Elac Debuts Navis Wireless Speakers

Elac is moving big-time into making high-performance wireless speakers, a realm currently dominated by companies including KEF, Dynaudio, and DALI. The outfit’s new Navis series consists of the AR-B51 standmounter ($2,000/pair, shown) and AR-F51 tower speaker ($4,000/pair).

For both models, a BASH amp supplies 160 watts to a 5-inch woofer (one on the AR-B51, three on the AR-F51 tower), 100 watts to a 4-inch midrange, and 40 watts to a coaxially-mounted 1-inch tweeter. According to Elac’s designer Andrew Jones, the speaker uses a pure analog signal path and crossover—no DSP needed or wanted. Rear-panel switches are provided for EQ contouring and high-pass filtering.

The Navis speakers’ built-in wireless feature uses the proprietary AirX2 protocol to stream 16-bit/44.1kHz signals from an included DDP-2 transmitter. AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Roon, and Bluetooth are all supported, and there’s an analog input if you want to connect your own DAC. Along with streaming to the speaker pair, the DDP-2’s three-channel output lets you simultaneously send a wireless .1 signal to one of Elac’s subwoofers.

Both the AR-B51 and AR-F51 will be shipping in October.