ELAC — the new playground for one-time KEF employee and master speaker designer Andrew Jones — brought its own wireless bookshelf speakers to the party this year, the Argo Series B51 powered bookshelf speakers.
The B51 a three-way speaker and keeps things in the digital domain, including digital crossover correction in real time, the Argo B51 keep things old-school, preserving the sound in analog format. Inside each speaker are three AB amplifiers, including a 150-watt BASH AB amplifier for the 5 1/4-inch aluminum cone woofer, a 70-watt BASH AB amplifier for the midrange driver, and a 30-watt Class AB amplifier for the concentrically mounted tweeter, tallying up 250 watts per side.
The Argo B51 speakers also offer a nice collection of both analog and wireless connection, including balanced XLR, TSR, RCA, and wireless connection — though the latter depends on a $149 CDN dollar wireless hub called the Discovery Connect transmitter. The transmitter offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, including Discovery, Spotify Connect, and AirPlay compatibility.
The Argo B51 cabinets are gorgeous to behold, offered in glossy shades of black, white, and a striped woodgrain which ELAC told us they’re still not sure what to call. We’ll go with Zebra wood for now.
As for the sound, these baby’s are sweet, elegant, creamy where it needs to be, and supremely detailed. As you might imagine, all that tech, self-amplification, and even better sound pushes the price point up a fair bit.
The Argo 51 are expected to cost $3,500 CDN when they hit the market this summer (2018), and if you want to go wireless, you’ll have to add another $149 on top of that, of course. Still, add the cost of an amplifier or receiver into that equation — which these powered beauties leave behind — and you’re still looking at a pretty fair price for stellar sound.