Another set of speakers for the $100 speaker shootout

Mar 15, 2022

I have a thing for cheap, powered speakers, it seems. In November I picked up an Apple Mini and a Sonos Symfonisk. I noted then that both are fine but neither blew me away. The Sonos was being used in the basement with an old Apple TV for workouts, but because it required selecting it as the output every single time the TV turned on I wanted to find a better solution.

I’ve read many good things about Edifier speakers so I picked up a pair of Edifier R1280Ts. I put them in the office to compare them to the speakers I was using, the JBL 104s. Here’s a high level ranking:

  1. JBL104. Still my favorites. Not as loud as the Edifiers but a better shape for a desktop and much clearer.
  2. Edifier 1280T. Ended up going in the basement workout space, hardwired to the TV out. Gets decently loud, not exactly clear but if I’m listening to speed metal while lifting clear isn’t the highest priority.
  3. Sonos Symfonisk. Sounds good at moderate volume, and the shape (and ability to be a shelf) is neat. Distorted at high volumes, the Sonos app is miserable to use, and very directional sound. Might be better as a stereo pair but I’m suspicious of the overhead of two wireless speakers working together.
  4. Apple Mini. Cute. Fun color. Unless you really need something in this specific size and need it to be “smart” and work with Siri it’s overpriced and anything would be better.

Posted: March 2022