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Best Elac speakers 2022: budget to premium

Best Elac speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best Elac speakers you can buy in 2022.

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.

How to choose the best Elac speakers for you

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.

Best Elac speakers 2022: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

(Image credit: Future)
Easily the best Elac speakers we've heard at the money.

Specifications

Frequency: 44Hz - 35kHz
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 87db
Max power: 120W
Dimensions: 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) have won multiple What Hi-Fi Awards, 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 2022: Elac Debut B5.2

(Image credit: Future)
A brilliant pair of affordable Elac standmounters.

Specifications

Frequency: 46Hz - 35000Hz
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 86db
Max power: 120W
Dimensions: 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 2022: Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2

(Image credit: Future)
Mature, honest Elac floorstanders that don’t demand attention.

Specifications

Frequency: 42Hz - 35kHz
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 86db
Max power: 140W
Dimensions: 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 2022: Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim

(Image credit: Elac)
Stylish, no-nonsense Elac speakers that pack a big, open sound.

Specifications

Frequency: 46Hz - 25kHz
Impedance: 4 ohms
Sensitivity: 85db
Max power: 140W
Dimensions: 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

How we test speakers

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year, including no small amount of speakers of all shapes, sizes and types. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. We always ensure we spend plenty of time with the speakers, trying them with different electronics, in different positions and with different music. 

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity.

From all of our reviews, we choose the top products to feature in our Best Buys, such as this one. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended above, or on any of our other Best Buy pages, you can rest assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi?-approved product.

MORE:

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

Check out our list of best speakers

Or save money with the best budget hi-fi speakers

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.