ELAC ARB51 Navis vs. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers
$2000 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.58” × 7.44” × 9.45”
345mm × 189mm × 240mm
14.76” × 7.69” × 10.55”
375mm × 195mm × 268mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
44-28,000 Hz 44-35,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 5.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 7.2

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the world of compact audio, the ELAC ARB51 Navis and Debut 2.0 B6.2 bookshelf speakers serve different connoisseurs. The ARB51, a true audiophile's powered option, offers refined, room-filling sound with its built-in amplification, presenting a convenient yet sophisticated listening experience. Meanwhile, the Debut 2.0 B6.2, a continuation of Andrew Jones's legacy, delivers exceptional performance at a more accessible price point. It requires external amplification, appealing to enthusiasts who enjoy system customization. Choosing between these ELAC siblings boils down to preferences in power, precision, and price.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, the ELAC brand has become synonymous with delivering remarkable sonic experiences. In this exploration, we delve into two of ELAC's offerings that are designed to cater to different segments of the audiophile market: the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers. While both sets of speakers carry the pedigree and promise of the ELAC name, they differ significantly in design philosophy, user experience, and performance characteristics.

The Power of Self-Amplification

The ELAC ARB51 Navis is a self-contained audio system with built-in amplification, which means it eliminates the need for external power amps or receivers. Each speaker boasts its own trio of dedicated amplifiers, tailored to drive its woofer, midrange driver, and tweeter independently. This tri-amped configuration allows for a more controlled and precise audio delivery. Conversely, the Debut 2.0 B6.2 speakers are passive, relying on an external amplifier or receiver to bring them to life. This requires the listener to carefully select an amp that complements the speakers' characteristics, adding to the complexity and potential cost of the overall setup.

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

Design and Build Quality

The Navis ARB51 speakers are a testament to ELAC's attention to detail, featuring a sleek and modern design that exudes premium quality. The cabinets are meticulously constructed to minimize resonance, with a finish that would grace any upscale listening room. Meanwhile, the Debut 2.0 B6.2, while well-built, have a more utilitarian look and feel. They are designed for performance rather than aesthetics, with a more straightforward, traditional boxy shape that is focused on delivering great sound without the frills.

Sonic Character and Performance

In the arena of sound, the ARB51s truly shine. Their soundstage is wide and precise, with an exceptionally clear midrange that brings vocals to life. The bass is tight and controlled, without the bloat that sometimes plagues lesser designs, and the highs are crisp without being sibilant. The Debut 2.0 B6.2s, on the other hand, offer a more laid-back sound profile. They provide a warm midrange that's gentle on the ears, balanced highs, and a surprisingly robust bass response for their size. However, they may not match the absolute clarity and separation of instruments that the ARB51s deliver.

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 arrow (at Amazon.com)

It's also worth noting the versatility of the ARB51s, thanks to their self-powered nature. This allows them to be directly connected to a variety of sources, from turntables with a built-in preamp to digital streamers. The simplicity of this setup is a significant advantage for those who prefer a minimalist, yet high-quality audio system. The Debut 2.0 B6.2s require a bit more effort in system configuration, but this also means they offer flexibility for enthusiasts who enjoy the process of tweaking and pairing components to achieve their desired sound.

Price wise, the ARB51s sit at a higher tier, as expected from speakers that incorporate sophisticated internal amplification and premium build materials. They represent a significant investment for the discerning audiophile. The Debut 2.0 B6.2s, in contrast, are positioned as a value proposition in the market, offering an entry point to high-quality sound at a more accessible price point. This makes them an attractive option for those who are new to audiophilia or are operating within a tighter budget.

Ultimately, the choice between the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers comes down to the listener's priorities. If one seeks a plug-and-play solution with audiophile-grade sound and is willing to pay a premium for it, the ARB51s are an outstanding choice. For those who enjoy the journey of building and optimizing a sound system and who appreciate great performance without breaking the bank, the Debut 2.0 B6.2s are a compelling option. Both are exemplary of ELAC's commitment to sound excellence, but they cater to different philosophies within the art of listening.

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ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 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.