By now, you may have heard of the HK Elements. To review these piece by piece would be unfair, as the configurations are endless. Instead, I want to review the experience of versatility and sound quality which make them so gosh darn attractive.
At first glance, you’ll see that there’s several pieces in the Elements series. Small 10” powered and/or passive subwoofers that pack a wallop (seriously, shook my house), small drivers in slim arrays that snap together like legos, amps that match the look to power additional mid/high units, poles to elevate said mid/high units and even carry the signal so no wires show, and bases.
Scrap the bases. Even HK recommends to avoid those for DJ use. It seems that when you have a tall, thin speaker, your guests believe it is a pole to lean on. The bases look really clean, but unless you’re on a stage, don’t risk it. Instead, use the subwoofer as it allows you to install the mid/high units directly to it, or elevate them via the superhandy-dandy poles.
Versatility is this system’s biggest advantage: I used one powered sub which also powered two mid/high units for a small teacher conference of 75-100 people. Honestly, I could’ve done it with just ONE mid/high unit, but I liked the looked of two.
I did a wedding of 75 people and used two subs with one mid/high unit on each one. The bass was beyond powerful and I even turned it down a tad. It was a refreshing combination of clean, yet powerful bass, but we’ll talk about sound quality later.
Got a bigger system? Pair up a passive sub to be powered by its amped twin and then use the small amp pack and mid/high units, which are designed to look the same, for a powerful system that can handle a lot of event applications. Put this combination on both sides of the dance floor and you’re going to feel like a DJ god. I know I did.
I fell in love with this system at InfoCOMM when I saw four subs and six mid/high units stacked together—times two. As I used the configuration I had, I almost wept thinking about what the stack from InfoCOMM could do at an event.
So yes, I can’t make this any clearer: The HK Elements have UNLIMITED combinations. The best part is portability, as I could bring a nice LOUD rig and fit it in my car without even harnessing my Hispanic packing skills. It just fits in nicely. The mid/high units are super small and you can get 6-8 of them (or their matching amps) on the floor of your car. It’s ridiculous how portable they are and even more so when you see how quick they are to set up.
I had a rental where I needed to provide sound and a mic for 50 people. Normally, I set up a speaker, plop it on a tripod, and run the wiring down the back of the tripod so no one sees it. This takes 2-3 minutes to look super clean. With the HKs, I plugged in the subwoofer (so no cables needed to be hidden), snapped the pole on the sub, and locked in two mid/high units (called E435) and I was done. Literally less than 45 seconds and I was set up and ready to go. Just had to plug in the wireless mic.
Did I mentioned it looked SO much better than a speaker on a stick?
This comes in real handy for ceremonies, too. I like to hide the equipment but not the sound itself, so I placed the subwoofer on a small wall out of the way but near the guests and locked in a mid/high unit right on top. Setup time? 20 seconds and it was INCREDIBLE how great it looked and sounded.
I really wish more people sold these so you could hear them. With a flat EQ, the bass tones were rich and deep, mids were pronounced with no muddy vocals, and the highs complemented perfectly. I played my favorite Sinatra song (“Fly Me To The Moon”) and amid the lush fusion of highs, mids, and lows in the song, each was distinctly identifiable, yet blended together in perfect harmony. Yes, this indeed could be the PERFECT speaker system.
The HK Element is NOT a limited design, letting you continue adding on to it as your event needs grow. You scale it up or down based on the event without having to buy a whole new system. The best part of this is that *if* a unit fails, you just replace one small component, rather an entire system.
Shop around and you know that when it comes to quality, affordability, and small size, you only get to choose two. With the HK Elements system, they opted for quality and a small compact size. That’s right, folks, this is NOT a cheap system. Then again, Bentley isn’t a cheap car, and Rolex isn’t a general store watch either. We’re talking about a speaker line that screams luxury. We’re talking about a truly sexy speaker system that turns heads and turns ears. My clients DID notice a difference. http://hkaudio.com
Filed Under: Issue #146, Issues from 2012, Music, Sound
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