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Buy this today: Edifier R1280T, the best speakers under $100

These speakers offer the best soundscape for a powered audio setup under $100, and they look pretty damn stylish, too

Edifier R1280T speakers Buy This Today

As great as the best gaming headsets are, it can be equally important to have a great pair of speakers as part of your gaming setup. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that moment, following a long gaming session, when you realise how good it feels to take your headset off. Even the comfiest headsets can start to seem a little claustrophobic after prolonged use.

This isn’t even counting the times you want to listen to music or play games with someone else, or when you want to be able to hear what’s going on around you alongside the game you’re playing or the music you’re listening to. For all this, some decent speakers are needed.

It can be difficult to parse all the different speaker options, though, especially with audiophile forums and communities recommending a million and one different intricate setups. But there are simple, stylish, high-quality options available at the budget end. Edifier’s R1280T proves this, with its superb sound quality and sleek aesthetic.

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What is it?

Edifier’s R1280T is a speaker setup formed of two simple, elegant speakers, providing 6.9 x 9.5 x 5.8 inches of studio-level sound quality and elegant style. It features two AUX inputs, capable of connecting to either a dual RCA output like those found on turntables or a standard 3.5mm output like those on your PC. It also features a “4-inch bass driver and a calibrated, flared bass reflex port”, and this bass is balanced by a crisp-sounding top-end.

You can adjust the bass, treble, and volume on the side of the right-hand speaker, and you can adjust the overall volume or mute the speakers by using the small remote that’s provided. The speakers are encased in a wooden finish with a muted-grey front, giving them a minimalist, vintage look.

Why should you buy it?

You want a set of quality speakers to listen to music or project the audio from your favourite games, but you don’t want to break the bank. You want something that produces an incredible, rich, open soundstage that manages to keep those hi-hats clean and audible even when the heavy bassline hits. You also want something that looks simple and elegant (it would certainly be one to match this refined PC case), unlike many other speaker systems at this price range that seem to forget people will actually see their speakers, too.

I’ve used these speakers for the best part of three years now, and I’ve not once wanted to swap them out for another pair. Whether you’re playing a vinyl on the turntable or immersing yourself in an open-world MMO, these speakers give the perfect audio experience – one that’s almost unprecedented at this price range. They’re easy to set up and use, too, as they’re powered, meaning they can be plugged directly into your wall socket without needing an amp.

What options do you have?

If you’re living in the US, you’re in luck. Edifier’s R1280T speakers are available for $99.99 in a beautiful wood-and-grey finish. If you’re in the UK it looks like (for the moment, at least) you’ll have to go for the all-white version or spend a little more on an Edifier R1280DB, which is the same as the R1280T but can connect via Bluetooth.