Sometimes you are just done with those separate components. The cables you need, the skill you need to get right, the synergy you need to find. It’s just not that obvious… Of course it’s part of the hobby but there are those days when you think; couldn’t it all be a little bit more easy? And then active or powered speakers are an ideal alternative. The last few years we have seen them popping up everywhere. It seems as if every decent brand now has an active system. Of course there are the KEF LS50/60 wireless, Dynaudio Focus 30, ATC SCM40A, Buchardt A700 and Q Acoustics 200/400 to name but a few. But those are all upper price range speakers. The speakers we are looking at today are rather modest in size and price but provide loads of listening pleasure. Today we have tested a set of Elac Connex DCB41 powered speakers for you. Let’s check it out!
Colleague Martijn asked if there really is veneer around the Elac Connex, and while you can indeed doubt it, this is not the case. They look very good but vinyl has been used.
The Elac Connex are small speakers (25 cm high) but that has its advantages. You can really put them anywhere. On the desk, next to the television or on a dresser. The cabinets themselves are slightly rounded and are solidly constructed. They are available in black, walnut and, surprisingly, in flashy blue (Royal blue). We like the Connex best with the grilles on and with the included feet underneath.
The Elac Connex consists of a 20 mm silk dome tweeter inside a waveguide with a modest 11 cm polypropylene mid-driver underneath. Yes… we see small drivers, but these speakers have quite a bit of punch and control. At the back, on the ‘passive’ speaker, we only see the speaker terminals and the horizontal bass port.
On the ‘active’ speaker we see a lot of connectivity. There is an analog input (phono or line input), a dac (usb or optical), a sub output as well as an HDMI ARC connection to guarantee optimal sound through the television. All useful connections if you ask us. For completeness, there is also APTX bluetooth.
Master and servant
Inside are two Class D amplifiers, each providing 50 watts for both the tweeter and mid-driver. There are also quite a few extras in the box. A power cord, speaker cable, hdmi cable, faceplates and some feet to use under the Elacs. The latter makes a subtle but obvious difference in the bass. Less vibration you know. We also placed them on a pair of IsoAcoustics Aperta.
Nice is the addition of a small remote control. With it you not only control the volume but also select the inputs. However, the X-Bass knob is the nicest item on the Elac Connex. With that button, depending on where you set them up, you can add some extra bass, if you like.
You connect both speakers with the included speaker cables. The power cord, also included, goes into the wall or power strip. You can connect the Elac Connex to your television, streamer, computer or CD player. The choice is yours.