Price: $ 99.99
Here's what we like
- Excellent value
- Good looks
- Double inputs, no switching
- Removable front panels
And what we don't
- MDF wood construction  Low bass distortion
- Fixed power cable
Laptops and desktops often get the short end of the pin when it comes to sound: the former because of space restrictions, the latter because packing accessories tend to be of low quality. If you want an upgrade for either, these Edifier speakers will do well.
The R1280T is a set of fairly conventional bookshelf speakers, with a lot of capacity concentrated on two chunky wooden satellites without subwoofer. With a street price of $ 100 and standard analog inputs, it's a set that makes a serious upgrade to the desktop sound without breaking the bank or adding too much bulk or complexity.
Do you want to upgrade your basic write speakers without entering checkbook-busting audiophile territory? R1280T is a rock-based upgrade pick.
While it is quite unlikely that audio files looking for road movement or accurate precision, they are a significant improvement over the dusty old Logitech set from 2004 found on many desks.
The powerful bookshelf speakers have 4 inch primary woofers and a dedicated tweeter in each unit and divide 42 watts of power between them. The inputs are simple: two RCA audio connectors, both of which are constantly active. The right speaker has adjusting buttons for main volume, bass and treble, without any image of any type.
The connection panel is the same as the Spartan, with dual RCA inputs and the speaker cable connector on the left unit. The only other control is a switch. The only indication of a more modern brand is the included remote, which is extra, with only the volume and attenuate controls. Oddly, treble and bass adjustments are not available on the remote control.
I put the speakers in the usual places on my desk, one in each rear corner with a slight inclination toward my sitting position. The dual inputs are handy for my special setting, with one for my main desk and one for the Mac Mini I hold the connector to a secondary display input. Having both inputs active at the same time means that there is no need to replace them with my monitor or use a more extensive cable installation. I would think that most users would like to keep a cable especially for their phone or tablet.
Inside the box you'll find everything you need and nothing you don't. In addition to a standard RCA cable, there is a headphone-to-RCA adapter, which is all you need for most desktops or telephone connections. The regular track speaker that connects the left and right units is eight feet long, more than adequate for most offices or bedrooms.
If you need more, the lead is not permanent on both sides, so the installation of a longer switch will be easy enough
Audio Power Fit For Goldilocks
At 42 watts, the R1280T is not powerful enough to act as full maintenance center sound, even if you are not interested in anything over 2.0 stereo sound. A desk, or perhaps a small bedroom, is the perfect and intended listening scenario. Without a dedicated subwoofer or larger driver, it just doesn't have the ability to fill a larger room in anything but quiet conditions.
Said the kit is perfect for the smaller applications. Its excellent midrange and clear heights are just a little weaker with little distortion with the base up to maximum setting. I found that I only needed to set about half of their maximum number for most of my PC video needs, even for the harder video games I like to play and adjust the Windows volume for more control.
Distortion at the extreme base end is present, as expected for a 2.0 setup, but I rarely found media that actually hit the R1280T's lower frequency range. It is also quite balanced between the left and right units, which is not always the case for this primary and secondary design. For an office, bedroom or dormitory, it's an excellent compromise between supply, volume, quality and price.
Sound Looks Good
Edifier went for a more classic setting with this set: standard rectangular house, wood side panels, gray speakers and gray panels on the top and bottom. "Wood" is only available in a technical IKEA black-of-way, as it is MDF with a vinyl outer coating, but you would not know it with warm tones and grained texture.
The protective cloths are removable if you prefer to see your drivers steering together with the music. But I would not recommend it: The kit's neutral styling does not offer what other "edgy" stereos do, and it is meant to blend into a more serious office interior. But it comes from someone who holds half a dozen LEGO spaceships on their desk, so remember that there is no accounting for taste.
With left and right units measuring about 6x6x10 inches, the speakers are small for bookshelf, but quite large for a desktop installation, especially if you are used to 2.1 configuration with one part on the floor. You either need a larger desk … or a smaller one that is cleaner than mine to accommodate the physical volume of the set.
At $ 100, the R1280T is not much more expensive than a high quality 2.1 speaker kit, and much cheaper than similar powered bookshelf. With its excellent sound quality, medium power for an office or bedroom, and good-for-button printing, it looks like a good companion for almost any desktop system. Double inputs are a great bonus, especially if you regularly juggle multiple audio sources.
If you look at something with the same sound quality but a little more flexibility in terms of sources, you spend an extra thirty dollars on R1280DB.
Price: $ 99.99
Here's what we want  Excellent value
And what we do
- MDF wooden construction
- Low base distortion
- Fixed power cable