ELAC ARB51 Navis vs. Micca RB42

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
$2000 $150
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.58” × 7.44” × 9.45”
345mm × 189mm × 240mm
8.70” × 4.90” × 7.90”
221mm × 124mm × 201mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
44-28,000 Hz 50-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 4.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.6

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of bookshelf speakers, the ELAC Navis ARB51 and Micca RB42 stand as stark contrasts. The Navis ARB51, a high-end active model, touts a tri-amp configuration and custom drivers, promising exceptional clarity and aural sophistication. In contrast, the Micca RB42, a budget-conscious passive speaker, delivers surprising performance with its compact and solid design. While the ELAC targets the discerning audiophile seeking a refined and powerful soundstage, the Micca offers an outstanding value proposition for the entry-level enthusiast. Choosing between them hinges on one's budget and the importance of nuanced audio reproduction in their listening experience.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to choosing the right bookshelf speakers for your high-fidelity audio experience, the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers stand as two intriguing options, each promising an immersive sound experience. The ELAC ARB51, a brainchild of renowned designer Andrew Jones, is a testament to the brand's commitment to audiophile-grade performance. On the other hand, the Micca RB42 serves as a value-packed contender, offering an impressive sound quality that belies its modest price point. Both aim to deliver a rich sonic palette, but they cater to distinctly different segments of the audiophile market.

Design and Build Quality

From a design standpoint, the ELAC ARB51 exhibits a clean, modern aesthetic that exudes premium appeal. The build quality of the ARB51 is nothing short of exceptional, employing custom-designed drivers and a sophisticated three-way crossover design. In contrast, the Micca RB42, while maintaining a more modest and functional design, still offers a solid construction with a handsome wood grain vinyl finish. Although it doesn't match the ELAC's lavish design cues, the Micca provides a robust build that punches above its weight class.

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

Performance and Sound Signature

Turning our ears to performance, the ELAC ARB51 demonstrates a remarkable ability to articulate the finest details in music with crystal-clear highs, well-defined mids, and tight, controlled bass. The powered nature of the ARB51 means that each speaker contains its own dedicated amplification, tailored specifically for the drivers it houses. This integration results in an effortlessly cohesive and articulate performance. The Micca RB42, while not as explicitly detailed as the ELAC, still manages to impress with its warm and full-bodied sound signature. The RB42's larger drivers provide a surprising amount of bass extension and impact, considering their compact size.

Amplification and Connectivity

The autonomous nature of the ELAC ARB51 is one of its major strengths. With built-in amplification, one eliminates the need for an external amplifier or receiver, streamlining the audio setup process. It also features multiple input options including analog, digital, and wireless capabilities, making it versatile for various audio sources. The Micca RB42, being passive speakers, relies on an external amplifier to drive them, allowing for a more customizable audio chain but also requiring additional components. This can be seen as a benefit for audio enthusiasts who enjoy the process of component selection and system tuning.

Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Price is often a deciding factor, and here is where the Micca RB42 truly shines. Designed for the budget-conscious audiophile, it delivers an incredibly satisfying sound experience at an entry-level price. The ELAC ARB51, being at a significantly higher price point, is an investment suited for those who are looking for a top-tier auditory experience straight out of the box, with a minimal requirement for additional audio equipment.

Room considerations also play a role in speaker choice. The ELAC ARB51, with its more precise imaging and soundstage, is best suited for medium to large rooms where their performance characteristics can be fully appreciated. The Micca RB42, with its compact size and robust sound, is ideal for smaller spaces or as part of a desktop audio setup, offering a great deal of flexibility for various room sizes and configurations.

Ultimately, the decision between the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers will rest on individual preferences, priorities, and the specific nuances of one's audio environment. The ELAC ARB51 is the clear choice for those seeking a high-end, all-in-one solution that promises exceptional audio fidelity. The Micca RB42, on the other hand, is perfect for those starting their audiophile journey or looking for a high-performance, budget-friendly speaker to complement their existing setup. Each offers a unique approach to sound reproduction, ensuring that there is a speaker to match every listener's taste and room requirements.

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ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference 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.