Review: Elipson Horus 6B

Blends in unobtrusively

The Elipson Horus 6B is classy to look at, doesn't cost much and doesn't stand out.

Published 2024-03-12 - 8:00 am
Elipson Horus 6B
John Hvidlykke

French company Elipson is particularly known for their high-end loudspeakers – some of them spherical. But they also make traditional, wallet-friendly models in simple wooden cabinets.

The Elipson Horus 6B belongs to the latter category: a compact two-way bass reflex speaker that will fit on a stand or standing on a sideboard.

The Elipson Horus 6B is available in three finishes (Photo: Elipson)

On the tested model, the cabinet is really nice to look at; all sides except the front are covered with a walnut-like foil. On the front, which is solid grey, you’ll find a 5-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter dome. The oval bass reflex port is also on the front, which is handy as the speakers are likely to be placed against a wall or in a bookcase.

The front fabric frame “floats” one centimetre in front of the front. Probably to give a lighter impression, but acoustically it’s a bad idea that inevitably creates a lot of diffractions.

The speakers perform best on a stand. (Photo: Nicholas Schlosser, Elipson)

The speakers are relatively lightweight (five kilos each) and sound a bit hollow when you tap them with your knuckles. But no more than usual at the lower end of the price range.

Sound quality

The Elipson Horus 6B is in a price range where most offers are table speakers with Bluetooth or smaller multi-room speakers. But here we get a pair of true stereo speakers. This delights an old hi-fi nerd. Because in any case, you get a much better stereo perspective from two separate speakers placed correctly in the living room.

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The small Elipson blends discreetly into the living room to a degree that should be approved by even the most critical partner. They’re not invisible, but devoid of conspicuous details. “Those? They’ve been here all the time…”

The same can be said about the sound reproduction of the Horus 6B. The speakers cover their working range evenly and without emphasising any frequencies in particular. It’s all there, but without any particular focus on details. Consistent, neat and neutral – but also slightly bland.

Differences are blurred

Stereo perspective and depth in the soundstage are fine, but don’t expect miracles – these things come at an extra cost. Instruments are panned quite nicely between the speakers, but do not extend beyond this. Which is fine when it’s pop music from the radio that’s on the programme. But the difference between a particularly good recording and an average one becomes blurred. The presence and jazz club feel of I’m Confessing from Jazz at the Pawnshop becomes less pronounced. And the sense of space on Fishing Junks at Sunset from Jean-Michel Jarre’s Concerts in China shrinks to living room size.

HORUS_6B_WALNUT-DARK GREY_FRONT_02 HORUS_6B_LIGHT WOOD_FRONT_02 HORUS_6B_BLACK-CARBON_FRONT_02
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(Photo: Elipson)

According to the datasheet, the Horus 6B is relatively linear down to 55 Hz (-3dB), but there’s a difference between reproducing a tonal range and being in control. The small speakers definitely don’t have that power. It’s not that I demand to be feeling the shockwave from the temple drums on Moon Light on Spring River. But I would expect just a bit of body on the conga drums on the MTV live version of Hotel California. I know that song like the back of my hand, but I can’t recall ever hearing it so dull and lacking in dynamics.

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Competition

It may sound like I’m asking a lot from a speaker that costs very little. And the Elipson Horus 6B does nothing wrong. But despite the low price, there are actually several competitors in the price range that each make a positive impression. For example, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 with its very well-resolved treble. Or the DALI Oberon 1 with its very clean and present voice reproduction. And if you’re looking for a cosy moment, consider the Q Acoustics 3020i with its warm and musical sound.

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With the front grille in place, the Horus 6B is truly unobtrusive. (Photo: Nicholas Schlosser, Elipson)

Conclusion

For such a low price, it’s actually impressive that you can get a set of beautiful stereo speakers with quite a nice finish and a decent sound. And that’s what the Elipson Horus 6B delivers. The reason you don’t hear us popping the champagne corks is because we’ve seen it done so much better elsewhere for the same price.

The Elipson Horus 6B is to be commended for its linear and uncoloured reproduction across most of the frequency range. Unfortunately, the reproduction is also clinically devoid of any engagement and dynamics. And the bass reproduction is not discernable either.

As a discreet sound source for unobtrusive background music, it can be just fine. Horus 6B will never sound ugly. But who wants the hassle of setting up a stereo system with passive speakers when you can get a multi-room speaker to do it more cheaply and easily?

The small, inexpensive Elipson speakers could be an obvious choice for a first stereo system. But the sound is so uninspiring that you risk music remaining background noise instead of becoming a passion.

Karakter
Elipson Horus 6B
Basic

We think

The finish is nice for the price - which is pleasantly low. Lacks dynamics and engagement. Impotent bass reproduction.

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