Aperion Audio Intimus 5B vs. ELAC Uni-fi UB5

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
$450 $500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.00” × 6.75” × 8.00”
305mm × 171mm × 203mm
12.81” × 7.94” × 12.19”
325mm × 202mm × 310mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
80-20,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the world of high-fidelity audio, the Aperion Audio Intimus 5B and ELAC Uni-fi UB5 stand tall as compact titans. The 5B seduces with its lush, room-filling sound, courtesy of its silk-dome tweeter, offering clarity without fatigue. The ELAC, conceived by audio maestro Andrew Jones, counters with its concentric driver design, ensuring a precise soundstage and cohesively integrated mids and highs. Both speakers boast impeccable build quality and aural elegance, but the choice boils down to personal taste: the Aperion's warm, inviting character, or the ELAC's articulate, detailed presentation. Choosing between these bookshelf beauties isn't a matter of better, but rather, which flavor entices your audiophile palate more.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, speakers are the soul of your music system. Aperion Audio Intimus 5B and ELAC Uni-fi UB5 are two standout bookshelf speakers that have been turning heads in the audiophile community, and for good reason. Both offer a compelling blend of audio quality and value, but they also have their own unique strengths and character. In this comparison, we'll delve into the nuances that might sway you towards one or the other for your listening room or home theater setup.

Design & Build Quality

The Aperion Audio Intimus 5B boasts a classic design with a refined touch, featuring real wood veneer and a solid anti-resonant cabinet. These speakers exude a timelessness that's as much about high-grade materials as it is about aesthetic. By contrast, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 presents a more modern flair with its concentric driver design. The build quality is robust, but the vinyl finish doesn't evoke quite the same level of sophistication as the wood of the Intimus 5B. Nonetheless, both speakers are built with attention to detail and a focus on durability.

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers
Aperion Audio Intimus 5B arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality

When the music starts, the Aperion Intimus 5B sings with a lush midrange and a crisp, clean treble that never edges into harshness. The bass is tight and punchy, albeit not earth-shattering, making these speakers exceptionally well-suited for jazz, vocals, and acoustic genres. On the flip side, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 delivers a remarkably coherent and integrated sound, thanks to its concentric driver, which aligns the tweeter and midrange. This design yields an expansive soundstage and an engaging, immersive listening experience. The UB5's bass is surprisingly authoritative for its size, with a depth and control that belies its bookshelf form factor.

Turning to the high frequencies, Aperion's silk dome tweeter ensures a smooth, open top end without any trace of sibilance or fatigue during long listening sessions. The ELAC's custom-designed tweeter, part of the concentric driver, extends high-frequency response with a precision and airiness that can make well-recorded material positively sparkle. Both speakers handle the highs with finesse, but the ELAC's design offers a distinctive spatial quality that some might find more captivating.

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Compatibility and Power Handling

One critical aspect for potential buyers is how these speakers will fit into their existing systems. The Aperion Intimus 5B is quite efficient, pairing well with a wide variety of amplifiers and receivers. Whether you're powering them with a modestly powered integrated amp or a high-current monstrous receiver, they remain composed and responsive. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5, however, is a bit more demanding in terms of amplification. They thrive with a high-quality amplifier that can provide a solid grip on their lower impedance and more complex load. It's worth considering your current or planned electronics when choosing between these two models.

Connectivity and ease of setup are also part of the overall experience. Both the Aperion and ELAC offer robust binding posts that accommodate a variety of cable terminations. The Intimus 5B has a straightforward setup, with no unusual demands, while the ELAC's performance can scale up with better-quality source components and cabling, making it a potentially more future-proof investment as one's system evolves.

Value Proposition

Finally, the value proposition of these speakers cannot be overstated. Both Aperion and ELAC have managed to bring high-end sound to more accessible price points, and choosing between the two can feel like splitting hairs. The Aperion Intimus 5B offers a solid performance with a more traditional look and an easier impedance load, which may appeal to those looking for simpler integration into their home audio system. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 presents itself as an audiophile's dream with its sonic coherence and depth, but with the caveat that you'll need to invest more thought into the associated equipment.

In the end, the decision between the Aperion Audio Intimus 5B and ELAC Uni-fi UB5 comes down to personal preference and system compatibility. Both sets of speakers have their fans, and both have the potential to provide years of musical enjoyment. Whether your priority is the natural and engaging sound of the Intimus 5B or the detailed and expansive audio landscape of the UB5, you're in for a treat. As with all things audio, the best choice is the one that brings you closest to the music you love.

Check Current Prices:

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers
Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.