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ELAC Debut S12EQ

Powered subwoofer with Bluetooth® control and auto EQ

4 Reviews

Item # 970S12EQ

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ELAC Debut S12EQ




Our take on the ELAC Debut S12EQ

Once I saw and heard ELAC's new S12EQ, I knew it was something special. Not only does its 12" high-excursion woofer and 500-watt amplifier deliver heart-pounding bass that brings movies alive, but it also sports a new Bluetooth calibration feature that makes it easier than ever to get bass that's precisely dialed in for your room.

Use your smartphone to calibrate your sub

ELAC Debut S12EQ Powered subwoofer with Bluetooth® control and auto EQ

You won't find any knobs or switches here! Instead, use ELAC's SUB Control app for easy touchscreen setup and control via Bluetooth.

Once I saw and heard ELAC's new S12EQ, I knew it was something special. Not only does its 12" high-excursion woofer and 500-watt amplifier deliver heart-pounding bass that brings movies alive, but it also sports a new Bluetooth calibration feature that makes it easier than ever to get bass that's precisely dialed in for your room.

Sit back, relax, and let the sub do the work

The S12EQ uses your smartphone's microphone along with sophisticated on-board software to deliver the most accurate bass possible. No longer will you have to reach back behind your subwoofer to tinker with knobs and switches. Simply download the ELAC SUB Control app and let its powerful processing customize the subwoofer's settings for your room, wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Calibration made easy

The magic behind the S12EQ lies in how you set it up and control it. Everything is done from your device's touchscreen. The SUB Control app uses Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless connection between your device and your sub that requires no pairing and no passcode.

The calibration process begins by capturing a near-field measurement of the subwoofer's bass output. Simply hold your phone or tablet within one foot of the sub and press "Analyze." The app then records what's coming out of the subwoofer, capturing sound before it's affected by its interaction with the room's reflective surfaces and other sound-muddying anomalies.

Then you'll do the same measuring process from your favorite listening position. The SUB Control software compares the first measurement against the second, then expertly smooths out the EQ curve, delivering crisp, accurate bass to your ears. Level control and other audio adjustments are made through the app. You can also make manual changes to the calibration settings as well.

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 S12EQ subwoofer is his latest triumph. It makes a perfect match in a surround sound setup with the entire ELAC Debut line, all of which were designed by Jones.

Product Highlights:

  • free ELAC Bluetooth app on compatible smartphones and tablets controls auto EQ, parametric EQ, volume level, crossover frequency, phase, and listening presets
    • no controls on subwoofer, requires an Apple® (iOS 7.0 and up) or Android™ (OS 4.3 and up) device for wireless control over Bluetooth 4.0
  • easy auto EQ room calibration using built-in microphone on Apple or Android devices
  • frequency response: 25-150 Hz
  • high-efficiency built-in BASH® amplifier delivers 500 watts of continuous power, 1,000 watts dynamic power
  • 12" high-excursion doped-paper cone woofer and 12" passive radiator
  • bass reflex (passive radiator) cabinet design
  • continuously variable low-pass 40-150 Hz crossover
  • LFE RCA input
  • integrated rubber feet for scratch-free placement on hard-surface floors, plus included spike feet for use on carpeted floors
  • black brushed vinyl finish
  • 17-1/16"W x 18-1/8"H x 18-3/8"D
  • weight: 49.1 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years speaker, 1 year amplifier
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Powered subwoofer
  • 9' AC power cord
  • 4 Spikes
  • 4 Hex-nuts
  • Operating Instructions

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.


ELAC Debut S12EQ Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)

Not Great At This Price Point

Anonymous from Jefferson, NC on 3/8/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was very disappointed with this sub, especially given the price point. As the other reviewers pointed out, the bass was underwhelming, and the connection between my S7 and the sub constantly dropped off and reconnection was arduous. The unit also arrived with two corners of the vinyl loose on the cabinet which I glued down. I now have two SVS SB2000 subs from Crutchfield that I am totally satisfied with. Ten stars for Crutchfield customer service. That is where I go for all of my audio needs.




