If you’re short on time and just want the highlights of this article, here it is:
The ELAC Navis ARB-51 Powered Bookshelf Speakers are impressive in many ways. It features a custom-designed midrange/tweeter, a custom designed woofer, and Tri-Amp Pure Analog Amplifier for 300W of power. The wide range of connection options, including the AirX2 wireless interface, the ELAC Discovery Connect, and the local inputs, make it suitable for a variety of audio systems.
The sound quality is impressive, with detailed highs and rich, low-frequency sound. The Tri-Amp Pure Analog Amplifier also ensures that each transducer is optimally and amply powered, eliminating clipping and crossover distortion. However, the treble can sound a bit sharp at times and the midrange could do with a bit more warmth.
Overall, the ELAC Navis ARB-51 is a great choice for users who want powerful, accurate sound with lots of connection options. However, if you are looking for a warmer, more natural sound, then this might not be the best choice for you.
Now let’s get to its bolts and nuts.
ELAC Navis ARB-51 Review: Sound quality
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
The sound quality performance you'll end up getting from a speaker will always depend on your room acoustics - particularly room dimensions and speaker positions.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is also why it's not unusual to see completely different reviews of the same speaker.
In one case the speaker might be placed in a sweet spot inside the room and hence the user might be satisfied. In other cases the same speaker might be ill placed and hence user might even have returned it.
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The point most people miss here is that it mostly isn't even about the engineering behind the speaker itself. It's about where you place the speaker inside which room.
So, in order to solve this problem, I've partnered with Acoustics and Audio Engineering PhD Andrea Cicero from AC Acustica and created Soundton - a simple, 2D, browser accessible online speaker placement calculator.
With Soundton, now there's a way to figure the sound quality of most speakers before you buy them.
Read more about its working principles at soundton.com.
The end colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) acoustics.