Elac Discovery Z3 now shipping

I’ve been waiting to see if this is the solution to my active one-box Roon endpoint needs. The wait is over. Looks like it became available in the Elac US web store a couple of days ago. No sign of it on Amazon.



1 Like

Very cool. didn’t know they had a product like this in the making. Please post you impressions when you get it.

Is there a downside or shortcoming to using the Elac Discovery as the core? I believe it comes with the Roon subscription, which is half the price. I’m wondering if future upgrades to Roon would be downloaded by the Elac?

I guess the Elac as far as a DAC goes is overkill since I already have my Oppo-205 DACs + I also have the DAC inside my processor, both of which I can use as an endpoint.

I think that Elac runs a variant of Roon called Roon Essentials.

Yes I remember a thread about that when the Discovery launched- it’s a ‘stripped down’ version. But in any case we are talking about the new Discovery Z3 all-in-one here, not the Discovery streamer.

I’ve had my eye on this for a little while now, and I’m not sure the Discovery Z3 can run Roon Core. I think it’s “only” a Roon Ready endpoint. IAC, I can’t see anywhere on the web page that it can run the core. (@Rugby, are you thinking of the Discovery Music Server?)

@Greg_Hill1, please do post your impressions!

Yes, I was referring to the Discovery which is what I thought David was referring too as well.

Right. I’m talking about this:

Yes, that is what I was referring to.

Are you happy with the Z3 ?

For anyone considering considering the Z3, it’s currently on sale at Amazon in the US.

I ordered mine yesterday, using the rationale that my better half recently asked if we could have a Roon-connected speaker permanently in the kitchen (so it’s for her, not for me).

1 Like

I’m also looking for a Roon wireless speaker endpoint for the kitchen. Curious as to how you selected the Z3? Did you also look at the Bluesound Pulse 2i and the Muso QB (technically not an endpoint but will work with Roon via airplay)?

Yes, I looked pretty carefully at the Bluesound speakers. It’s the Pulse Mini 2i that’s directly price competitive with the Z3. Honestly, what put me off the Bluesound stuff was all the niggling complaints I’ve read about Bluesound products, many on this forum. (Could be I have an exaggerated idea of any issues, but that’s the impression I’ve gotten.)

The Muso QB is more expensive than the Z3 (significantly more at the sale price I got on the latter), and because of the physical layout in our domicile, I really “needed” something I could sync with the Roon Ready system in the living room, so AirPlay wouldn’t work for me.

With respect to reliable syncing between the living room and the kitchen, it seemed like the Z3 would be the safest bet, and the sale price was the clincher, as I’d been feeling like $500 was pushing it a bit for a Roon endpoint destined to live in our modest-sized kitchen.

I’ll know on Wednesday (if the scheduled delivery date pans out) if I made a good decision. I’ll post after I’ve had a chance to listen to the Z3 for a while.

Is this thing even Stereo?

Yes, it’s stereo, but everything’s in a small cabinet, so I’m not expecting superb imaging … which doesn’t matter a lot to me for the kitchen. I thought about doing Allo DigiOne/USBridge > DAC > wall-mounted pair of powered speakers in there, but I think one small cabinet is a better solution for our kitchen and what we do in there (mainly food prep/cooking, so we’re moving around). We don’t generally eat in there or even sit down much. The dining room, where we do most of our eating, is between the living room and the kitchen, and overall scale is small enough that syncing the systems in the living room and the kitchen should suffice nicely for background music in the dining room (if all works as I imagine).

Detailed Z3 specs are here, if you’re interested.

Damn. ignorance was definitely bliss in this case :slight_smile:

I’ve got absolutely no need for yet another active, practical speaker but…

1 Like

Well that all makes sense. I look forward to hearing your report on how it sounds. Thanks for the post!

The Discovery Z3 arrived a day early (thanks, Amazon), and I was able to set it up and listen for a couple-few hours yesterday.

Setup was a breeze. You need to download and install an iOS (in my case) or Android app. The app is very spartan, but it lets you connect the Z3 to your WiFi network, adjust EQ (and the brightness of the LED), and do firmware updates. (After I connected the Z3 to my WiFi network, it ran me through two firmware updates in a row, which was a little frustrating, but not difficult.)

(The iOS app’s functionality is duplicated on a Web page you can get to via the Z3’s IP address.)

Once the Z3 is on the network, it shows up as a Roon Ready endpoint in Roon’s audio settings. You just need to enable and name the endpoint, and you’re set to play music.

Out of the box, I found the sound from the Z3 to be quite bass heavy. This may have been caused in part by the Z3’s placement in my kitchen — within a couple of feet or so from the ceiling and about a foot from the wall in back of the unit. However, I tweaked the EQ to cut back on the bass and “bass enhancement” (whatever that may be) and boost the treble a bit, and things improved quite a bit. In the future, I may experiment with Roon’s PEQ to see if I can dial things in even better.

As tweaked right now, the bass is under control, and low bass response is surprisingly good for such a small enclosure. Midrange is a little fat for my taste — that’s the main thing I’d focus on with the PEQ — and the highs are pretty good. So all in all, not bad, and about as good as I could expect coming from a single box that’s 11.0" x 5.0" x 7.5" and positioned in a less-than-ideal location.

Roon’s signal path shows that the Z3 handles up to 24/192 (no DSD). I haven’t yet experimented with upsampling lower-res material, but that’s definitely something to try. Syncing with the nearby Roon zone in the living room works well and fills the surrounding space about as I’d imagined, which is great. There have been no problems so far (knock on wood) with streaming high-res material via WiFi to the Z3 (although my Eero Pro–based LAN provides good coverage and bandwidth throughout the house). If you’d like a wired connection, there’s an Ethernet port on the back of the Z3. (The Z3 can also work via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm analog connection, but I suspect those options will not be of interest to most Roon users.)

Volume is not an issue with the Z3 — it can play at overpowering levels in my kitchen, with no obvious distortion. In Roon, “Device Volume” works perfectly; volume can also be adjusted via front-panel controls on the unit.

This one’s a keeper.


Thanks for the detailed review. I have a similar situation, with my main AV system in a great room that includes the kitchen. The AV speakers are not pointed toward kitchen so I’ve been contemplating a wireless speaker there for listening during cooking. Initially, I thought it wouldn’t matter if it sync’d with the AV system, but now I’m thinking that having both play at the same time could provide some benefit. Or would a Naim or Devialet be so superior I wouldn’t need the AV system on at all?!?

In any event, with respect to Roon endpoints, It would be great to be able to do side-by-side with Pulse 2i, but that doesn’t seem likely so it’s a matter of taking a leap based on research and reviews like yours. If anyone has done a side-by-side I’d certainly be interested. The Bluesound would have to be a significant improvement to justify the much higher price.

Thanks again,