ELAC ARB51 Navis vs. Jamo S 803

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
$2000 $330
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.58” × 7.44” × 9.45”
345mm × 189mm × 240mm
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
44-28,000 Hz 57-26,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The ELAC ARB51 Navis and Jamo S 803 epitomize the spectrum of bookshelf speakers, merging high-fidelity aspirations with real-world budgets. The ARB51, a true audiophile darling, offers a sophisticated powered design, bespoke drivers, and impressive room-filling clarity that belies its compact form. In contrast, the S 803 shines as a budget-conscious contender, delivering commendable performance with a stylish, unassuming footprint. While the Navis targets discerning ears with its refined soundstage and precise imaging, the Jamo serves the pragmatic listener, offering a warm and engaging experience without the frills—or the financial stretch. Each serves its niche with aplomb, ensuring a match for any audiophile's palette and pocket.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, audiophiles have an abundance of choices that can cater to a vast array of preferences and listening environments. Two options that often come up in discussions are the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers. These two models represent different approaches to audio engineering and design philosophy, offering unique listening experiences that cater to different audiences. What they do share, however, is an ability to bring music to life in the confines of your listening space, whether that's a dedicated audio room or a multifunctional living area.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The ELAC ARB51 exudes a sophisticated, modern aesthetic with its sleek lines and minimalistic design. The build quality is substantial, giving the impression that every component was meticulously crafted for both performance and durability. The ARB51 presents itself as a high-end offering, with a fit and finish that aligns with its premium pricing. In contrast, the Jamo S 803, while presenting a clean and contemporary look, takes a more utilitarian approach. The S 803's design is attractive but focuses more on functionality over luxury, a factor that is often reflected in its more approachable price point.

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

Sound Performance

The sound signature of the ELAC ARB51 is one of finesse and precision. Powered by an internal amplifier, these speakers provide a level of detail and clarity that is a testament to their engineering. Bass response, while not room-shaking due to the speaker's size, is tight and well-defined. Midrange is articulate, and the highs are crisp without being sibilant, creating an overall balanced and immersive soundstage. The Jamo S 803, on the other hand, offers a warmer and more laid-back listening experience. They have a punchier low end that may appeal to bass enthusiasts, but this sometimes comes at the cost of the midrange clarity, making them less ideal for those who prioritize vocal and instrumental separation.

Connectivity and Power

One of the most significant differences between the two is the active nature of the ELAC ARB51. Being self-powered, they eliminate the need for an external amplifier, which can be a blessing for those seeking a more streamlined setup. The inclusion of multiple inputs also ensures that they can accommodate various audio sources with ease. The Jamo S 803, being passive speakers, require an external amplifier or receiver. This necessity provides listeners with the flexibility to pair them with the amplifier of their choice, which can be a significant advantage for those who enjoy experimenting with different components to tailor their sound.

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Ultimately, choosing between the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers comes down to personal preference and specific use cases. The ARB51s are ideal for the discerning audiophile who values pristine sound, a self-contained system, and a touch of luxury. They are speakers that you can set up with minimal fuss and are ready to deliver exceptional performance right out of the box. The Jamo S 803s serve a different market segment, providing a solid audio experience without breaking the bank and allowing for customizability in the signal chain.

It's also worth considering the listening environment and intended use. The ELAC ARB51, with its detailed sound reproduction, is well-suited for critical listening sessions in a controlled environment. In contrast, the Jamo S 803s can effortlessly fill a larger room with sound, making them a great choice for casual listening and social gatherings where the purity of sound may not be the top priority.

In conclusion, whether one opts for the ELAC ARB51 or the Jamo S 803 ultimately hinges on what one seeks from their audio experience. The ARB51 offers a high-end, refined listening experience that appeals to the audiophile ethos, while the S 803 caters to a broader audience looking for enjoyable sound and versatility at a more accessible price point. Both speakers have their merits and can provide countless hours of listening pleasure to their respective enthusiasts.

Check Current Prices:

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 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.