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ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 Speakers Review

Initial Impressions

As a dedicated audiophile, these Elac Uni-Fi UB5 speakers caught my attention, especially with their affordable price point of $280 when I picked them up. Considering the many speakers I have tried and tested over the years, I must admit that the Elac UB5s are probably the best speakers I have ever listened to.

As someone who values sound and material quality, the Elac Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelf speakers stood out, with their treble being clean and clear, albeit a bit laid back. Their mids are outstandingly detailed with slight imperfections, and the bass is commendable. I believe in delivering a genuine and unbiased review; hence, I will incorporate different viewpoints from my fellow audiophiles.

Power Requirements

It is pertinent to mention that these speakers require significant power on the hardware front. Compared to Klipsch RP600M, they need more power, but the 50W Emotiva A100 I paired them with drove them perfectly well. So, although the Elac Uni-Fi UB5s are supposed to require a lot of power, in practice, they can be driven by less substantial amps and still deliver. However, if you plan to extract the maximum potential from these speakers, I suggest pairing them with higher-end amplifiers, as doing so can certainly amp up the output.

Look and Feel

As for design aesthetics, let me assure you that the Elac UB5s are far from boring. Contrary to my initial expectations, they look pretty modern and stylish. The design features a gritty textured machined material that gives them a metal-like appearance. Their style has made them a chic addition to my room, transforming the area into a modernized audio space. In my opinion, Elac has done a commendable job in conceiving a contemporary design while preserving an aura of classic charm.

Retro Design

The aesthetic appeal of the UB5 might not be for everyone, with the cabinet being rather understated and not exceptionally exciting. They differ significantly from my KEF Q150s, maintaining a simple design that won’t steal the show but does the job nonetheless.

Elac Uni-Fi UB5 speakers

Audio Quality

When it comes to audio quality, the Uni-Fi UB5s are top-notch. They exhibit astounding clarity, which is why audio pops. Every tone accentuates with depth, giving an immersive experience to the user—ideally, the bass, mids, and treble balance to create a beautiful orchestration. I listened to various tracks in different genres and found the output quality equally impressive for each one.

Minor Drawbacks

Having mentioned all the positives, it’s only fair to shed light on some of my complaints. Firstly, I found that the Elac UB5s sound better loud, so for those who prefer to listen at lower volumes, these speakers might not be the best choice. Secondly, a minor issue arose when one speaker seemed to produce less sound than its counterpart, but a capable amplifier with a balance feature can effortlessly deal with this.

Despite such minor flaws, though, the overall performance of these speakers justifies not just their price tag but also the high praise they dominate.

Audiophile Delight or High Maintenance High-Fidelity?

From the outset, I was impressed by the UB5s’ 3D holographic sound and their expansive soundstage. They offer impeccable phasing and imaging, a mark of quality and precision engineering. However, it can’t be overlooked that these speakers demand quite a bit of power and perform best on a stable, 100 watts per channel, 4-ohm load. As I compared them to Klipsch RP-160s and R-15 M’s, I found the UB5’s sound slightly more suppressed but noticeably superior in accuracy, phase coherence, and detail.

Pros and Cons


  • Affordable
  • Outstandingly detailed & clear sound
  • Stylish design
  • Good bass


  • Sound better at higher volumes
  • Some power requirements


In conclusion, the Elac Uni-Fi UB5 speakers are a great bargain. Their breathtaking sound quality and stylish look make them an ideal choice for audiophiles looking to create an astounding audio experience without breaking the bank. Anyone fretting over their seemingly high power requirement can rest easy knowing they still perform well even with less powerful amps. After carefully comparing with speakers from several other brands, these ticked all the right boxes for me.

Bass Response
The Elac Uni-Fi UB5 delivers strong and clean bass. This heaviness will give music depth without overwhelming the other ranges. As a result, users have commended their bass performance, capable of questioning the presence of a subwoofer.
Treble Detail
This speaker's treble detail is smooth and detailed, but some users found it lacking in presence, resulting in having to strain a bit for high-frequency details. This, however, is a matter of personal preference as some listeners do prefer a more muted treble range.
Midrange Clarity
The Elac Uni-Fi UB5 rewards users with a detailed and forward midrange. Critical listeners might love this quality, as vocals and many instruments come out distinct and clear. However, some find it too forward leading to fatigue in long listening sessions, but again this comes down to personal taste.
The physical design of the Elac Uni-Fi UB5 is about average. One user described the cabinet as 'meh' and isn't something that would make a statement in your room decor. But it's quite solid performing its function in delivering audio without interference.
Sound Quality
The overall sound quality is good and reflects its price point. The speakers offer detailed midrange, a high-frequency range that could use additional presence, and solid bass. Sonic character varies with different amplifiers meaning it may not be an out-the-box solution for some users.
Value for Money
The Elac Uni-Fi UB5 offers a great catch for its price. Many appreciate its performance well above its budget-friendly price point. Although keep in mind, this does not include the additional cost that you might incur for a potent amplifier to bring out its best qualities.
Total Score
Rating Summary
The Elac Uni-Fi UB5 is a solid performer within its price range. It radiates a detailed and forward midrange that attracts listeners who love dissecting music layers. The speakers produce deep and clean bass, which adds body to your music. The treble, however, might need a bit more shine. But remember, this is more a matter of personal preference than an actual drawback. The speaker's physical design isn't something to write home about but does its job. This is not a plug-and-play speaker and will need a capable amplifier to sound its best. But going by its price, the UB5 offers delightful value for money, providing a budget-friendly entry into the audiophile world.