat chromed-plastic stripe across the middle of the speakers, all of which adds that something extra. You can remove the fabric grille to expose the two drivers and single bass port of each speaker. If you are not a fan of dust absorbing grilles, this is a good look. The front-firing bass port helps for positioning in tight spaces without compromise to the bass performance. This selection of inputs is what makes these speakers such a versatile option, especially when combined with the Bluetooth input. You can hook up a TV or PC, something like a Google Chromecast Audio and connect your phone through Bluetooth, all without any extra boxes or paraphernalia. It offers a reasonably even sound and no jarring boosts to bass or treble. It has quite a warm sound, allowing it to adapt to a variety of different genres.

VERDICT

Overall, whether you do feel the need to tweak the EQ a little, the key thing is that these speakers have the range to provide the option. It’s this versatility that makes them so appealing especially at this price point.