Edifier speaker comparison: R1280DB v R1850DB v S1000DB
Opinia napisana w Wielkiej Brytanii dnia 10 marca 2019
First of all, I have no professional connection to either Edifier or Amazon – I'm just a customer.
This review necessarily involves a comparison of three of Edifier's models (R1280DB, R1850DB and the S1000DB) so I have placed the review in each model's Amazon page.
I hope you like reading – this review is a bit long, but I'm so impressed by the Edifier brand (and Amazon!) that I wanted to do it justice. I hope you will find it useful.
I'm not an industry professional, just someone who is passionate about hi-fi. I'm also a physicist and so I'm fairly technical but I certainly don't claim to be any kind of expert so what you are getting here is simply a layman's opinion - although I'm fussy in the extreme about my music and home cinema!
Part 1: The bedroom - Once upon a time…
I got fed up being awoken by what sounded like a nuclear attack alarm from my phone every morning – I was certainly awake but I wanted to be gently brought into consciousness – not start the day with my heart pounding, thinking that I might cardiac arrest at any second!
So, I bought a top of the range radio alarm at £170. It had three speakers, one of which claimed to be a "subwoofer". I wasn't overly impressed. I like my hi-fi and music, and mistakenly thought this might come close to a hi-fi sound – it did not.
I had an Ocean Digital internet radio (no built-in speaker) lying around and discovered that it had dual alarms built in. I had the idea of being awoken by true hi fi sound in the morning – a bit indulgent, I know, but life is short so why not?
I didn't really want an amplifier, cables and large speakers cluttering up the bedroom, so I thought of active speakers. I had never really considered them before as I thought they produced lower quality sound than passive speakers driven by a separate amplifier. I spent the best part of a day looking at reviews (from articles all over the world) and finally decided to give the Edifier R1280DB active speakers a try, even though I had never even heard of the company before. Given Amazon's outstanding customer service, I knew that I could return them with no fuss if they weren't up to standard.
I bought the wooden finish type and was immediately impressed. They looked good in the bedroom and the sound was excellent, especially considering the price and the size of the speaker (small). My view is that this setup would be very difficult to beat by any of the (even high-end) one piece music systems available. OK, it's a bit indulgent for what is essentially an alarm clock (£120 for the speakers and around £40 for an internet radio) but the sound was superb. It kicked the radio alarm which I had purchased initially completely out of the park!!!
Part 2: The kitchen
Having been so impressed by the R1280DB, I talked myself into getting some speakers to sit beside the TV / satellite in the kitchen. I thought I'd go a bit further up the Edifier range and settled on the R1850DB at £160.
This is where things got a bit more serious – this speaker delivers a true hi-fi quality sound, in my opinion. Obviously, we need to remember two things, namely the price and the size, so it's not going to match a £1,000 set of speakers and separate amplifier – but it's not far off that kind of quality, at least at moderate volumes. My main system is around that price, so I'm judging it against that.
I think Edifier may be victims of their own excellent products here; at a price increase of only £40 (£160 versus £120), in my view there is a substantial jump in sound quality over the R1280DB, so much so that if you can stretch to it, the R1850DB is definitely the one to go for. Considering that you will hopefully be listening to these speakers for years to come, that additional £40 becomes even less significant.
Part 3: Back to the bedroom…
Having been totally blown away by the sound quality of the R1850DB speakers, how easy they were to set up and how tidy and unobtrusive they were, I returned the R1280DB speakers and moved the R1850DBs into the bedroom – I now actually look forward to the "alarm clock" going off in the morning – that's a first! Incidentally, if you are using these as an alarm clock, they need to be left on. I measured their power consumption when there is no input and it is just under 6 watts. By my calculation that is approximately one kWh per week (6 watts x 168 hours) so, if you leave them on 24/7, that should equate to less than 20p per week in additional electricity. Or you could, of course, just turn them on at night and off again in the morning. I have also linked them to a blu-ray player and the TV in the bedroom – they have transformed everything sound-wise! The additional digital connectors are a huge advantage here – see the note further on.
Part 4: Back to the kitchen…
For those of you who haven't gotten tired of me babbling on, you may have worked out that the kitchen is now missing a set of speakers…
I was so impressed by Edifier's R1850DB that I started to look even further up the range. After ANOTHER day looking at reviews, the Edifier S1000DB model appeared to be receiving huge praise from every reviewer. However, at £280 (for Amazon Prime members, otherwise £300) these are not exactly budget speakers, so it took a few days before I talked myself into taking the plunge.
Bottom line, I am hugely impressed with the S1000DB! Again, it is a step up from the R1850DB. However, it doesn't make the R1850DB sound bad in any way by comparison – I can wholeheartedly recommend both of these models. The S1000DB is a gorgeous speaker in terms of its looks, real wood (I believe) finish, and top-notch sound quality. Crystal clear treble, massive and controlled bass, this active speaker is on a par with a much more expensive setup of separate amp and speakers – and much tidier and unobtrusive for smaller spaces. I have it plugged into the TV and a satellite receiver in the kitchen where I can also listen to satellite radio, which is amazing quality sound.
My opinion is that the R1850DB is the optimum price / performance compromise here, but you would not go wrong with whichever of this trio you went for.
A brief summary of 'for' and 'against' each model would be:
Model FOR AGAINST
R1280DB Compact, looks, price Sound is good, but not hi-fi.
R1850DB Optimum price / performance Maybe a bit plain looking
S1000DB Top quality sound, bass, looks Nothing if you have £280
Additionally, with the exception of the S1000DB, the remotes are a bit on the cheap side. Edifier would do well to address this point as it would enhance the perceived quality of the system – after all, it is the only bit of the system that we regularly touch, and that tactile interface is important – to me, at least. I don't know if a universal remote could work here – comments are welcome.
A few final thoughts:
1. Edifier make models with and without digital inputs. The …DB at the end of the model name stands for Digital plus Bluetooth. My recommendation is definitely to go for these additional digital inputs. They add slightly to the cost, but they massively increase the flexibility of the speakers. I have used all of the digital and analogue inputs and they all work flawlessly.
2. I briefly considered the S2000DB, which again won massive praise from all reviewers. Unfortunately, the price difference in the UK between those and the S1000DB was just too much for me. I would dearly love to hear the S2000DB and I will be watching the price carefully, just in case I need speakers for the bathroom…! Watch this space!!!
3. A final mention to Amazon. There were a few very minor snags during this buying spree but Amazon customer service, as always, fixed the problems instantly and without question. Thank you, Amazon! Being able to purchase equipment, which isn't exactly cheap, with total confidence in the seller is a huge plus point for the consumer.
Thanks for "listening"… and good luck if you decide to purchase. I am certain you would not be disappointed with any of these models.
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