Juan from New Jersey on 8/29/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I really wanted these subwoofers to work for me especially being that they are designed by one of the industries leading designers but it just didn't! For the size and power of these subwoofers I found it to be undernourished in my listening room despite having two of them and trying multiple locations and yes- I played around with different phase and volume settings on top of the auto EQ, but what I really found disappointing is the app you are forced to use to get them to work, I found the app to be very unstable with constant failure to recognize the subwoofers even individually and the lack of actual physical controls that had the subwoofers sounded good in my situation would have allowed me to make manual adjustments. Maybe in the near future they will take these issues into consideration and I may give them another try but for now they are going back.

Pros: Excellent customer and technical support!

Cons: Maybe I shouldn't expect much at this price point even though there price is peanuts compared to today's way overpriced so called high end audio but I have had better experiences at even less.

Crutchfield response on 8/30/2017 Juan contacted our Customer Support team and set up a return. Purchases from Crutchfield can be returned or exchanged within 60 days.

Unimpressive for the Price

Zack from Naperville, IL on 1/24/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For a subwoofer at this price, I can't help but feel completely underwhelmed by this Elac model. You'd think it would be a perfect match to pair with the Elac UF5/UB5 speakers, however I am totally underwhelmed by the sound output of this subwoofer. Despite this things massive size, passive radiator and powerful amplifier, it frankly doesn't really get that loud nor is it capable of filling a room with deep bass. To give a fair comparison, I'm coming from a 10" ported subwoofer from Logitech which is 188W RMS and only goes down to 35hz. This sub was perfectly capable of filling my small basement room with bass you could feel despite it's corner placement about 14 feet away from my listening position. When I tried placing the Elac in the same spot and used it's equalizer, I found that the subwoofer output was virtually undetectable from this distance. The Elac can hit hard and deep, but it's sound is incapable of travelling more than a few feet, so I played around with placement and ended up settling it in a corner behind my listening position which was a bit better. The other thing I don't like about the Elac is that even with the passive radiator, is that it's incapable of providing the type of long drawn out boomy bass which is essential for watching movies and listening to some types of music. This is of course the nature of a sealed subwoofer, but with all of the technology that went into this design I'm not impressed. A ported sub is a better match for the Elac spea

Pros: - The included bluetooth app and equalizer is pretty cool and works well most of the time to control the subwoofer - Produces tight and accurate bass

Cons: - Not as loud as you'd expect for this level of power output and size - Bass drops off quickly after a few feet - Bluetooth app is subject to interference from WiFi networks. I had to shut down my AP in the basement to get a stable connection to the sub despite only being a few feet away from it

Great sub

Mark from Charlottesville, VA on 6/11/2016

This is a great sub. It is very easy to setup and use. The EQ app is very easy to use and it integrates the sub into the rest of my system.

Pros: Nice smooth bottom end Easy to setup and use

Cons: It is very large and heavy


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Passive Radiator
Video Shielded No
Woofer Size (inches) 12
Woofer Composition Doped Paper
Firing Direction Front
Wireless No
Preamp-Level Inputs Yes
Speaker-Level Inputs No
Speaker-Level Outputs No
Low-Pass Crossover Freq 40-150Hz
High-Pass Crossover Freq N/A
Phase Switch Yes
Amplifier Output (watts) 500
Frequency Response 25-150 Hz
Height (inches) 18-1/8
Width (inches) 17-1/16
Depth (inches) 18-3/8
Weight 49.1 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 3 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 3 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 1 Year
Amplifier Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Elac SUB Control App: The Elac Debut S12EQ powered subwoofer does away with traditional analog controls. Instead, the powered sub incorporates Elac's advanced digital signal processing (DSP) that is controlled from the Elac SUB Control app on your Apple (iOS 7.0+) or Android (OS 4.3+) device, wirelessly over Bluetooth 4.0. From the app on your compatible smartphone or tablet device, you can control the Auto EQ, Parametric EQ, Crossover, Phase, Delay, Volume, & Sound Presets. You will need to pair your compatible Apple iOS or Android device with the Elac powered sub before using the app.

