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Speaker Showdown: Edifier R1280DB vs Edifier R1700BT

Speaker Showdown: Edifier R1280DB vs Edifier R1700BT

Craig Walker |

IN THIS ARTICLE: We compare the two popular active bookshelf speakers from Edifier: The R1280DB vs R1700BT…

  1. Design & Build
  2. Audio Performance
  3. Connectivity & Features
  4. Key Spec Comparison
  5. Price

… we'll compare the specs, look at the features and give you scenarios that best suit each speaker.

In this blog we’ll compare our two most popular active bookshelf speakers; the Edifier R1280DB vs the Edifier R1700BT.

We’ll compare the design, features, sound quality and prices and aim to give you balanced reasons for and against each version.

 

Edifier R1280DB in wood next to an Edifier R1700BT in black

Design & Build

Starting with the design, both the Edifier R1280DB and R1700BT exude a classic, understated elegance that easily complements any interior decor.

Whether you’re placing them on your desk, TV unit or a sideboard next to a turntable - they’re not going to look out of place in any scenario.

The R1280DB boasts a slightly smaller form factor, measuring at 14.6 x 23.4 x 19.6 cm, while the R1700BT is a bit larger at 15.4 x 25.4 x 21.4cm. 

Both speakers feature an MDF cabinet with a vinyl wrap. 

Both speakers are available in black, white or a wood finish but it’s worth noting that the wood finishes differ, the R1280DB is a dark oak style whereas the R1700BT is a more cherry red.

Additionally the R1700BT has a slanted design which positions the drivers upward at a 10-degree angle with the aim to deliver better sound dispersion especially when used on a desk or a sideboard.

Winner = Edifier R1700BT

 

Audio Performance

When it comes to audio performance, both the R1280DB and the R1700BT offer an impressive sound quality, especially considering their price points.

Regardless of which speaker you opt for it’s going to be pretty hard to find anything that sounds better for this money.

The Edifier R1280DB boasts a 4-inch bass driver and 13mm silk dome tweeter powered by a 42W digital amplifier, providing a balanced sound with clear highs and decent bass. It also features built-in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Dynamic Range Control (DRC) to minimise distortion and improve overall audio quality. 

On the other hand, the Edifier R1700BT also features a 4-inch bass driver and 19mm silk dome tweeter and a more powerful 66W amplifier. The larger tweeter aims to deliver crisper highs compared to the R1280DB. Like its counterpart, the R1700BT utilises DSP and DRC technology to optimise sound performance.

In a head to head sound test the R1700BT is the outright winner. Whilst both sound great, you can clearly hear the extra power from the R1700BT.

However, both speakers perform admirably in delivering a satisfying audio experience.

Winner = Edifier R1700BT

 

Connectivity & Features 

Edifier R1280DB & Edifier R1700BT Rear Connections Side By Side

When it comes to connectivity options the R1280DB and the R1700BT offer similar setups however the R1280DB has a built-in digital to analogue converter offering more ways to connect your audio sources. 

Both speakers come equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to easily connect your devices wirelessly. 

Additionally, they feature dual RCA inputs, making them compatible with various audio sources, such as computers, gaming consoles, and turntables. 

The main advantage of the R1280DB is the inclusion of a digital optical input, which the R1700BT lacks. This optical input allows for a direct connection to compatible devices such as TV.

On both speakers you can easily switch between sources using the remote control or by tapping the volume button in, so no need to unplug things.

If you’re looking for versatility then the R1280DB wins here. You can connect your turntable, your TV, your CD player and stream via Bluetooth without ever having to plug or unplug anything.

Another thing worth mentioning is how the second speaker connects into the "master" speaker.

The R1280DB uses standard 2 core speaker cable, so if you're planning to mount the speakers more than a few metres apart (i.e wall mounting them) then you have a bit more flexibility in positioning.

The R1700BT has a pre-made cable which is approx. 5 metres long and has a special plug so you can't extend it. We do have a 9M cable available here as an extra if you need it though.

Winner = Edifier R1280DB

 

Key Spec Comparison

 Model

Edifier R1280DB

Edifier R1700BT

Power Output:

2 x  21W RMS (42W Total)

2 x 15W + 2 x 18W RMS (66W Total)

SNR

≥85dBA

≥85dBA

Frequency Response

55Hz ~ 20kHz

60Hz ~ 20kHz

Bass Driver

4 inch (116mm)

4 inch (116mm)

Treble Driver

Φ13 mm silk dome

 

Φ19 mm silk dome

Wireless

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Inputs

2 x RCA

1 x Optical TOS Link

1 x Optical COAX

2 x RCA

 

Price

Price can be a significant factor when deciding between two products and it’s often a bit more difficult to decide when the two items are similarly priced.

The R1280DB comes in at £129.99 and the R1700BT at £139.99 so there’s not much in it price wise. 

That means you’ll need to pick what’s most important to you:

  1. Outright sound quality? Choose the R1700BT
  2. Connectivity & versatility?? Choose the R1280DB.

 

Conclusion

In the end both the Edifier R1280DB and the R1700BT deliver excellent sound quality and have similar connectivity options.

The R1700BT clearly sounds better than the R1280DB, but the R1280DB is still a very capable and great sounding speaker. 

If you prefer a slightly smaller form factor and appreciate the convenience of a digital optical input then the  R1280DB might be the better choice for you.

If you’re not bothered about connecting a TV then spend the extra tenner and get the R1700BT.