I spent last weekend in the chilly environs of Chicago, attending AXPONA 2018 and listening to all that is new in the world of audio. On the first morning, I was fortunate enough to stumble into ELAC’s room where the man himself, Andrew Jones was in attendance showing off their new Debut B6.2 bookshelf loudspeaker and new EA series integrated amplifier. The sound these speakers were putting out when I walked in was larger than life, and truly shocking for such a small cabinet, so I sat down for a longer listen.
After listening for a few minutes, I asked Andrew for some more details. He was happy to gobsmack everyone in the room by informing us that these speakers were retailing for a mere $299. A number that I could hardly believe, as these clearly outperformed much more expensive speakers I had heard from big names like B&W’s CM series.
The Debut bookshelf comes in two flavors, the B5.2, which features a 5-1/4″ aramid fiber driver with 1″ cloth dome tweeter, and the B6.2 I heard at AXPONA, which features a 6-1/2″ aramid fiber driver and the same 1″ cloth dome tweeter. In the new Debut 2 series, Jones moved the port from the rear of the speaker to the front, slightly increasing its profile, but also providing noticable sonic improvements in the same standard 2-way design.
There is no question that these speakers were absolutely outstanding for the money, with a deep and authoritative bottom end that can play as low as 44Hz, excellent imaging and plenty of air in the treble. It would be hard for me to level any serious critiques at them, especially given their price point. They easily outperform other bookshelves I have heard that cost 3-5X as much.
At this moment, if someone was to ask me what the best speaker value I am aware of is, it would undoubtedly be the ELAC Debut B6.2 speaker that I heard at AXPONA.
The new Debut 2.0 series is already for sale on Amazon, and will soon have a forthcoming integrated amplifier released at the $700 price point, allowing a complete two channel system for under $1000.