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ELAC Debut B5

Bookshelf speakers

20 Reviews | 1 question - 3 answers

Item # 970B5

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Overview

Our take on the ELAC Debut B5

If you're looking for crystal-clear sound with sparkling detail and deep, accurate bass, check out ELAC's Debut B5 series speakers. Designed by renowned speaker engineer Andrew Jones, the B5s were created from the ground up to deliver high-end audio performance with a modest price tag. When I got the opportunity to listen to them here at Crutchfield headquarters, I was blown away. I can't remember ever hearing such rich, dynamic sound from a bookshelf speaker in this price range. The wide soundstage, accurate imaging, and surprisingly deep bass were astonishing.

Exquisite sound with a compact footprint

ELAC Debut B5 Bookshelf speakers

High-quality materials add up to one sweet sounding speaker.

If you're looking for crystal-clear sound with sparkling detail and deep, accurate bass, check out ELAC's Debut B5 series speakers. Designed by renowned speaker engineer Andrew Jones, the B5s were created from the ground up to deliver high-end audio performance with a modest price tag. When I got the opportunity to listen to them here at Crutchfield headquarters, I was blown away. I can't remember ever hearing such rich, dynamic sound from a bookshelf speaker in this price range. The wide soundstage, accurate imaging, and surprisingly deep bass were astonishing.

Full-range sound without the need for a subwoofer

One of the most impressive qualities of the B5s is their ability to accurately play low frequencies. Even in our cavernous training room, they belted out authoritative bass without strain. On the EDM track "Seeya" by deadmau5, toes tapped patiently during the soft intro, then when the deep bass kicked in at the 35-second mark, our jaws practically dropped open. For a living room, dorm, or office system these little speakers will provide a true full-range listening experience without the need for a subwoofer taking up floor space.

Custom components deliver high-end performance

Many budget-level speakers use inexpensive, lightweight parts to keep the price down. Unfortunately, this often means a sacrifice in audio performance. The B5s stay true to their audio roots by using custom-designed, high-quality crossovers. This attention to detail lends to the overall magic that these speakers offer. Smooth high-frequencies from the 1" silk dome tweeter complement the powerful 5-1/4" woven aramid-fiber woofer. The result is full, natural sound that won't break your budget.

A legendary speaker designer strikes again

Andrew Jones made a name for himself designing phenomenal high-end speakers across the industry. Lately, he's turned his attention toward creating speakers that offer excellent performance at very affordable prices. The Debut B5 speakers are his latest triumph. They make a perfect match in a surround sound setup with the entire ELAC Debut line, all of which were designed by Jones.

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Product Highlights:

  • 1" silk dome tweeter with deep spheroid waveguide for improved sound dispersion
  • custom-designed 5-1/4" woofer with woven aramid-fiber cone for smooth punchy bass and midrange
  • frequency response: 46-20,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 85 dB
  • impedance: 6 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 30-120 watts
  • bass-reflex (ported) cabinet design
  • custom multi-element crossover with high-grade components to ensure smooth transition between drivers
  • 5-way binding post speaker terminals
  • black brushed vinyl finish
  • 7-7/8"W x 12-3/4"H x 9-11/16"D
  • weight: 11.5 lbs. (each)
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Grilles
  • Operating Instructions

Does perform as expected. Delivers clear sound and handles power. Small as needed to work in shop warehouse barn area. Got two pair.

Delana, Kinston, NC

Reviews

ELAC Debut B5 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(20 Reviews)

ELAC Debut B5

Delana from Kinston, NC on 1/9/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Does perform as expected. Delivers clear sound and handles power. Small as needed to work in shop warehouse barn area. Got two pair.

Pros: Compact bookshelf size, good clarity, handle power.

Cons:

Great bang for the bucks

Anonymous from Reading, PA on 12/30/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As good as it gets without spending stupid money. I set these up with a Yamaha 85wpc amp, a Parts Express 8" sub and an Onkyo single CD player and it rivals the best setups from my past. I don't spend $1000s on gear anymore, and really dont need to with quality products such as these. I did remove the caps from the tweeters and put these on 32" stands angles slightly inward.

