Epos Acoustics ELS 3 Bookshelf Speakers

4.7/5 (10 Reviews) MSRP : $399.00


Product Description

The first in a line of lower cost speakers, the ELS-3 mini monitor maintains the high standards expected of any product bearing the Epos name.
  • power handling: 100 watts
  • frequency response: 65Hz-20KHz
  • 4 ohms nominal
  • sensitivity: 87db


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    Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by DanTana1 a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: July 24, 2009

    Bottom Line:   
    I purchased these used off CL for a good price. After reading all the positive reviews, especially by Stereophile Magazine I wanted to try a pair. I had been using some decent (I thought) vintage speakers. Infinity Kappa's, Altec Valencia, Ohm C2, Jamo Coronet, Infinity Reference 2000.6. I had recently been to Best Buys Magnolia room and spent a few hours auditioning the Vienna Acoustics Hayden, Bach, Klipsh, Definitive Technology, Martin Logan, Mirage. I would probably compare the Epos ELS-3 closest to the Vienna Acoustics Hayden. I am driving them with a Sony TA-F700ES integrated amp, Oppo DVD, Sony PS-6 with SME3009 arm Ortofon MC cart, several tuners, Hitachi FT-8000, Denon TU-1500RDS, Carver 11A. I find the Epos to be an amazing speaker because of the imaging and I always feel I'm listening to a much larger speaker. I am using a Polk PSW-10 subwoofer with it, an amazing component in it's own right. The Epos bass response for a small bookshelf is excellent, not because it goes super low, and it amazes me when people think a small bookshelf should have 20 hz ratings, but that is extremely well detailed and coherent just like the rest of the bandwidth. The treble is never fatiguing and quite clear I don't crank them to ear splitting levels so I haven't experienced any grain or harshness, nor do I feel they are at alll rolled off. The ability of the Epos to extract the utmost information from your system and music will show any weaknesses in your system and reward you with it's strengths. The ability of these speakers to just disappear and create a wide and deep soundstage never ceases to amaze me, I have to keep looking and realize this beautiful music is coming from such tiny objects. Small they are but they have considerable heft to them, I was suprised how heavy they are.

    Lately I have also been listening to my Comcast music stations, and find the quality extremely good. I have been adding a new appreciation for the variety of music on there because I now have a true audiophile speaker to dissect the music and reveal it. I feel the Epos ELS-3 is up to the fine Sony TA-F700ES amp and it's ability to output the fine detail. Hearing the small nuances of a given song and badkground instruments and being able to focus on one or another and not lose it inside the rest of the song is amazing. One of my favorite all time albums is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon. Hearing all the voices in the background and the detail has given me new appreciation to the all time classic. For moderately loud listening levels it does a great job, The Beatles Sgt. Peppers was another new listening experience hearing the voices of McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, Starr was brought to a whole new level of realism. Don Henley's voice on Hotel California never sounded better.

    When I hear others talk about the Epos they compare them to speakers costing hundreds to a thousand dollars more, names like Harbeth, Rogers, B&W, Spendor, Magnepan, Vandersteen, Dahlquist, Martin Logan, Vienna Acoustics are just a few, and that is pretty heady company I think. The only speaker I might want to upgrade to now might be the Epos M16i that I've read other excellent reviews of, but for now I am extremely happy and sometimes just can't wait to turn on the stereo and begin listening to my music all over again, and find myself smiling as I listen to a newly familiar song again. I find that these will be the speakers that I compare all others to for now. Great things truly come in small packages.

    If you can find a pair of these for a reasonable price used, and now you should be able to for around $200.00 or under, I wouldn't hesitate. I think you'd have to spend 3-5 times more to match this speaker. I have to tip my hat to the owners and designers at Epos Acoustics for a truly great bargain product.

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   1 to 3 months

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2005



    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Justin Bentrup a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: July 16, 2008

    Bottom Line:   
    I wanted some bookshelf speakers for a small bedroom system and had a credit with Music Direct. Since I wasn't interested in anything else at the time I bought these. I have owned the Epos Els 3's for about a year and they do many things very well. They have a very clear midrange with good detail and texture on instruments. The Els 3's also image very well. They are of course limited on bass, but what do you expect from a 5 1/4" midrange?

