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Best Elac speakers 2020: 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 2020.

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 the list below, so there should hopefully be something for everyone. If you're interested in discovering what Elac has to offer then please, read on.

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Best Elac speakers: budget to premium

(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 B5.2s, 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 new 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 B5.2s, but they still refuse to overstretch. They deliver an open and balanced sound that can reach high and deliver ample bass without issue.

The Elacs 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.

Read the full Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 review

Best Elac speakers: budget to premium

(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 B5.2s are a big improvement on the original Elac B5 (below) – 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 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 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.

Read the full Elac Debut B5.2 review

Best Elac speakers: budget to premium

(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: budget to premium

(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 Slims are a good shout indeed.

Read the full Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim review