Say hello to Elac’s new Debut ConneX DCB41

Powered speakers are where the (power) amplifiers sit within the speakers themselves. The approach reduces box-count, a big factor for many (me included). It also negates the job of matching power amplifier and speaker; leave it to the designer. Add in a mix of digital and analogue inputs and you have a cogent argument for simpler HiFi.

US$599 / £499 / €529 buys you two speakers. The electronics are housed in one, the second connects via standard speaker cable (provided). A single analogue input on RCA sockets switches between line and phono use; hooking in a turntable is easy. Four further  inputs handle a range of digital sources: –

  • Optical caters for CD players, game boxes and similar. Or an optical-out streamer like the Wiim Mini (review coming). 
  • ARC (two-way) HDMI means TV’s can be hooked in; bye bye soundbar. 
  • aptX Bluetooth – the higher quality variant – brings a whole host of devices into play
  • And USB brings 24bit/96kHz music from Windows or OSX computers to the party. 

To be clear, there are currently no drivers for Linux, Android or iOS. Meaning USB streamers, a bog-standard RaspberryPi or your phone’s USB output are probably off limits. A shame, but not a showstopper. 

Physical volume control is via a knob on the back of the main speaker. Hardly ideal. Fear not, there’s a remote control. Computer users can also control volume via the PC. Or via the TV’s remote control if using the two-way HDMI option.

The DCB41’s inbuilt Class D (digital) amplifier kicks out 50 watts a channel. XBass Enhancer boosts bass if required; switch it off if appropriate. Such as when using an external subwoofer via the DCB41’s sub output. Three finishes are available; Black Ash, Walnut, and the rather natty Royal Blue above. 

Finally each speaker has a port (read: slot at the top) to improve bass performance. Being on the back could make placement more problematic; rear-ported speakers usually like a bit of space between them and the rear wall.

Is that the case in practise? I shall find out – a review pair are wending their way to HiFi Starters now. Colour me impressed with the similar Q Acoustics M20 speakers that are already here. Colour me excited to hear the Debut ConneX DCB41.

Further info here