  • Auto EQ: The Elac Debut S12EQ powered sub and the Elac SUB Control app are equipped with an easy-to-use and highly sophisticated Auto EQ function to automatically calibrate the EQ curve of the powered sub based on the room environment. Using the built-in microphone of your Apple iOS or Android device, the app calculates the room environment, room frequency response, and the sound reproduction of the sub. Auto room calibration is performed in two steps - first, your smartphone's microphone is placed directly in front of the powered sub for measurement; second, your smartphone is moved to your main listening position for measurement. The app will then calibrate the subwoofer based on these two measurement locations and provide visual parameters of the measured room, along with the automatically calculated EQ curve.
  • Parametric EQ: You can also choose to set the powered subwoofer's EQ curve manually by adjusting the SUB Control app's parametric EQ. The parametric equalizer gives you the ability to adjust the audio output (within the subwoofer's range) to your preference. The app will let you choose and adjust the center frequency, bandwidth, and gain.
  • Low Pass Crossover: The app on your Apple iOS or Android device lets you setup the powered subwoofer's variable low-pass crossover from 40Hz to 150Hz to blend the bass output of the powered sub with the rest of the speakers in your system. If you are using a home theater AV receiver with an LFE output, you will need to set the crossover frequency to "Max" or 150Hz.
  • Phase: The Phase setting of the app ensures the bass signal reproduces by the powered subwoofer blends seamlessly with the rest of your speakers. When the powered sub and the rest of your speaker system are playing in Phase, bass reproduction sounds uniform.
  • Delay: The Delay parameter of the app enables you to delay playback of the subwoofer's audio signal in comparison with the rest of your speaker system and your main listening position. The delay can be set to 1 msec (13") to 20 msec (21.5'). If you are using an AV receiver with an LFE output and its own auto calibration function, then the receiver will set the delay time internally, so the SUB Control's Delay parameter should be set to "minimum" or 0.
  • Volume Level: The volume control of the Elac SUB Control app on your compatible Apple iOS or Android device allows you to sets the subwoofer's output level relative to the output of the other speakers in your system for a well-balanced sound. You also mute and un-mute the volume of the powered sub from the app.
  • Sound Presets: From the SUB Control app on your smartphone or tablet, you can choose from 4 different sound preset modes to suit your application, need, or preference. Select Normal for most applications, select Music to add subtle emphasis to the low bass range, choose Cinema to slightly boost the bass frequencies around 50Hz, or choose Night to reduce the maximum dynamic range and volume for late night enjoyment.
Note: There are no physical controls on the front or back of this powered subwoofer. The Elac SUB Control app and a compatible Bluetooth 4.0 enabled Apple (iOS 7.0+) or Android (OS 4.3+) device is required for setup and operation of this powered sub.

500W BASH Tracking Amplifier: The Elac Debut S12EQ utilizes a BASH tracking amplifier rated at 500W RMS and 1,000W Peak. Unlike conventional amplifiers, BASH amplifiers track the input signal and adjust the available supply voltage to a traditional Class AB amplifier. This makes the amplifier incredibly efficient, but also provides the on-demand power needed for dynamic movies and music.

12" Custom Woofer & Passive Radiator: A custom front-firing, high-excursion 12" doped paper cone woofer provides the quality and quantity of bass that is fundamental to accurately reproducing today's demanding movie soundtracks and music. The Elac Debut S12EQ powered sub also employs a down-firing 12" passive radiator to improve the transient response and increases the efficiency of the system.

Braced MDF Cabinet: The cabinet is made of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) with an internal horizontal brace 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. There is a metal grill on the front to protect the front-firing woofer.

LFE/RCA Input: The Elac Debut S12EQ is fitted with a mono LFE/RCA input for connecting the powered subwoofer to your home theater AV receiver or integrated amplifier.

Auto Power On/Off: The Elac Debut series powered subwoofer will detect when an audio signal is being sent to the amplifier and will power on. Also, to conserve energy, the powered subwoofer will power off after 15 minutes of no audio signal and inactivity. On back of the powered subwoofer is a LED that will illuminate blue to indicate that the powered sub is turned on; there will be no illumination when the subwoofer is turned off or in standby mode.

Rubber or Spike Feet: The Elac Debut S12EQ powered sub features integrated rubber feet for safe placement on hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile floors. Four spike feet are also included for secure placement on carpeted flooring. The spikes screw into the bottom of the subwoofer's rubber feet and add approximately 0.875" of height to the powered sub.

Placement: Proper subwoofer placement can take some trial and error. In many cases, the best position for the powered sub is in the front corner of the room. If placing the subwoofer in the corner creates an abnormal amount of bass, you can try moving the subwoofer to one of the side walls near the front of the room.

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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

The reviews on this speaker have been impressive. [ S  Nov 01, 2016 ]
It is a bigger version of thewirecutter's recommendation. [ Devin  Aug 14, 2016 ]