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ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Shelf Speakers Review

First Impressions

When I first received the ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers from Amazon, my initial thought was the size. These were bigger than the Micca MB42 speakers I was used to for my desktop computer. The matte black finish gives them a classic, sleek look, although I do wish there were options for warmer colors or wood finishes. The weight of the speakers was noticeable, hinting at the solid build quality. The speakers were impressive in size and weight, forming a hefty presence in any setting.

Sound Quality

The first time I tested these speakers, I was struck by the crispness and clarity of the sound they produced. I would describe the sound as leaning toward bright, with a sparkle to the overall room acoustics. I did notice that they tended to be bright when it came to high frequencies. However, I was able to correct this quality by adjusting the treble on my receiver.

The mid-range clarity of these speakers is impressive. The neutrality of the speakers allowed me to easily distinguish between different instruments and vocals in various compositions whether it be rock, pop, jazz, classical, or folk music. I could tell where each instrument or vocal was coming from, creating an immersive listening experience.

The low-end performance came as a pleasant surprise. Despite their compact size, these ELACs delivered a bass response to reckon with. The bass was tight, robust, and natural sounding even without a subwoofer.

The imaging and soundstage that these speakers provide are much better than average at this price point. With decent placement, these speakers were able to project a sound stage wider than themselves. However, for the best results, they need to be placed straight forward in a room as towing them in improves imaging.

Performance with Different Amps and DACs

I tried these speakers with different amps and DACs, and the results were consistently good. The quality of the sound varied slightly depending on the type of amp or DAC that was used, but this only highlighted the versatility of these speakers and their ability to adapt according to the input. The speakers performed quite well with a Fosi Audio T3 as well as a Rotel A10. They also worked well with the NAD C316 Bee V2, which is a warmer more forgiving amp.

Elac Debut B5.2 Review

Audiophile Sound and Value

If you’re looking for an audiophile experience at a reasonable price, then these speakers deliver without question. They render a balance of highs and lows that is pleasurable and not fatiguing. In addition, off-axis, they are also pleasant. Therefore, even if you’re not sitting right in the sweet spot, you still get to enjoy great sound.

The Downside

On the downside, the brightness of the speakers may not be to everyone’s liking, especially if one prefers a more mellow or warm sound. Still, I found this brightness could be adjusted using a receiver to create a more customized sound. Aesthetically, as mentioned before, a wood finish or option for warmer colors would certainly have been a plus. However, in terms of performance, clarity, and price-to-quality ratio, there was very little to complain about.

The Final Verdict

After much testing in various settings, and making the necessary adjustments through the receiver, I’m highly satisfied with the ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 speakers. From being a revelation in a home theater setting to delivering a thoroughly immersive audio experience on my desktop, these speakers exceeded my expectations for their price range.

Pros and Cons


  • Excellent sound clarity
  • Strong, robust bass despite compact size
  • Versatile with different amps and DACs
  • Great value for the price


  • High frequency can tend to be too bright
  • No option for warmer colors or a wood finish

At the end of the day, the ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers are undoubtedly well worth the money. They offer high-quality sound that you’d have a hard time finding in this price range. Whether for your home theater needs or even as near-field desktop monitors, these speakers stand as a testament to the prowess of ELAC’s audio engineering.

Bass Response
In terms of bass response, the Elac Debut B5.2 proved itself to be quite competent. These bookshelf speakers managed to deliver surprisingly punchy and tight bass that exceeded expectations, especially considering their compact size. Users also noted that even without a subwoofer, the bass response is generally satisfactory across various music genres.
Treble Detail
We found the high-frequency performance of the Elac Debut B5.2's to be on the brighter side, producing sparkling room acoustics. For some, this might lean a bit too bright causing a 'sparkly' sound. However, this can easily be rectified through adjustments in treble settings on one's receiver or equalizer, providing satisfying treble details.
Midrange Clarity
The midrange clarity was satisfying in the Elac Debut B5.2 speakers. Many users appreciated the clear, crisp and natural sounding vocals, as well as the good balance between highs and lows. The speakers were able to express the strengths of their connected amp fairly well.
Admittedly, the design of the Elac Debut B5.2 may not appeal to everyone. Their predominantly matte black finish lacks variety and many might have preferred more warmth or a wood finish. However, their sturdy build and solid presence, as well as the silver Elac emblem do contribute to a premium look and feel.
Sound Quality
The Elac Debut B5.2 speakers undeniably deliver a great sonic experience for their size and price. The soundstage impressively projects wider than the physical speakers, providing good layering and depth. With this speaker, it appears you can easily percieve changes in different DACs and experience an above-average sound quality.
Value for Money
We found the Elac Debut B5.2 bookshelf speakers to be fantastic value for money. These speakers consistently deliver a solid performance with many users acknowledging the exceptional sound quality compared to the relatively low cost, especially when purchased on sale. The speakers' performance and affordability make them a nearly unbeatable deal in the market.
Total Score
Rating Summary
The Elac Debut B5.2 delivered a great value for money with their remarkable sound quality. These speakers are consistently praised for delivering a balanced sound, superior bass response and a wide soundstage that often exceeded reviewers' expectations. The high frequencies tend to be bright, sparkling, which can be easily adjusted if deemed necessary. Mid tones are perceived with high clarity and the bass response is punchy and satisfying. Regardless of their plain black matte finish and hefty size, they’ve been appreciated for adding a touch of elegance and filling the sound space in many rooms. Overall, if you're on a budget and seeking quality sound, the Elac Debut B5.2 bookshelf speakers should be seriously considered.