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Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim Bookshelf Speakers

SKU: unifi-BSU5-slim

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Beauty and the bookshelf.


Space constraints should never compromise great sound, and the Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim is the perfect solution when floor space is at a premium, but audiophile sound and refined good looks are not negotiable. Using the same outstanding driver and crossover components of its bigger brother, this compact, 3-way, bass-reflex monitor delivers the sonic signature of Uni-Fi in a smaller package.

$1,359.00

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A benchmark to celebrate 90 years of ELAC achievement.

Uni-Fi Slim are the latest additions to the Uni-Fi family of bookshelf, floorstanding and center-channel speakers. The Slim series brings a sophisticated European flair to Uni-Fi, with cabinets that are slimmer, taller and deeper than the originals. And each comes in a high-quality satin painted black or white finish to complement the most elegant décor.

Like the originals, each model in the Slim series is designed by Andrew Jones, and employs the same concentric driver responsible for the award-winning sound of Uni-Fi. Ideal time-domain characteristics result from combining a tweeter and midrange diaphragm within a single voice coil—delivering the most coherent and accurate reproduction across the treble and midrange frequency spectrums. Importantly, Uni-Fi Slim sounds exactly the same as Uni-Fi, employing an identical driver complement, crossover, internal cabinet structure and volume. Only the shape and cabinet are even more refined, featuring a smaller footprint and smooth, satin finish.

ELAC’s chief engineer Andrew Jones explains how Uni-Fi Slim speakers are built on the same foundation: “My goal with the original Uni-Fi series was to create a line of speakers with technology and performance normally reserved for speakers costing significantly more, by going with a 3-way design and employing a new in-house developed concentric driver. With Uni-Fi Slim, design-conscious listeners can enjoy the same outstanding sound along with more elegant proportions ad slim, high-quality cosmetics.”

Uni-Fi Slim can be the basis of an outstanding two-channel system, or used to build an awe-inspiring multi-channel surround-sound system. Add an ELAC subwoofer for the last word in music and movie soundtrack reproduction.

Beauty and the bookshelf.

Space constraints should never compromise great sound, and the Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim is the perfect solution when floor space is at a premium, but audiophile sound and refined good looks are not negotiable. Using the same outstanding driver and crossover components of its bigger brother, this compact, 3-way, bass-reflex monitor delivers the sonic signature of Uni-Fi in a smaller package.

A new chapter in coherent, concentric sound.

All three Uni-Fi loudspeakers—bookshelf, floorstanding and center-channel—employ a concentric driver. Because of its ideal time-domain characteristics, a concentric design—combining a tweeter and midrange diaphragm within a single voice coil—delivers the most coherent and accurate reproduction across the treble and midrange frequency spectrums. Because of their high cost, concentric drivers are traditionally used in only the most expensive speakers.

ELAC’s chief engineer Andrew Jones explains how Uni-Fi speakers build on a new foundation: “My goal with the Uni-Fi series was to create a line of speakers with technology and performance normally reserved for speakers costing significantly more. By going with a 3-way design and employing a new in-house developed concentric driver, I’ve achieved a sound that is more true to the music than similar priced products.”

Uni-Fi can be the basis of an outstanding two-channel system, or used to build an awe-inspiring multi-channel surround-sound system. Add an ELAC subwoofer to rock your world of music and movies like you never imagined.

Custom-designed concentric driver

The delicacy of a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter and the harmonic accuracy of a rigid aluminum 4-inch midrange cone come together in a symphony of sonic perfection. Positioning the tweeter concentrically within the midrange voice coil achieves a uniform directivity pattern, for flat frequency response and formidable power handling, along with enhanced imaging for both on- and off-axis listening positions.

Balanced three-way design

A three-way speaker offers many advantages in the design of a full-range system. By assigning dedicated drivers to high, mid- and bass frequencies, each is optimized for the frequency range for which its design and material composition is best suited. Drivers like the groundbreaking concentric midrange-tweeter of the Uni-Fi series perform at their best, while larger, aluminum-cone woofers handle the frequency ranges in which they perform best. At the same time, a three-way speaker complement allows for a more straightforward crossover and cabinet design, eliminating complex and costly solutions.



Robust cabinets

Every Uni-Fi enclosure is engineered for the long run with thick MDF outer walls and a luxurious textured vinyl finish. The Uni-Fi cabinets incorporate specially designed internal bracing to add stiffness and strength to the cabinet’s outer walls. This bracing greatly reduces cabinet vibration, which causes unwanted coloration to the sound. ELAC believes that the only parts of a speaker that should be moving are the speaker drivers themselves.



High quality base and feet

An outrigger base design used for the UF5 provides a larger, more stable footprint and adds stability and optimum coupling of the speaker cabinet to the floor. Molded knobs dial in precise leveling of the four corners, which are supplied with metal spikes and spike stands, used according to whether the loudspeaker is placed on a soft or hard floor surface.



Sophisticated crossover

One secret to the great sound of the Uni-Fi series are the high quality, audio-grade components specified in the manufacture of each custom, three-way crossover, the careful design of which is essential to smooth transition between the drivers. The best crossovers are the ones in which the sonic landscape—from lowest fundamentals to highest highs—becomes seamless. This is the sound of Uni-Fi.



Sophisticated aluminum woofer

Through the use of aluminum, resonances that affect the linearity of common paper cones can be placed beyond the driver’s operating frequency range. An extended size magnet with vented pole piece increases power handling, for accurate reproduction of bass frequencies that are clean, clear and powerful.



Custom-designed binding posts

The custom terminals provide flexibility of speaker wire connections and ensure optimal electron transfer from speaker cables to the speaker itself. Details like this make the difference!

