ELAC MicroMagic 2.1 review

Premium style at a premium price Tested at £1300

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Built to impress, but we can't ignore that price – the sound simply doesn't match up


  • +

    Great build quality and finish

  • +

    Clear, direct and solid sound


  • -


  • -

    Small and restricted soundfield

  • -

    Not very subtle or revealing

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There’s no denying it: a £1300 2.1 desktop system is going to raise eyebrows. So does this ELAC MicroMagic 2.1 deliver sound to match its premium price?

It certainly feels like a quality product, finished in either high-gloss black or white. The satellite speakers contain a 8 x 11cm oval mid/bass driver and a 2cm fabric-dome tweeter, while the sub incorporates the amp, driving both speakers and its own two 11.5cm drivers.

ELAC advises that the subwoofer is placed on your desk alongside the satellites, and in this configuration it produces a clear, direct sound – move the sub to the floor and that suddenly collapses.

ELAC MicroMagic 2.1 review: sound quality
The MicroMagic’s upbeat timing drives music along nicely, but it’s not the most dynamic system. It’s rather small-sounding, with the output restricted to a concentrated soundstage, and while notes are edged with precision there’s little in the way of insight or digging out of subtle textures.

The top end in particular sounds rounded off. This smooth sound can be pleasing on the ears, though, especially if you have low-res files or iffy recordings on your computer.

The system has Bluetooth-streaming abilities, but ELAC hasn’t yet decided whether to make the Bluetooth Module (£119) available in the UK. We hope it does.

ELAC MicroMagic 2.1 review: verdict
The MicroMagic is a pretty good system. However, that £1300 price tag is hard to stomach. As it stands, the system lacks the scale and insight to justify the price.

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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, Reading 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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