Decent hi-fi doesn't have to cost a fortune, and these excellent Elac speakers are irrefutable proof.
The Elac Debut B5.2 are arguably the most capable speakers of this size and price we've ever seen (or heard). For an entry-level pair of speakers, they sound sublime. They have no trouble handling dense instrumentation and complex rhythms, delivering sound with a precision and cohesion that's rare at this price.
While they were excellent value at their £249 ($199) 'tested at' price, popularity and success can be expensive, and recently they've been available for the dearer price of £279. Not now though. Head over to Peter Tyson and you can currently nab either finish – black or walnut – on offer for just £209. That's a massive £70 saving on their most recent price at that retailer.
Elac Debut B5.2
£279 £209 at Peter Tyson (save £70)
Under intense review, we praised Elac's already budget bookshelf bobby dazzlers for their 'detailed and organised sound', 'solid build' and 'unfussy nature', leaving us with no choice but to give them five sweet stars and a subsequent award – for three years running. At this price, they are an absolute steal.
What makes the Elac Debut B5.2 such a great buy? If the fact that they won What Hi-Fi? Awards in 2019, 2020, and 2021 isn't enough, you should know that the Debut B5.2s don't sweeten any sub-par quality recordings they're fed, they are amicably even-handed and balanced, with class-leading insight and composure.
These qualities make them ideal for a wide range of musical genres, from sparse electronica to experimental jazz. They have the dynamic expression, detail resolution and tonal sophistication to handle it all, and enough stretch in their abilities to get better when the rest of the system is upgraded. So consider them as a future-proofing measure for your hi-fi aspirations.
They look more modern than their forebears (the Elac Debut B5) with a taller, slimmer cabinet that's less obtrusive visually. They're unfussy about placement, working as well when set in from the wall as they do stuck on a shelf. That's thanks to their wide, solid sound stage. They work well with a wide range of partnering equipment, too, from budget micro-systems all the way up to quality separates.
In short, they're some of the finest speakers Elac has ever made in its 40-odd years in the business. If rival budget speaker brands aren’t worried about these boxes, they should be.
Here's our full Elac Debut B5.2 review
Considering a rival? These are the best bookshelf speakers you can buy
And here's our definitive list of the best speakers around for all budgets