B&W 607 S2 Anniversary vs. ELAC ARB51 Navis

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
$800 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 6.50” × 9.13”
300mm × 165mm × 232mm
13.58” × 7.44” × 9.45”
345mm × 189mm × 240mm
Power Type
Passive Powered
Frequency Response
52-28,000 Hz 44-28,000 Hz
ASR Score
3.2 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
5.3 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of compact speakers, the B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition offers a refined upgrade to its predecessor, delivering crisp, detailed sound and a balanced profile that's ideal for various genres. Meanwhile, the ELAC ARB51 Navis is a self-powered titan, merging audiophile-grade amplification with cutting-edge drivers to produce an effortless, room-filling soundstage. The 607 S2 appeals to enthusiasts seeking an acoustic workhorse for traditional setups, while the Navis caters to the convenience-minded listener desiring a streamlined, high-fidelity experience without external amplification. The choice hinges on utility: passive precision or active prowess.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to crafting a listening space that's as much about sonic excellence as it is about the aesthetic appeal, audiophiles often find themselves torn between the legacy of storied brands and the innovation of modern audio pioneers. In the world of high-fidelity bookshelf speakers, the Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition and the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers stand out as exemplars of their respective philosophies. The former is a testament to Bowers & Wilkins' storied history of crafting speakers that embody the British sound, while the latter represents ELAC's commitment to integrating cutting-edge technology with timeless design.

Heritage Meets Modernity: Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition

Bowers & Wilkins, a brand synonymous with premium sound, has commemorated its decades of acoustic research with the 607 S2 Anniversary Edition. These compact bookshelf speakers carry forward the legacy with their Continuum cone technology—a material uniquely engineered for a cleaner, more precise sound. As an update to the prior generation, the Anniversary Edition includes upgraded crossovers and new capacitors, courtesy of Mundorf, to elevate the listening experience. The 607 S2 offers a balanced, yet lively character that is equal parts detailed and warm—a familiar embrace for those who treasure the classic British hi-fi sound.

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers
B&W 607 S2 Anniversary arrow (at Amazon.com)

ELAC’s Tech-forward Approach: ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers

In contrast, the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers are a bold stride into the future. These self-powered speakers eliminate the need for an external amplifier, sporting an onboard tri-amp configuration that delivers an impeccably tailored power to each driver. ELAC integrates custom-designed midrange and tweeter drivers with the facility of a long-throw woofer, achieving a finely balanced soundstage. Additionally, with its onboard DAC and wireless capabilities, the ARB51 is designed for the modern listener who values convenience alongside acoustic excellence.

Sound Signature and Performance

The sound signature of the Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 is characterized by its open midrange and articulate treble, a result of meticulously tuned crossovers and the brand's signature decoupled dome tweeter. They shine in a well-damped room, where their naturalistic sound profile can breathe life into vocals and string instruments. On the other hand, the ELAC ARB51 delivers an assertive and dynamic performance, underscored by its powerful onboard amplification. The ARB51s are adept at handling a wide genre spectrum, from the delicate nuances of jazz to the pulsating rhythms of electronic dance music, with a depth and clarity that belies their size.

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis arrow (at Amazon.com)

When considering their integration into a living space, the Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 speakers boast a classic design with their minimalist grilles and wood veneer finishes. They are unobtrusive yet elegant, capable of blending into a traditional setting or standing out as a statement of refined taste. The ELAC ARB51s, in turn, have a modernist appeal with their precise geometric form and the option of a high gloss finish. They exude a contemporary vibe that complements a sleek, modern interior.

For those with an existing high-quality amplifier, the passive 607 S2s provide an opportunity to leverage that component's characteristics, allowing the amplifier to impart its own color to the music. Conversely, the ELAC ARB51s simplify the signal chain with their built-in amplification and advanced internal processing, making them a plug-and-play solution that sidesteps the sometimes daunting task of pairing speakers with the right amplifier.

In conclusion, the Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition and the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers offer distinct approaches to reproducing high-fidelity sound in a compact package. The 607 S2s are steeped in the traditions of British audio engineering, delivering a sonic experience that resonates with warmth and detail. The ARB51s, on the other hand, are a beacon of modernity, combining the ease of use with a sound that is energetic and precise. The choice between them ultimately hinges on the listener's personal preferences, system components, and the aesthetics of their audio sanctum. Whichever path one chooses, each speaker promises to be a centerpiece of auditory delight in any home audio setup.

Check Current Prices:

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers
Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.