ELAC, a renowned audio company based in Kiel, Germany, has unveiled its latest addition to the product lineup: the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 bookshelf speakers. This compact active speaker system aims to provide an all-in-one solution for various settings, including desks, gaming rooms, or small TV corners. It is positioned as an entry-level product and offers a wide range of input options. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take a closer look at the Debut Connex’s design, features, setup, sound quality, and overall value.
ELAC DCB41 Specs
|Amplifier Power Rating||50 W RMS|
|Drivers||1 x 4.5″ / 114.3 mm Polypropylene Woofer (Front-Firing, per Speaker)|
1 x 0.75″ / 19.05 mm Soft-Dome Tweeter (Front-Firing, per Speaker)
|Ports||1 x Rear-Firing (per Speaker)|
|Frequency Response||66 Hz to 25 kHz|
|Frequency Range||50 Hz to 25 kHz|
1 x HDMI Input (ARC)
1 x USB-B Input (Audio)
1 x Stereo RCA Input (Audio, Phono)
1 x TOSLINK Optical Input (Audio)
1 x USB-A (Service)
1 x RCA Output (Subwoofer)
1 x Binding Post Pair Output (to Other Speaker)
1 x Binding Post Pair Input (from Other Speaker)
|Amplifier Class||2 x Class-D|
|Wireless Connection Protocols||Bluetooth|
|Supported Audio Codecs||aptX|
|AC Input Power||120 to 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz|
|Supported Sample Rates||Up to 96 kHz / 24-Bit|
|Placement & Mounting Options||Tabletop/Bookshelf|
|Floor Contacts||Rubber Feet|
|Dimensions||5.5 x 9.6 x 8″ / 14 x 24.4 x 20.3 cm (Each)|
7.6 lb / 3.4 kg
6.3 lb / 2.9 kg
|Package Weight||16.895 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||15.2 x 14.8 x 11″|
Design and Build Quality
ELAC has a strong reputation in the world of HiFi, known for producing high-quality audio products. The Debut Connex maintains the brand’s characteristic chic and understated design. It’s available in multiple colors, including black, walnut, and blue. However, some may find the black version a bit outdated in appearance, especially when compared to contemporary designs from other manufacturers. The slightly curved shape of the speaker’s housing adds a touch of elegance, and the overall build quality and finish leave a positive impression.
The design and build quality of the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 are essential aspects to consider when evaluating these active speakers. Here, we take a closer look at the design aesthetics and the physical construction of the speakers.
ELAC is known for its commitment to chic and understated design in its audio products, and the Debut Connex DCB41 follows this tradition. The speakers are available in a range of colors, including black, walnut, and blue. However, the black version, while classic, may be perceived as somewhat outdated, especially when compared to more modern designs offered by competitors. ELAC has incorporated a slightly curved shape for the housing, adding an elegant touch to the overall appearance.
The availability of different color options provides some flexibility for users to choose a finish that suits their personal style and complements their living space. The inclusion of a blue variant adds a potentially refreshing and eye-catching choice to the lineup. However, the choice of matte white or black finishes could have been more in line with contemporary design preferences.
In terms of build quality, the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 maintains a high standard. The construction feels solid, and the finish is well-executed. The speaker housing features a matte surface, complemented by a minimally tactile structure. This surface texture not only enhances the visual appeal but also contributes to the overall premium feel of the product.
Attention to Detail
ELAC has paid attention to detail in the design. The drivers on the front of the speakers are secured with visible screws, giving the speakers a slightly industrial yet aesthetically pleasing appearance. ELAC has also included a snap-on front cover for the drivers, offering protection and a cleaner look when desired. However, it’s worth noting that the absence of magnetic covers might be considered a minor drawback.
The ELAC Debut Connex DCB41’s design and build quality leave a positive impression. The speakers successfully balance a classic aesthetic with contemporary touches, making them adaptable to various room settings. The choice of colors adds a degree of customization for users, and the matte finish, coupled with the tactile structure, enhances the premium feel of the speakers. Attention to detail, such as the visible screws and front covers, contributes to the overall sense of craftsmanship. While the design might not be groundbreaking, it is a tasteful addition to ELAC’s product lineup.
Driver Configuration and Amplification
The driver configuration and amplification of the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 play a pivotal role in defining the speakers’ overall audio performance. These components are fundamental in determining the speakers’ ability to reproduce sound accurately, whether it’s the delicate intricacies of music or the powerful dynamics of cinematic experiences.
At the heart of the Debut Connex are two crucial drivers: a 19-centimeter tweeter dome and an 11.4-centimeter mid-woofer. These drivers are responsible for handling different frequency ranges, ensuring that the speakers can faithfully reproduce a wide spectrum of audio. The tweeter is tasked with reproducing the high-frequency sounds, such as cymbals, vocals, and intricate details in music. Meanwhile, the mid-woofer is responsible for the midrange and lower midrange frequencies, delivering the warmth and body of instruments and voices. The combination of these two drivers allows the Debut Connex to achieve a balanced and detailed sound profile, suitable for various audio content.
