Dayton Audio MK402BTX vs. ELAC ARB51 Navis

Dayton Audio MK402BTX Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 6.63”
241mm × 146mm × 168mm
13.58” × 7.44” × 9.45”
345mm × 189mm × 240mm
Power Type
Powered Powered
Frequency Response
60-20,000 Hz 44-28,000 Hz
ASR Score
3.7 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.1 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of powered bookshelf speakers, the Dayton Audio MK402BTX and ELAC ARB51 Navis stand apart in terms of cost and performance. The MK402BTX with Bluetooth connectivity offers budget-conscious audiophiles a solid, entry-level option for casual listening. On the other hand, the ELAC ARB51 Navis, boasting a sophisticated tri-amp system and custom drivers, caters to a more discerning ear with its higher fidelity and detailed soundstage. While the Navis leads in audio quality, the Dayton holds its ground by providing remarkable value, making the choice between them a matter of budget and audio refinement preferences.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, the market offers a plethora of options, each promising outstanding audio fidelity and an impressive features list. However, when we juxtapose the Dayton Audio MK402BTX Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers against the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers, we're looking at two very different beasts, designed for different audiences. The former offers an entry-level gateway into the world of enhanced audio, while the latter is a high-end option for the discerning audiophile demanding nothing but the best.

An Overview of Budget Meets Premium

The Dayton Audio MK402BTX represents an affordable avenue into better sound quality. They are compact, Bluetooth-enabled, and offer a surprising punch given their price point. With a 4-inch woofer and a 0.75-inch tweeter, these speakers are designed with the casual listener in mind – someone who wants an upgrade from standard computer speakers or a simple living room setup without breaking the bank. The inclusion of Bluetooth also underscores its user-friendly nature, catering to a modern demand for wireless audio streaming.

Dayton Audio MK402BTX Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio MK402BTX arrow (at

In contrast, the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers are a statement of high fidelity and premium craftsmanship. Housing a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer, a 4-inch midrange driver, and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, these speakers are engineered for an audiophile's refined palate. ELAC's offering is all about precision, depth, and clarity, and they accomplish this with an arsenal of advanced audio technologies and a sturdy, resonance-free cabinet that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is acoustically functional.

Connectivity and Convenience

The MK402BTX speakers are a testament to the convenience that modern listeners seek. The ease of Bluetooth connectivity means instant pairing with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, allowing for a seamless transition from on-the-go listening to at-home enjoyment. The simplicity of setup and use is one of the biggest selling points for the Dayton Audio model, making it a friendly option for those who are not necessarily technical audiophiles but still appreciate a solid audio experience.

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis arrow (at

While the ELAC ARB51s may lack Bluetooth connectivity, they compensate with a variety of other input options including balanced XLR, RCA, and a high-end DAC that allows for a more professional and pure audio connection. This suite of inputs caters to the purist who likely already owns a quality streamer or a turntable and values the integrity of a wired connection to ensure the highest quality of sound transmission without the compression often associated with Bluetooth.

Sound Quality and Performance

When it comes to sound quality, the Dayton Audio MK402BTX speakers are pleasantly surprising. They offer a coherent and balanced sound that is quite admirable for their size and price. The bass response is decent, though it may lack the depth and control that more discerning ears would appreciate. The highs are crisp and the mids, while not as detailed as one might find in a more premium setup, present a clear and enjoyable listening experience across various genres.

On the other hand, the ELAC ARB51s are in a different league. These speakers deliver a sound that is not only detailed and rich but also incredibly transparent. The bass is tight and authoritative, the mids are lush and well-defined, and the highs are exquisitely detailed, never straying into harshness. The soundstage they create is expansive, with imaging that can give the listener a pinpoint accuracy of instruments and vocals within a mix. This level of performance is what one would expect from speakers that occupy the more exclusive end of the market.

In conclusion, the Dayton Audio MK402BTX and ELAC ARB51 Navis bookshelf speakers serve two distinct segments of the market. The former is an excellent choice for anyone looking to step into a better listening experience without a hefty investment, prioritizing convenience and simplicity. The latter is crafted for the audiophile willing to invest in superior sound quality, with a price tag that reflects its premium position. Both sets of speakers have their merits, and choosing between them ultimately comes down to the listener's priorities and the depth of their pockets.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio MK402BTX Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio MK402BTX Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 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.