Magnetically attached fabric grilles

When the protective grille is removed, hidden magnets beneath the surface of the cabinet keeps the front panel free of attachment holes, for a clean appearance.

Specifications

Speaker type: 3-way, bass reflex
Tweeter: 1 x 1-inch soft dome, concentrically mounted
Midrange: 1 x 4-inch aluminum cone
Woofer: 1 x 5.25-inch aluminum cone
Crossover frequency: 270 / 2,700 Hz
Frequency response: 46 to 25,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 85 dB at 2.83 v/1m
Recommended amplifier power: 40 to 140 wpc
Peak power handling: 140 wpc
Nominal impedance: 4 Ω; minimum 3.4 Ω
Binding posts: 5-way custom
Magnetic shielding: No
Cabinet finishes: Black or white white satin paint finish
Accessories included: Magnetic fabric grille
Dimensions (WxHxD):  7.87″ x 12.75″ x 10.75″

Resources

Reviews

Customer Reviews (2)

Elac’s trim, designed-for-Europe standmounters promise you and your music collection a good timeReview by WHAT HIFI?
Product Rating
Elac’s new speaker range should come with a Slimming World badge to acknowledge the fact they carry a little less weight than most speakers that arrive in our test rooms. The clue is in the name: the Uni-Fi BS U5 Slims are indeed slim speakers.

The new Uni-Fi Slim range, comprising a pair of floorstanders, a centre channel and these Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim standmounters, is the latest brainchild of British speaker designer Andrew Jones.

It’s a narrower (albeit taller and deeper) ‘European-friendly’ version of the brand’s Uni-Fi series.

BUILD AND COMPATIBILITY


Though we wish some of the trimming had gone into that mouthful of a name, we can’t argue with the design logic. No wider than the speaker stands we position them on, the Uni-Fi BS U5 Slim’s cabinets are an interior designer’s delight.

They play to the all-white decor fad and are structurally compact, with a smart and sophisticated driver-dominated baffle.

Essentially, Elac has taken its Uni-Fi series and added a sprinkling of elegance (or, as ELAC puts it, "sophisticated European flair") to the design – firstly with their slim proportions, and secondly by swapping out the black brushed-vinyl wrapping for a satin-black or -white finish.



But on the inside, the Slims are the same as their UB5 big brothers, and engineered to have the same sound. While the cabinets are indeed of different proportions, they supposedly both have the same cabinet volume.

These three-way speakers – an unusual configuration in a design of this size and price – employ the same crossover components, as well as the same dual-concentric driver.

This sits above the 13cm aluminium bass driver and essentially merges two drivers into one - the 2.5cm cloth dome tweeter is positioned concentrically within a 10cm aluminium midrange. The desired effect is a more even dispersion of sound, and firmer stereo imaging from wide listening angles.


The intention is actuality, too, the benefits of the concentric driver coming to the fore as we kick off with a live recording of R.E.M’s Perfect Circle.

They stretch their arms bear-hug-wide to deliver a lovely spread of sound, and that big, involving and open soundstage isn’t crushed when you place the Uni-Fis near a wall, either (which we recommend doing, by the way).

They err naturally on the lean side of even, so ideally you’ll place them 10cm or so from a wall to get a more solid foundation, and a helping hand tonally. Toeing them in also firms up the stereo image.

The rival Award-winning Dynaudio Emit M20s may be heartier, more solid and powerful, and their burlier sound makes more of a meal of the track’s introductory crowd applause.

They are also capable of the low-end depth and authority to really put their foot through the anchoring bass guitar line, but beyond that schooling the Elacs have no major flaws.



That concentric driver also ensures satisfying cohesion between the mid- and high frequencies, though below that point the bass seems a little detached from the fold.

Over to Broken Bells’ Leave It Alone, and there’s the dynamic attention to reveal the fluctuating variation in acoustic string plucking, and the insight to earnestly communicate the distorted crooning of James Mercer (of The Shins fame).

Here, the combination of both draws you into one of the simpler, more modest melodies on the band’s album, but the Elacs also have the agility to do justice to the duo’s more upbeat tracks. That's also the case with the headlong jagged synths in The Knife’s Silent Shout. That said, the Dynaudios and Arcaydis EB1S do have a knack for carrying a rhythm track with greater rigour.

The Elacs show that you don’t have to be physically big to pack a punch. Again, despite the bass thump in Kendrick Lamar’s Institutionalized not being able to plumb quite the depths others reach, the authoritative snappiness of the beat riding over it has the ability to make you sit more upright in your seat.


VERDICT
At this price there are plenty of options in the speaker market, with the likes of Dynaudio sitting pretty at the top of the pile with a killer combiination of transparency, precision and authority.

But there’s a lot to be said for a trim, aesthetically pleasing pair of speakers that are open-sounding, fast and agile and, for those victims of circumstance, can play ball near a back wall.

If the word ‘stylish’ ranks highly on your priority list for new speakers, and is somewhere just above or below ‘fun’, the Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 Slims are a good shout indeed.
(Posted on 18/05/2017)
The ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 loudspeakers offer the best performance of any speaker we've seen for the money. They deliver deep, tight bass; an effortless midrange and sweet highs. The soundstage is wide and unexpectedly deep.Review by c-net
Product Rating
THE BOTTOM LINE Paired with high-quality components, the ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 sounds much better than you have any right to expect from a speaker of this size and price.

The ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 is one of the best speakers we've seen in the last few years, but like any performer worth paying for, it has its quirks. If you exercise some care on pairing the Uni-Fi UB5 with a decent receiver or amplifier, you will be rewarded with true hi-fi performance. This speaker offers compact size and extraordinary sound quality for an affordable price.

Full Review:
https://www.cnet.com/products/elac-uni-fi-ub5/
(Posted on 22/12/2016)

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