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ELAC Debut B5

Anonymous from Lebanon, MO on 12/28/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome design. Replaced a satellite set. Sounds amazing and looks great.

Pros: Style and design

Cons: None

ELAC Debut B5

Anonymous from Canton, OH on 11/5/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazing speakers! So glad I went with these, the reviews were spot on!

Pros: Sound amazing, great price!

Cons: None!

ELAC Debut B5

John from Staunton, VA on 7/16/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Replace my sound bar with something far, far better. The sound fills the entire house.

Pros: Great sound at a very good price. I got mine on sale.

Cons: No cons, all pros as far as I'm concerned.

ELAC Debut B5

Anonymous from Hilton Head Island, SC on 5/7/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Hard to believe such great sound from speakers that size. I purchased them based on David's(a Crutchfield expert) suggestion and he hit a home run with them!

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ELAC Debut B5

Anonymous from Charlottesville, VA on 5/1/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Speakers sound great, fast shipping!

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ELAC Debut B5

Anonymous from Jersey City, NJ on 4/23/2017

The speaker sounds good generally. The price is fair for what you get. However they sound smaller than their size! Somehow I feel It misses some dimension. I'm still beak in them, so maybe it will get better soon . Regardless it does the job for what I searched for.

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ELAC Debut B5

Anonymous from Tempe, AZ on 3/9/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound. Nice mids with a tight low. Do note, those thinking to use these as rears in a surround set-up, they are big. Keep this in mind for small spaces.

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ELAC Debut B5

gary from Coconut Creek, Florida on 2/5/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Can't beat the quality of these speakers. Team them up with a sub woofer and a decent receiver....whether you're watching a movie, live concert or just listening to your favorite tunes...it's money very well spent.

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Very pleased.

Steve from Fond Du Lac, WI on 1/29/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For the money, I don't know how you could find better sounding speakers. Crisp and clear highs and decent lows when playing music. I have a large living room set up for 5.1 and my wife wouldn't allow towers so I went with these bookshelves. Paired with the sub they fill my large room with ease. Very pleased.

Pros: Sound more expensive than they are. Attractive build.

Cons: None at this price point

ELAC Debut B5

Anonymous from Las Vegas, NV on 1/28/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For the price, very hard to beat, sound quality is very good, maybe not as bright as I would like for my own personal preference, but very clear. I ended up closing off the rear ports because of my speaker placement near walls, worked out very well as I am using a sub for bass. Overall a good purchase, would go with floor speakers if I had the room size. Impressed with ELAC

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ELAC Debut B5

Longfei from Cambridge, MA on 12/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are really great speakers with high quality and full range of sounds. A bit hard to drive so you need a good receiver. Note: These need couple days to reach best sound and should be placed at least 16 inch from the wall

Pros: Great Sound Nice Look Enough bass for bookshelf

Cons: Low Sensitivity Can't be placed near the wall

Huge bang for the buck!

Joe from Wilton, CT on 10/30/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just watched Mission Impossible 3 with just these hooked up to the Denon AVR-S510BT. Great sound. Nice and bright, but not too bright. Solid bass and midrange. Really made the movie come alive. I've been streaming some digital music from my iPhone and I've heard detail in some songs (e.g. Derek Trucks Band) that I have not heard before. I had a pair of Paradigm mini-monitor v5's that I have hooked up to another TV and plugged them into the same Denon and tried the same songs and this ELACs are superior AND cheaper. Some detail at the higher frequencies is not as clear on the Paradigms. It's just been a week and just one DVD, but lots of streamed music and I am very happy with these.

Pros: Great detail in sound. Incredible value.

Cons: None

ELAC Debut B5

Cedric Corpa de la from Gibsonia, PA on 10/16/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use them for my rear speakers in my surround system. They do the job just fine. For the price it will hard to find anything better. You can go with the B6 if you want to use the set as your main speakers.

