Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 review: Clear sound, great build quality, excellent value

Real Elac Debut B6 Came out of nowhere in late 2015. designer Andrew Jones recently left Pioneer, yet that was with a perfectly formed speaker design—one that immediately became our favorite bookshelf speaker for the money. Over the next three years they followed an unexpected update to the equally impressive Uni-Fis, Adantes, and then the speaker that started it all.

The Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 does make some improvements over the original speaker, namely in terms of build quality and overall clarity. The design feels like a cross between the old Debut and original uni-fi, more clear than before, with a more open display. I miss the laid-back qualities of the original B6, but still a good speaker for less than the price of the B6.2 AV Receiver.

Since B6.2 first came out in 2018, other companies have caught on to what Jones is doing. cue acoustics, emotiva and polko also offer compelling speakers for the same prices as the B6.2, and Q Acoustics 3030i The Elac in particular manages to challenge with superior bass power and versatility.

The original B6 earned our Editors’ Choice award as the slam-dunk best speaker in its class, and the Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 continues the tradition. If you want an affordable speaker with a more detailed, enveloping sound than the Q Acoustics 3030i, the Elac B6.2 is a great choice.

Update, June 23, 2021: The Q Acoustics 3030i was a previous Editors’ Choice winner for best speaker for the money, but its price recently increased by $70, so the honor now belongs to the Allac Debut 2.0b 6.2. While both speakers are excellent value, the Elac is now by the nose the best speaker in its class. The remainder of the review, originally published on March 6, 2018, has largely remained unchanged.

not much family resemblance

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The Elac debuts B6 (left) and the new Debut 2.0 B6.2.

Sarah Tu/ClearTips

The B6.2 has a cheerful retro appearance that recalls old British designs from Bowers & Wilkins or Wharfdale. When paired with the original Debut B6 it looks like a completely different speaker – where the B6 was short and squat, the update is tall and slim with the noticeable addition of a front bass port.

The original B6.2 boasts a 6.5-inch aramid fiber (similar to Kevlar) woofer and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter, but their implementation is different. For example, on the 2015 model the tweeter was retracted which made the speaker more directional, but this time nearly flush with the front panel of the mesh-covered tweeter. Also the driver now has an extruded dust cap, which is designed to make the driver more responsive.

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B6.2 with grill on and off.

Sarah Tu/ClearTips

Dimensions are familiar for a pair of stand-mount speakers at 7.69 inches wide by 14.76 inches high and relatively thin 10.55 inches deep. While the original debut was resonant—a knuckle rap to the side and it rang—additional bracing is installed in the B6.2 to reduce the potential sonic hue. Knocking on it gives a slight metallic plop.

Additional bracing isn’t the only change. On closer inspection you’ll notice that the old-school black ash wrap has been used instead of the brushed vinyl of the original debut. Finally, around the back you’ll find a pair of metal binding posts.

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