The Eltax Monitor V speaker is the latest addition to Eltax’s bookshelf speaker range, which includes the previous Eltax Monitor I and Eltax Monitor III models that received numerous awards from the international press for their unbeatable value for money. Priced at only €399, the Eltax Monitor V bookshelf speaker is even more powerful and appealing thanks to a large, 8” midbass driver that promises deep bass and energetic sound. Suitable for both hi-fi and home theater, the Eltax Monitor V seems to have no flaws for such an affordable model.
Eltax Monitor V: packaging & accessories
The Eltax Monitor V speakers come in a plain cardboard box inside of which they are properly secured and protected by polystyrene sheets. They are accompanied by an installation guide and an acoustic grille in gray or black fabric depending on the color of the speakers.
Eltax Monitor V: presentation
To make the most of its 8-inch driver, the Eltax Monitor V bookshelf speaker has a slightly larger cabinet than the Eltax Monitor III. With a width of 26cm, a height of 40cm and a depth of 34cm, it is quite large for a bookshelf speaker, even though it is smaller than other speakers with 8” drivers. However, it is easier to place these speakers on dedicated stands, wall mounts or on top of a piece of furniture rather than in a bookcase.
The Eltax Monitor V speaker has a relatively classic design, very similar to the previous Monitor range designs. The chassis is made of MDF, a medium density wood composite used to reduce resonance and sound coloration. The front and rear panels are slightly reinforced and have rounded edges to reduce the visual footprint. Overall, the build quality is good, even if we can see some rough finishing when we examine the speaker more closely. This is reflected in the presence of some cuts and assembly marks. In addition, the mounting brackets for the removable cover are visible when the grille is removed. Silver-colored and quite prominent, they attract the eye and can spoil the charm of these small Danish speakers for the most demanding users. However, it is difficult to ask more from a speaker with such a low price.
The cabinet of the Eltax Monitor V compact speaker adopts a bass-reflex enclosure with a port on the rear side. Therefore, it is preferable to leave a small gap between the speaker and the wall behind it, unless you want to artificially amplify the bass reproduction. We encourage you to take the time to experiment with the most effective placements in your listening space to get the best results for your requirements.
Finally, the rear panel of the Eltax Monitor V also has a double pair of terminals, which allows bi-wiring and bi-amping. For mono cabling, it is a good idea to replace the cables between the two terminals with higher end models like the Oehlbach Jump. Without knowing all their specifications, the original cables seemed to be of low quality.
The Eltax Monitor V bookshelf speaker’s major strength is its large 8-inch driver. A large diameter that is more common in floorstanding speakers or in rare high-end compact speakers. Thanks to the latter, the Eltax Monitor V promises to deliver deeper and more powerful bass down to a very low frequency of 42Hz. A very impressive performance considering its size.
To reproduce the highs, the Eltax Monitor V speaker is equipped with a 1” soft dome tweeter that benefits from a rear chamber with a dispersion system to provide a more precise sound with less distortion. The tweeter is therefore able to operate under optimal conditions up to a very high frequency of 22kHz.
The Eltax Monitor V has a power handling capacity of 40 to 150 watts, a high sensitivity of 90 dB and a variable impedance of 6 to 8 ohms. Its drivers work efficiently without the need for high power input. This means that the Eltax Monitor V can be easily combined with any hi-fi amplifier or AV receiver, even those of modest power.
Eltax Monitor V: listening conditions
We tested the Eltax Monitor V speakers in the Disque d’or auditorium of the East Paris Son-Vidéo.com store. They were placed on NorStone Stylum 3 stands and connected to a Marantz PM7000N amplifier using Viard Audio Premium HD HP 4 mm² speaker cables mounted with banana plugs. For a source, we used the Bluesound Node network media player to listen to Hi-Res tracks shared over the local network and saved in our Qobuz playlists.
Eltax Monitor V: listening impressions
The 8” driver allowed the Eltax Monitor V to make a real breakthrough compared to the Eltax Monitor III. The bass was surprisingly tight for bookshelf speakers. The sound wasn’t as deep as it would have been with floorstanders, but the bass was powerful, clean and very well controlled. The Eltax Monitor V speaker struck with determination in this frequency range, bringing a nice energy to the sound. We noted a very subtle coloration that wasn’t unpleasant as it added a little more substance and warmth to the listening experience.
