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Elac Returns To U.S. With Affordable Speakers

Cypress, Calif. – German audio maker Elac is returning to the U.S. market with a series of speakers and subwoofers developed by noted speaker designer Andrew Jones, formerly the chief speaker engineer at Pioneer Electronics Technical Audio Devices (TAD).

The company, founded in 1926 as a sonar developer, hasn’t had a major U.S. presence in audio since the 1980s.

The commpany’s Debut speaker series, said to represent “a new level of performance at affordable price points,” consists of five passive speakers and three powered DSP subs. They are the 5.25-inch B5 bookshelf at a suggested $229/pair, 6.5-inch B6 bookshelf speaker at $279/pair, 5.25-inch C5 center channel at $179 each, 5.25-inch F5 floorstanding speaker at $279 each, 4-inch A4 Atmos add-on speaker module at $229/pair, 10-inch S10 200-watt subwoofer at $249, 10-inch S10EQ 400-watt subwoofer with EQ at $499, and the 12-inch 1,000-watt S12EQ with EQ at $699.  The latter two subwoofers incorporate DSP.

The speakers are the first developed for Elac America by Jones, who was appointed engineering VP after leaving Pioneer. Jones’ 35-year career also includes work at KEF and Infinity. 

Chris Walker, also formerly of Pioneer, is ELAC VP of product development.

 “My design objective was to achieve the most accurate sound possible in speakers that deliver performance far exceeding their cost,” said Jones.

The Debut speakers feature aramid fiber cone woofers providing a high strength-to-weight ratio to achieve a smoother extended response, the company said. Other woofer attributes include an oversized magnet and a vented pole piece.

A newly developed tweeter and waveguide improves directivity and prevents cabinet diffraction, the company also said. The speakers’ multi-element crossover delivers “a coherent audio experience traditionally found on speakers costing substantially more” the company added.

Both the S10EQ and the S12EQ incorporate DSP and Bluetooth 4.0 LE, which lets users adjust subwoofer settings via a Sub Control app running on a smartphone. The subs also automatically calibrate to adjust for room acoustics via a 12-band parametric equalizer. The microphone in the smartphone running the Sub Control app can be used in the calibration process.