Martin Wilson

Jun 28, 2022

Speakers like the Edifier R1280T are becoming harder to come by. Because of the twin inputs, you can connect different sound sources simultaneously, but unlike most of the products we evaluate in this price range, they do not offer wireless capabilities.

The wood veneer paneling on this set of stereos seems like it should cost more than the $99.99 price tag. Additionally, they have a rich, bright, well-balanced, and customizable EQ that makes them a nice surprise in the audio sector.

The Essentials

Four 4-inch woofers and a specialized tweeter in each powered bookshelf speaker share 42 watts of output power. RCA audio jacks are used as inputs, both of which are always active. There is no screen on the right speaker's volume, bass, or treble controls.

There are just two RCA inputs and one speaker wire jack for the left unit's connection panel. The power switch is the only other way to adjust the device. The sparse remote, which only has volume and mute settings, indicates that this is a more current model.


A matte metallic surface covers the top and sides of the R1280T speakers, which measure 9.2 by 5.7 by 7.7 inches (HWD). The Edifier emblem appears on the bottom of the grey fabric grilles, which can be removed for cleaning. A 4-inch woofer, a 13mm silk dome tweeter, and an airport help the drivers work more efficiently in each speaker.

These components are hidden under the grille of the speaker. The only powered speaker in the pair is the right one, fed via a detachable wire to the left one (included).


Because the bass and treble knobs are more delicate than other EQ settings, this is a positive thing. The drivers' neutral default setting has a pretty flat response; thus, boosting another bass will likely be a choice many listeners make.

Even with the bass knob cranked up, most of the mixes we tried didn't sound drastically different when it was turned up. The bass may be amplified greatly while the treble is slightly boosted, allowing you to keep the two in harmony. With the speakers set to neutral, the speakers produce a tremendous deep bass response at high levels for tunes with heavy sub-bass content, such as The Knife's "Silent Shout."

Depending on how loud your sound source is, you may be able to drive them to distortion, although the speakers are capable of far louder volume before that happens. The rumbling and distortion are both amplified when the bass is turned up. The bass response is still strong, and the high-frequency balance is perfect when the neutral option is used at modest levels.

Goldilocks-Perfect Audio Power

Even if you don't care much more than 2.0 stereo sound, the R128042 T's watts aren't enough to serve as a full entertainment center audio system. The optimum listening environment is a desktop or a tiny bedroom. It just lacks the strength to fill a bigger area in anything except calm conditions without a separate subwoofer or larger speakers.

The kit, however, is ideal for modest projects. With the bass pushed up, it has an outstanding middle and clean highs that are only slightly hampered by a tad of distortion. For most of my PC visual demands, even for the noisier video games, I like playing, I needed it set at half its maximum and tweaking the Windows volume for more fine control. The volume controls and the remote control work OK; however they aren't essential for my use.

An Attractive Sound

These speakers are more conventionally styled: rectangular housing, wood side panels, grey speaker covers, grey panels on the top/bottom, and grey panels on both sides of each speaker.

The protecting fabric panels may be removed. It's possible, but I wouldn't advocate it: the set isn't as "edgy" as others, and it's designed to fit into a more serious business environment. As someone with a small collection of LEGO spacecraft on his desk, I can attest that not everyone has the same sense of humor.

If you're used to a 2.1 setup with a sub on the floor, the speakers are modest for bookshelf style but enormous for a desktop arrangement, especially if you're used to a 2.1 setup with a sub on the floor.


The Edifier R1280sound T's quality is remarkable for the price of $100. The sound quality and power output of budget-friendly PC speakers are rarely this high. As your budget increases, so do your options—we're big admirers of the Harman Kardon SoundSticks III, the Logitech Z537, and the Audioengine 2+.

However, Audioengine's HD3 speakers are great, if more pricey, if you're looking for a more cordless solution. Our Editors' Choice goes to the R1280T wired PC speakers because they are among the best we've evaluated for the price in the last several years.

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