Pros: Do the job in my surround configuration.

Cons: None.

Great sounds for a little money

HoLun from cedar park, TX on 10/2/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Got a pair of these to try out, these sounds great. for the price its simply amazing. I Pair this with dayton subwoofer, with a 100wpc 80s vintage technics receiver, it powers it with no problem, putting out great sounds.

Pros: Budget friendly amazing sound quality good looks

Cons: none

ELAC Debut B5

Gr from San Jose, CA on 9/26/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clear, well-defined sound. Unexpectedly rich lows. Driven by Audioengine N22

Pros: As great for their size as everyone is telling you - best sound for the price.

Cons: They would be even better in nice-looking wooden cabinet, not in drab black MDF.

Great

SL from Fullerton, CA on 9/19/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just as good as everyone says.

Pros: Excellent sound quality. No trouble handling a 120 watts per channel Onkyo NR-TX747.

Cons: None.

Perfect add on wide speaker

Denis from Lake Worth, FL on 9/19/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought these to use on my 7.1 surround system as add on for additioanal wide speakers. What a great addition. These speakers sound great. The wide envelopment in the 7.1.2 sounds amazing. I'm using a onkyo 809 an it's never sounded this good. Can't beat the price or sound. I was considering on purchasing a new atmos dolby reciever I don't need to that anymore.

Pros: Sound and price

Cons: None

Great Speakers for the Price ... truly amazing sound

Akhil from Austin, TX on 7/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have done a lot of research for Front L/R speakers for my media room, and finally decided to but the B5's. Having used the speakers for a month now, Im totally satisfied with the sound quality. Below are things i really like about the speakers: - The MDF cabinet finish is really nice, not too reflective & looks elegant in my media room. I personally like the way they look without the cloth grill. - The binding posts are very sturdy - Clear/ crisp sound ( i mainly use these for movies complimented with ELAC C6 center channel speaker) I would recommend these speakers for someone looking for a good bookshelves to be used in a small to medium sized rooms. Finally, id like to acknowledge the great customer service from crutchfield (shout out to Ashley - online chat representative). They answered my questions about the product & did provide me with expedited 2-day shipping as there was a minor misunderstanding regarding products shipping out over the weekend.

Pros: Clear sound Look & finish of the MDF cabinet Sturdy binding posts

Cons: none till date

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Type Soft-dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 5.25
Woofer Composition Woven Aramid-Fiber
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 120
Sensitivity 85 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 6
Frequency Response 46-20k Hz
Connector Type 5-way post
Bi-amp Inputs No
Height (inches) 12-3/4
Width (inches) 7-7/8
Depth (inches) 9-11/16
Weight (pounds) 11.5
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 24-31
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years

Product Research

Features

Two-Way Driver Design: The Elac Debut B5 bookshelf loudspeaker features a two-way driver design with a 1" tweeter, one 5.25" woofer, and a 3,000Hz crossover. Both the tweeter and woofer have been custom designed by Andrew Jones to deliver an exceptional audio experience that can't be delivered with typical off-the-shelf parts

  • Cloth Dome Tweeter w/ Wave Guide: The Elac Debut B5 features a 1" cloth dome tweeter with a custom-designed waveguide with a deep spheroid profile. This waveguide design is utilized to improve directivity control and shield the tweeter from cabinet diffraction.
  • Dual Woven-Aramid Fiber Woofers: The bookshelf speaker features a single 5.25" woven aramid-fiber cone woofer with rubber surround, oversized magnet, and vented pole piece. Woven aramid fiber offers a superior stiffness-to-weight ratio and damping over common polypropylene or paper cones. The added strength allows more flexibility in design to achieve a smoother, extended frequency response.
  • Custom Crossover: A custom seven-element crossover (3,000Hz) with audio-grade components is implemented to ensure smooth transition between the tweeter and woofer.

