What We Like
- Great value for the money.
- Linear response in high and mid frequency range.
- Good amount of power.
- Decent build quality.
What We Don’t Like
- Crude right out of the box.
Alesis Elevate 3 monitors offer a decent solution for budget users. These might not deliver on all fronts, but their core performance is on point. For less than $100, Alesis Elevate 3 are by far one of the best options.
Compared to other speakers in this price range, Alesis Elevate 3 come across as boxy and somewhat crude. With that said, they did go to a certain length to make these easy on the eyes. Cabs are standard MDF design and feature a relatively good build quality. If you care about aesthetics, chances are Elevate 3 will blend into whatever environment you put them in.
Alesis did a good job at utilizing the full potential of the archetypical black box speaker. On top of that, they added shiny plastic rings around the 3″ drivers, which also adds to the overall appeal. What matters the most is that you won’t get that rattle that usually plagues cheaper monitors.
It may not become apparent when you lay on the mids or trebles, but once the bass kicks in, you will know if it is there. Elevate 3 doesn’t have that problem for the most part. Lastly, each of the speakers is ported in the rear.
What you are looking at here is a set of active two-way speakers that pack some 60 Watts of power. Each speaker comes with one 3″ driver and a 1″ silk dome tweeter on top. The tweeter sits in a small but effective horn that helps to channel the sound. Elevate 3 active speaker features a volume knob on the baffle as well as headphones out. Once you look in the back, you will see a pretty basic configuration of ports.
There are RCA inputs available along with the passive speaker out and a 1/8″ stereo/sub output. What is interesting is the Bass Boost switch that should give you some extra range in the lower end of the spectrum. However, the practical value of that feature is rather questionable considering that you only have 3″ midrange drivers to take care of the bass frequencies. Alesis Elevate 3 come with magnetic shielding, which makes them that more suitable for use near computer monitors and other similar equipment.
If there is one word of warning you need to pay attention to, it is that Elevate 3 need to be broken in. Right out of the box, they will sound just a tad bit better than the cheapest set of computer speakers. Once you put them through their paces, they will start to gain range and clarity.
Speaking of which, mids and trebles are pretty impressive in this regard. You get a relatively flat response right to the point where the lows kick in. Even with bass boost, expecting a linear performance that low in the frequency range is wishful thinking at best.
Lack of bass doesn’t make them a great choice for general purpose use. However, Elevate 3 are still decent for bare bones monitoring. In terms of bang for the buck, you will hardly find a better set that comes at a price so low. Are there better monitors under $100? Definitely. However, different people have different budgets and these speakers are more than decent enough for those who need to tighten that belt a notch further.
Cheaper price often times means that you will have to accept certain compromises. That is the case with Alesis Elevate 3. However, once you get them going and you understand the limits of their capabilities, you’ill see their true potential.