To power these drivers, the Debut Connex employs a Class D power amplifier, capable of delivering 50 watts to each driver. Class D amplifiers are known for their efficiency and ability to deliver clean and distortion-free power. This amplification setup ensures that the speakers can perform well across different volume levels while maintaining audio quality. The choice of a dedicated amplifier for each driver also contributes to the precision and accuracy of sound reproduction. This configuration allows the speakers to effectively handle dynamic shifts in audio, from the subtle nuances of a jazz track to the thunderous explosions in a blockbuster movie. Overall, the driver configuration and amplification of the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 work in harmony to deliver a captivating and immersive listening experience.
Similar to many entry-level active speaker sets, the Debut Connex operates in a master and slave configuration. One speaker contains all the necessary technology, while the other is passive and connected to the master speaker via a regular speaker cable. ELAC doesn’t specify which speaker should be the master, allowing users flexibility in setup.
Connectivity options are generous, with a phono input for MM systems, a standard RCA input, HDMI with ARC for TV connection, optical input, and even a USB input for use with a PC as an independent sound card, capable of processing 96kHz/24-bit data. There’s also a SUB OUT for connecting an external subwoofer, a volume control, and standard screw connections for linking to the passive speaker. While the Debut Connex lacks Wi-Fi or its own app, it comes with a remote control that covers all functions. A small LED on the master speaker indicates the active input through different colors.
Setup and Ease of Use
Setting up the ELAC Debut Connex is straightforward – connect the power cable to the master speaker, use the provided speaker cable for the passive speaker, and connect your audio sources. However, there’s no dedicated app for setup, and the speakers lack advanced sound control features beyond the XBASS function, which enhances bass but may not suit all audio scenarios.
In terms of sound quality, the Debut Connex delivers a dynamic performance with good detail in the treble range, impressive voice reproduction, and a surprisingly rich bass considering their compact size. They work well even at higher volumes and can handle rooms sized between 20-25m². However, they don’t quite capture the signature ELAC sound, sounding somewhat interchangeable and similar to other products in the market, like the Argon Audio Fenris A4.
Sound Test of the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41
The sound performance of the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 is a critical aspect to consider when evaluating these active speakers. In this section, we’ll provide a detailed overview of their sound quality, covering various aspects such as audio clarity, bass response, treble performance, and overall sonic characteristics.
Clarity and Detail
One of the standout qualities of the Debut Connex is its ability to deliver clear and detailed audio. Whether you’re listening to music, watching movies, or playing games, the speakers excel in reproducing intricate nuances in sound. The midrange and treble frequencies are well-defined, allowing for the separation of instruments and vocals. This clarity enhances the overall listening experience, making it engaging and immersive.
Despite their compact size, the Debut Connex speakers manage to produce a surprisingly rich and dynamic bass. The inclusion of a bass reflex system contributes to the speakers’ ability to reach lower frequencies with depth and impact. This feature is particularly impressive, given that small speakers often struggle to deliver satisfying bass. Whether you’re enjoying music genres that demand deep bass or watching action-packed movie scenes, these speakers hold their ground and provide a satisfying low-end experience.
Another noteworthy aspect of the Debut Connex’s sound performance is their capability to reproduce voices accurately. Dialogue in movies and TV shows comes through with clarity and naturalness. This is particularly beneficial for home theater setups, ensuring that you don’t miss any important dialogue or vocal nuances. The speakers’ vocal reproduction also extends to music, making them suitable for enjoying tracks with vocal-focused performances.
Dynamic Range and Volume
These active speakers can handle a wide dynamic range, which is essential for both music and movie playback. Even at higher volumes, the Debut Connex maintains its composure, delivering distortion-free sound. This characteristic makes them suitable for larger rooms, allowing you to fill the space with audio without sacrificing quality.
Sonic Character and ELAC DNA
While the Debut Connex delivers an impressive sound performance, it’s worth noting that they may not fully capture the signature ELAC sound character that enthusiasts of the brand may expect. They exhibit a more versatile and less distinct sonic profile, which might be seen as both an advantage and a drawback. While they are well-rounded and capable of delivering great sound across various genres, some users may miss the unique sound signature that ELAC is known for.
In conclusion, the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 performs admirably in the sound department. They excel in delivering clear and detailed audio, with a surprising depth in the bass department. The speakers are versatile and suitable for various audio applications, from music to movies and gaming. They handle dynamic range and volume levels with ease, ensuring an enjoyable listening experience.
However, it’s important to note that while the Debut Connex offers excellent sound quality, they may not fully embody the distinct ELAC sound character that some enthusiasts associate with the brand. Nevertheless, for those seeking versatile and high-quality audio performance, these speakers are a commendable choice, particularly when considering their competitive price point.
To sum it up, the ELAC Debut Connex DCB41 offers a flexible and technically well-equipped active speaker system with various connectivity options, making it suitable for different applications. While the build quality is good, and the speakers deliver solid sound, they lack the distinctive ELAC sound character. The absence of advanced sound controls and a slightly dominant XBASS function may not suit all users. Priced at 529 euros, they may be considered a bit high compared to competitors offering similar features at a lower price point. However, with potential discounts, the Debut Connex remains a recommendable choice in the entry-level active speaker segment, though they don’t fully capture the unique essence of ELAC’s sound culture.
- solid case / stylish front
- tonal coordination
- powerful, dynamic bass range
- detailed resolution
- high levels possible
- Bluetooth / Pre-Out / Phono / HDMI / USB
- Speaker placement adjustable
- good scope of delivery / remote control
- Front covers with pins
- no tone control
- USB input makes noise
- price too high