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Best Elac speakers 2021: budget to premium

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Best Elac speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best Elac speakers you can buy in 2021.

Elac's first-ever consumer audio product might have been a turntable, the PW1, but over the years the brand has produced all manner of loudspeakers including entry-level and high-end models. The German manufacturer has also developed and implemented a number of its own speaker technologies along the way, including its 4Pi omnidirectional tweeter and JET folded-ribbon tweeter.

More recently, Elac has delivered a great selection of well-performing, well-made and attractively-priced speakers, some of which rival the best in class.

As is always the case when looking for a new pair of speakers, you'll want to consider how much you're willing to spend and whether you want to go for a standmounter or floorstanding model.

Thankfully, both of those bases are covered in our list of the best Elac speakers, so there should hopefully be something for everyone. If you're interested in discovering what the brand has to offer then please, read on.

MORE:

Find out how to choose the right speakers, part one: research

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Best Elac speakers 2021: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

(Image credit: Future)

1. Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

Easily the best Elac speakers we've heard at the money.

Specifications
Frequency: 44Hz – 35kHz
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 87db
Max power: 120W
Dimensions (HWD): 37.4 x 19.5 x 26.8cm
Reasons to buy
+Transparent sound+Don't force own character+Bags of rhythm
Reasons to avoid
-Don't forgive sub-par sources

Their predecessors (the B5.2, positioned below) won a coveted What Hi-Fi Award in 2019, and we're pleased to say the new model doesn't disappoint.

They use a larger, 16.5cm version of their mid/bass unit, so you get the same blend of materials and the same reduced levels of distortion.

And while they might look understated, they're solidly built and reassuringly well made. The bigger cabinets, aided by that sizeable reflex port, predictably offer a good deal more bass weight than the B5.2, but they still refuse to overstretch. They deliver an open and balanced sound that can reach high and deliver ample bass without issue.

The B6.2 sound rhythmic and punchy, with plenty of weight but nimble with it. They take what we loved about their Award-winning siblings and build on it with an even fuller-bodied and more mature presentation. And for that, we commend them.

Read the full Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 review

Best Elac speakers 2021: Elac Debut B5.2

(Image credit: Future)

2. Elac Debut B5.2

A brilliant pair of affordable Elac standmounters.

Specifications
Frequency: 46Hz – 35000Hz
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 86db
Max power: 120W
Dimensions (HWD): 34 x 18 x 23cm
Reasons to buy
+Detailed, organised sound+Solidly built+Unfussy
Reasons to avoid
-Talented rivals

The B5.2 are a big improvement on the original Elac B5 – in fact, almost everything about them has changed. The cabinet is taller, narrower and deeper, which makes them look more modern and less obtrusive. The 5.25cm mid/bass unit is new, while the bass reflex port has moved, and the tweeter has a new design too.

These were enough to earn them a 2021 What Hi-Fi Award.

These changes aren't purely cosmetic – they make a real difference to performance. Dense instrumentation and complex rhythms pose no problem, as they deliver sound with precision and a cohesion that’s rare for this level.

They can handle a wide range of music too, with the dynamic expression, detail resolution and tonal sophistication to handle it all. And they'll last you, with enough stretch in their abilities to get better even when the rest of your system is upgraded – just make sure it's up to handling some of the best Elac speakers going.

Read the full Elac Debut B5.2 review

Best Elac speakers 2021: Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2

(Image credit: Future)

3. Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2

Mature, honest Elac floorstanders that don’t demand attention.

Specifications
Frequency: 42Hz - 35kHz
Sensitivity: 86db
Max power: 140W
Dimensions (HWD): 100 x 18 x 23cm
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of detail+Precise bass+Great timing and dynamics
Reasons to avoid
-Rivals are more playful

Elac's 2.0 range has undergone a bit of a design overhaul compared to the original Debut. The F5.2’s black vinyl wrapped MDF cabinets are larger and more robust than their predecessors and incorporate special internal bracing for improved stiffness and overall strength. There is also a trio of rear-firing bass reflex ports spaced evenly along each speaker’s spine. It’s a pretty radical overhaul for an already successful product.

But one listen, and you know Elac's gamble has paid off. Their sound is wonderfully transparent, with plenty of detail and textural insight. The soundstage is spacious without losing focus, while the speakers are able to tie instruments together without muddying their sounds.

Some rivals might offer a fuller presentation, but few can match the F5.2's sense of maturity and honesty.

Read the full Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 review

Best Elac speakers 2021: Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim

(Image credit: Elac)

4. Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim

Stylish, no-nonsense Elac speakers that pack a big, open sound.

Specifications
Frequency: 46Hz - 25kHz
Sensitivity: 85db
Max power: 140W
Dimensions (HWD): 33.9 x 17.8 x 29.3cm
Reasons to buy
+Stylish+Crisp, agile sound+Versatile placement
Reasons to avoid
-Could have better timing

The clue is in the title with these Elac speakers. They boast a slimline design, but that's not all these standmounters have going for them – they're lovely to listen to as well, delivering a glorious spread of sound that's amazingly involving. Placing them near a wall doesn't hamper the soundstage either, which is a godsend if you don't want them encroaching on your floorspace. They also boast a satisfying cohesion between mid and high frequencies.

There’s a lot to be said for a trim, aesthetically pleasing pair of speakers that are open-sounding, fast and agile, and – for those victims of circumstance – don't mind being positioned near a back wall. If you want style and substance, the Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim are a good shout indeed.

Read the full Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim review

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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