Elac ARB51-GB Navis Premium Powered Bookshelf Speakers Review

Pair of ELAC ARB51 Speakers

At A Glance

Our Take

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A great buy for those who want exceptional sound quality and are willing to trade a little power for placement versatility

Detailed Review

Smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home are dominating the market right now. They not only allow the average listener to stream music, but they also come equipped with other convenient features like setting tasks, reporting the weather, and reordering household items – all at an inexpensive price point.

The Elac Navis bookshelf speakers provide an elevated sound beyond that of the average speaker. Its compact size also works for many different living situations, but it does not take away from the sound the speaker can put out.

Things to Consider Before Buying Elac Navis Speakers

As an enthusiast of home entertainment, I enjoy quality speakers that amplify my listening experience. Speaker prices range from very inexpensive to top dollar, but somewhere in the middle is the Elac Navis that still provides the quality experience of the top-dollar speakers at a more affordable price.

 

The Navis provides discrete, powerful amplification. Each speaker comes equipped with a Tri-Amp Pure Analog Amplifier, which uses three separate amplifiers for each transducer. Inside each speaker is a 40-watt Class AB amplifier for the tweeter, a 100-watt BASH AB amplifier for the midrange, and a 160-watt BASH AB amplifier for the woofer. The Navis’ total amplifier power of 300 watts provides optimal power and eliminates clipping and crossover distortion.

Amplify Your Home Entertainment

Elac is known for their passive speakers, but the Navis is their response to making an active speaker with a built-in amplifier. Elac developed an analog active design that provides sound similar to higher-priced home use speakers.

 

The custom internal design of the speaker offers a smooth, but not soft, listening experience, and the custom transducer works with an aluminum midrange driver and woofer and a one-inch soft dome-tweeter to provide natural, powerful sound.

Features and Specifications

The Navis packed innovative designs and technologies into its compact speaker cabinet to provide an optimal listening experience.

 

  • 3-way powered speaker
  • 1″ Soft Dome Concentrically Mounted Tweeter
  • 4″ Aluminum Midrange Speaker
  • 5 1/4″ Aluminum Woofer Speaker
  • Amplifier: 300 Watts Total Power
  • Analog Active design
  • Wireless streaming feature
  • Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Comes with two detachable 8’ AC power cords

Sound Adjustments

  • Right and Left: You can set which speaker will be used at the right and left channels.
  • 3 Band EQ: These speakers come with three bands of equalization with low, mid, and high-frequency adjustments. You can adjust these frequencies to fit your listening preferences.
  • High-Pass Filter (HPF): You can add an additional subwoofer to your system with the included HPF adjustment.
  • Gain: Match your speaker’s input sensitivity with the gain adjustment. The gain allows you to make the sound louder when it does not seem high enough on its own at the highest setting or decrease the volume if it does not seem low enough on its lowest setting.

What others are Saying - Online Reviews

When making a purchasing decision, it is helpful to learn from a variety of reviews. A quick search of the Navis shows overwhelming positive reviews. The Absolute Sound would recommend the Navis to audiophiles looking for a value-priced speaker.

“With its flush-mounted drivers and softly rounded edging, these are designs of striking simplicity and taste.”

 

“Turning to overall tonal character, the ARB-51 had a rich, full-bodied midrange that projected a warm, cozy aura that proved ideal for vocals”

 

“…the Navis is in a class by itself, with a chestier, more forceful and assertive character in the mid and upper bass, and more finesse in the upper frequencies.”

 

Sound and Vision gave the Navis a 4.67 ‘Top Pick’ rating saying that it is “capable enough to satisfy serious listeners.”

The Competition

Like Elac, Wharfedale offers a high-end sound with their EVO 4.2 bookshelf speakers. Inside the EVO 4.2 cabinet is a folded ribbon tweeter that elevates high frequencies, a dedicated 2″ soft-dome midrange driver, and a 6.5″ woven Kevlar woofer that provides a robust bass response.

Wharfedale EVO 4.2 Bookshelf Speakers - At a Glance

 

Likewise, the Focal Aria 906 Bookshelf Speaker provides a high-end listening experience in a discreet package. The custom leather-finished Flax cone speakers emit a natural, refined sound at high, mid and low rangers

Focal Aria 906 Bookshelf speakers - at A glance

LG HU80KA UHD Projector

The Klipsch RP-600M Bookshelf Speakers are also high-quality speakers at a more affordable price. Its 1” titanium LTS vented tweeter and 6.5″ spun copper woofers provide a refined listening experience. The RP-600M speakers have been redefined from previous models for easy installation and optimal sound.

Klipsch RP-600M Bookshelf Speakers - at A glance

The Bottom Line

While smart speakers are becoming increasingly popular in today’s market, there remains a market for high-end speakers that offer a clear, defined sound.

 

Elac installed custom developed technology into the ARB-51 Navis Premium Powered Bookshelf Speakers to provide exceptional sound quality to listeners who want an elevated experience. 

 

The size of the Navis makes it a versatile addition to most living situations, but it does not take away from the power that these speakers can put out. The Navis has been reviewed as a top performer in bass tones and provides a smooth, realistic sound overall.

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