Bass Reflex MDF Cabinet: The Elac Debut B5 bookshelf loudspeaker uses a bass reflex cabinet with a rear-firing flared port for greater efficiency and bigger bass response. The cabinet is made of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) to strengthen and stiffen the cabinet, helping minimize unwanted vibrations that can discolor music or movie content. The MDF outer walls of the cabinet are covered with a textured vinyl black finish. A detachable cloth grille is included.

5-Way Binding Posts: The Elac Debut B5 bookshelf loudspeaker is fitted with a set of 5-way binding-post terminals which will accept bare-wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single or dual).

Applications: The Elac Debut B5 bookshelf loudspeaker can be used in a 2ch stereo application, or used as your front speakers and/or rear surround speakers in a multichannel home theater application.

  • 2Ch Stereo or Front Speaker Placement:  For optimum stereo imaging, place the speakers so that an equilateral triangle is created between the speakers your main listening position. You can also angle ("toe in") the speakers towards the listening position to gain a more focused central image.
  • Rear Surround Placement: In a 5.1channel surround setup, avoid placing the speakers forward of your listening position. The speakers should be spread apart wider than the front speakers. In addition, try to elevate the speakers to the same height or slightly higher as the front speakers for the most enveloping soundfield.
Note: In either application, the speakers should be placed 1' to 2' away from boundaries such as wall and corners. Close proximity to a side or rear wall will enhance bass performance, but being too close may result in bass that is unnatural.

Mounting Options: The Elac Debut B5 bookshelf loudspeaker can simply be placed on a flat surface; like a table-top, stand, or shelf. The bookshelf speaker does not offer any wall-mount options.

Elac Debut Series: The Elac Debut series family of loudspeakers consists of two bookshelf speakers, two floorstanding speaker, a center-channel speaker, a Dolby Atmos enabled speaker, and two powered subs.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Great reviews. Small footprint. [ Bradlee  Jan 19, 2018 ]
Read a CNet review - followed by info in your write up. Gift for son just starting "high fidelity" journey [ Martin  Nov 11, 2017 ]
good experience with previous Jones product. reviews everywhere are excellent. [ MATT  Jul 16, 2017 ]
Wes recommended [ Ronald  Jun 19, 2017 ]
Reviews. Want "true" stereo rather than 5+ channel through media center. [ RONALD  Feb 05, 2017 ]
I own other Andrew Jones products and am very pleased with their performance. The excellent reviews indicate that these speakers will deliver similar or better sound. The exploded views show the use of higher quality components than is usual at this price point. Finally, I like the clean no nonsense looks. [ Charles  Oct 09, 2016 ]
The Wirecutter chose to recommend the Elac B6 speakers as their most highly recommended bookshelf speakers. I went with the B5 because they were cheaper, and probably sufficient for my needs. [ Matthew  Jul 19, 2016 ]
Excellent online reviews and could not pass up the fantastic price. [ Daniel  Jul 09, 2016 ]
Rumor these are best bookshelf speakers under $500 [ Abo  Jun 27, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

Suggestions would be , depending on budget. (Marantz NR 1607 or Marantz MM 7025) Both suggestions will give you options as you grow your system. My ELAC speakers have been just what I was (range-meets my music taste (jazz vocals/indie and classical). looking for. Greg [ greg  Jan 02, 2018 ]
I have a Yamaha HT amp with 85 watts per channel with an adjustable impedance setting that I set to 6 ohms to match the speaker. This is 7 channels but I only run stereo and don't use it for home theater - got an amazing deal on it. You can basically use any amp 35 watts per channel and up, and even stereo can be used for movie tracks. I do run an 8" subwoofer so a line out for that is nice to have if you are going that way, especially for movie tracks. [ DKL53  Dec 30, 2017 ]
I do not use an amplifier. I do not need more power however I do use an external phono pre-amp instead of the built in on the turntable, Makes the sound much better. That's better not louder. [ Richard A  Dec 30, 2017 ]
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