August 31, 2008 The ELAC 3D-13 is a fully active loudspeaker that is a modern solution for stereo listening from a single compact enclosure, replacing the more conventional pair of hi-fi stereo loudspeakers and amplifier. Designed for people than have no room for a conventional stereo setup, or those that never sit at the apex of the stereo triangle (the sweet spot) it uses a 3D speaker to transmit sound in all directions to flood the room with music (hence the name).
Based on technology first described in 1931 and recently developed by the English company airSOUND and ELAC, it converts a stereo signal into a mono part (R+L,) and a three dimensional part (R-L.) The center speaker handles the mono signal, while the side speakers emit the 3D component of the sound in a dipole arrangement. This results in excellent sound dispersion (from the dipole speaker arrangement) but a lack of bass. That’s where the center speaker comes in delivering the mono component of the sound, creating an immersive soundscape and solid bottom end.
The ELAC 3D-13 speaker fills the whole room very evenly, allowing it to be set up virtually anywhere (including hanging on the wall as it weighs in at only just over 5kg). The volume, bass level and the 3D/mono ratio of the transmitted music signal can all be adjusted. The mono element can also be passed on to an external sub-woofer for extra bass via an RCA line-out jack on the back of the unit.
The beauty of the mono/3D music signal is that when sitting directly in front of the speaker, it offers hi-fi stereo fans a perfect stereo panorama, irrespective of the position of the adjacent walls – meaning the 3D speaker is not a sound projector that relies on reflections like a lot of other single point loudspeakers that try to achieve the same sort of results as the ELAC 3D-13.
There’s an stereo RCA connection on the back of the unit for a conventional CD or DVD player or other line-level device. It also features a front mini-jack (3.5mm phono) input for connecting an iPod/MP3 player, laptop or desktop computer, media server or similar device.
Also a nice feature of the ELAC 3D-13 speaker is the Bluetooth interface for wireless connection to a multitude of devices. They must be A2DP compliant though to support high quality audio streaming.
It delivers about 75 watts RMS from it’s three speakers - peak rating is around 110 watts, and boasts a signal-to-noise ratio in excess of 100dB with a frequency response of 53-25,000Hz.
Power for the ELAC 3D-13 speaker is provided by an external notebook switching power supply and is available in high-gloss black or white.