The Eltax Monitor V was full of vigor and dynamism. The highs were lively, clear and transparent. The tweeter’s great stability allowed it to reproduce the most delicate notes of string instruments. We enjoyed an agile and smooth ascent into the highest frequencies. Even with the volume turned up, the Eltax Monitor V was resilient and hardly showed its limits in this frequency range. This is an unparalleled feat for a speaker in this price range that can be listened to at any volume while maintaining balance, naturalness and smoothness.
The vocals delivered by the Eltax Monitor V speaker emerged from the recordings in a natural way and benefited from beautifully precise contours. They come alive spontaneously and with sincerity in the center of the soundstage, as long as you stand in the sweet spot. The Eltax Monitor V speakers reproduced all voices with freshness, conviction and a very genuine texture. The listening experience was always comprehensible, frank and marked by a temperament full of energy and vitality.
The Eltax Monitor V compact speakers provided a relatively spacious and open soundstage. The sound message was generally well layered and clear. The 8-inch driver added a nice texture and succeeded in materializing the different instruments, but also in adding substance to the sound. Unlike many entry-level compacts, the Eltax Monitor V can be used without a subwoofer without compromising tonal balance. In fact, each timbre was always accurate, with round and deep bass, textured mids and clear and spontaneous highs. The listening experience was joyful, intoxicating and worthy of much more expensive models.
Eltax Monitor V: compared to…
Klipsch RB-81 MKII: available for €449, the Klipsch RB-81 MKII speaker has a 7.8” driver that offers great performance in the low end of the spectrum. The bass is deep and lively, like the Eltax Monitor V. However, the latter is a lot smoother and rounder in the highs. Regarding design, the Klipsch RB-81 MKII is narrower and less deep than the Eltax Monitor V, but is taller. It is easier to place in a bookshelf thanks to its front-firing power that doesn’t artificially amplify the lows.
Monitor Audio Bronze 100: marketed at €499, the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 speaker is a two-way model with a 7.8” midbass driver. It has the advantage of being more compact, facilitating its placement in the house. Its smaller enclosure, however, means le lows are slightly weaker and less generous than those of the Eltax Monitor V. Finally, the golden dome tweeter of the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 offers a greater transparency and clarity, allowing the listener to perceive finer details in this frequency range. However, the listening experience is a bit brighter and less round.
Q Acoustics 3030i: sold for €429, the Q Acoustics 3030i speaker is also more compact and easier to place in a bookshelf than the Eltax Monitor V. Its 6.6” driver provides great presence in the low end of the spectrum with round and voluptuous bass, but whose depth cannot compete with the Danish speaker. However, the Q Acoustics 3030i goes a little higher, offering more information in this range. Finally, the two speakers are almost equal in the midrange, which is rich and delivered with naturalness and softness.
Eltax Monitor V: who are they for?
The Eltax Monitor V compact speaker is an excellent first investment to enjoy a lively speaker with a great sense of rhythm, while maintaining a more than competitive price. It has the advantage of a large 8” driver offering deep and powerful bass without the need for a subwoofer. Equally well suited for hi-fi and home theater use, the Eltax Monitor V can be easily combined with any amplifier, its high sensitivity making it possible to ignore the output of the electronics. Lastly, the Eltax Monitor V is a bookshelf speaker in name only and will be best placed on dedicated stands like the Norstone Stylum 3 or on top of a piece of furniture, rather than in a bookshelf where it won’t be able to give its best performance.
Eltax Monitor V: conclusion
A must in this price range, the Eltax Monitor V bookshelf speaker has many qualities while maintaining a more than competitive price. Its performance is remarkable for a speaker in this price range, with a dynamic, energetic listening experience and, above all, surprisingly powerful and deep bass for a compact speaker. A real achievement for this Danish company, the 8-inch midbass driver puts the Eltax Monitor V well ahead of the competition by allowing it to provide a balanced sound with substance and texture without the need to invest in an external subwoofer. At low volume as well as at higher levels, the Eltax Monitor V offers a well-balanced and controlled listening experience. The finish may be lacking in finesse, but it is difficult to ask more from such an appealing and remarkably musical speaker. A must-have to build your first hi-fi or home theater system at low cost.
- The deep and powerful lows
- The energetic sound
- The clear reproduction
- The unbeatable value for money
We would have liked:
- A more refined finish
- A magnetic grille