Decent hi-fi doesn't have to cost a fortune, as evidenced by these excellent Elac speakers.
The Elac Debut B5.2 are arguably the most capable speakers of this size and price we've ever seen. For an entry-level pair of speakers, they sound fantastic. 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 are excellent value at their £249 ($199) RRP, we wouldn't say no to a discount. Whether they attract a deal or not, the prices you see in the deals box below are the best around...
So what makes them such a great buy? While they 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, 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
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And here's our definitive list of the best speakers around for all budgets