    Compared to other speakers I have experience with I do sometimes tire of the sound of these speakers. I find their treble to be grainy and when turned up they become bright. I would recommend these speakers to someone who doesn't prefer to listen too loud and has a bias towards tubed gear. I would guess tubed gear might smooth out some of the perceived grain in the treble. The midrange driver is excellent; Epos would have a full-fledged winner if they would develop a smoother tweeter.

    Since the price of these speakers has risen to $400/pr, and assuming someone else wouldn't be bothered by the treble, I still think on the value side of things there are better options. With the midrange driver incapable of bass below 65 Hz these will always sound pretty light-weight even by bookshelf monitor standards which means a small subwoofer, at least, would be desired.

    For another $50 the Wharfedale Diamond 9.2's have a much sweeter (not rolled-off) treble; it has more clarity w/o grain or harshness when volume is increased. The bass is superior with maybe just a little less detail in the midrange. But that could be the result of the larger mid/bass driver (6 1/2"). This would alleviate the desire for a small sub, and top-to-bottom be more satisfying in my opinion. The Wharfedale's cherry vinyl and cabinet construction is also superior to that of the Epos.

    The Energy RC10 would also be a good consideration which has exceptional treble response and comparable midrange/midbass qualities to the Epos; the drawback is that it is $550/pr, so another $150 leaves your pocket. However, you are paying for really fine quality since you are getting real wood veneers, a more inert cabinet, and a kevlar midrange driver with a stationary phase plug (if the phase plug is attached to the center of the cone it has added mass which slows down the musical response of the driver and can also cause more non-linear cone motion producing distortion). Like the Wharfedale, it also can handle being turned up without compression or harshness.

    Once again, this conclusion is based on what you are getting for $400; at $330 the Epos was very good, and you can sometimes find good pricing from someone selling on audiogon or ebay. But if you want smooth treble that remains smooth when you turn up the volume look elsewhere.

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   More than 1 year

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2006

    Price Paid:    $330.00

    Purchased At:   Music Direct



    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by thymanst a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: September 8, 2007

    Bottom Line:   
    These speakers sparkle and are very balanced - I enjoy them very much - I have a lot of speakers and I ussually tire of one pair and then set up another - I havent changed speakers in 3 months! Vocals are great and the speakers really disappear - I have a pair of Infinity IL100s'ssubs to take care of the lower end (set up with RABOS these subs are tight and deep and blend perfectly- A true subwoofer bargain - I've had a couple of other subs - Velo cht12,polk,yamaha,klipsch, Velo FSR-15 and I could never get them to blend with pairs of monitors i've had) - I'm running the speakers off a Apple mac mini with a Behringer dac/jitter reducer, a Arcam a90 integrated with preout to a Musical fidelity Studio T amp.

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2004

    Price Paid:    $200.00

    Purchased At:   ebay



    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by jkroon a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: July 21, 2007

    Bottom Line:   
    Excellent value. Neutral, smooth, detailed sound. Not at all bright or harsh sounding unless you really crank the volume to their limits. These speakers LOVE acoustic recordings, but they sound great with all types of music. They project a wide and deep soundstage, image well, and work surprisingly well in a home theater despite their small size. I'm cured of upgrade-itis. I highly recommend these to anyone looking to put together a high quality stereo or surround sound system on a budget for small to medium sized rooms. Pair these with a good powered sub. Also, speaker stands are a must.

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   More than 1 year

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2005

    Price Paid:    $300.00

    Purchased At:   Audio Advisor



    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by E. van Aken a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: June 28, 2007

    Bottom Line:   
    If you listen to jazz this is a ideal speaker. The human voices sounds very good as well as piano's. You really get into a song and enjoy the music. The size is very nice and the speakers looks good without the grill.
    I allready had a powered subwoofer from Magnat, so the bass is excellent.
    Without the subwoofer the bass is light weightet. Also lounge music sounds very good with the beautiful midrange. Buy speakerstands from nexus.

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   More than 1 year

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2006

    Price Paid:    $300.00

    Purchased At:   Multifoon




    Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


    Budget Bookshelfs: EPOS ELS 3 or Wharfedale Diamnond 9.1s?

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    Epos ELS-3 and Wharfedale Diamond 9.1

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