Australian Hi-Fi

Class-leading compacts?


Elac might be better known for its excellent, budget-friendly passive stereo speakers, but the German company has now launched its first pair of powered speakers, the Debut ConneX DCB41.

With dimensions of 25cm x 14cm x 20cm, these are fairly diminutive speakers that have been designed for small spaces and can easily be placed on a desk. They’re much smaller than traditiona­l bookshelf speakers, standing closer in size to the petite Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2.

Elac promises to deliver a “premium audio experience” with its Debut ConneX, and going from the observatio­ns of What Hi-Fi?’s technical editor, who recently named them as one of his favourite products of last year, they seem to succeed in this.

Now, to the finer details. These are powered speakers in a master and passive configurat­ion, with one speaker housing all the amplificat­ion, power and inputs. Each speaker has a 19mm soft dome tweeter and a 10cm Polypropyl­ene mid/ bass driver, with power coming from two 50W Class D amplifiers, which have supposedly been “acoustical­ly matched” to the drivers.

To get ample bass out of such compact cabinets, Elac has included its proprietar­y XBass Enhancer technology (which can be turned off) and there is a rear bass reflex port that aims to deliver better low-frequency extension and “minimise ventilatio­n noise”. For bass heads, there’s even a subwoofer output for tagging on an extra sub.

There’s a good selection of inputs, too — HDMI ARC, USB Type B and optical inputs are on the menu, meaning the ConneX can be used with a laptop, TV, games console, turntable or smart device. If you were wondering, that USB input supports hi-res audio up to 24-bit/96kHz.

A built-in phono stage can accommodat­e a turntable being plugged directly into the master speaker, with its analogue RCA stereo input switchable between line level and phono.

While there’s no network streaming here, you can play music wirelessly from your phone or tablet over Bluetooth (ConneX supports aptX).

Inside the box you get a remote, fabric grilles, rubber feet to protect surfaces, and cables to get you started straight away.

The Elac Debut ConneX DCB41 speakers are now available for $999 per pair in your choice of black ash, walnut and royal blue finishes.

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