Dayton Audio T652-AIR vs. ELAC Uni-fi UB5

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
$250 $500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
30.00” × 7.10” × 9.50”
762mm × 180mm × 241mm
12.81” × 7.94” × 12.19”
325mm × 202mm × 310mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
45-20,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the clash of budget audiophile contenders, Dayton Audio T652-AIR towers bring remarkable scale and bass presence, thanks to their dual 6.5-inch woofers and airy AMT tweeter. They shine in larger rooms and suit those craving physicality in sound without breaking the bank. Conversely, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 bookshelf speakers, designed by the renowned Andrew Jones, offer a sophisticated 3-way design delivering a more refined and accurate soundstage. Their concentric tweeter-within-a-midrange configuration ensures cohesive timing and an impressively detailed performance in a compact form, ideal for intimate listening spaces. Listener preference and room size will dictate the victor.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to enhancing your home audio experience, the decision between tower speakers and bookshelf models can be a pivotal one. Today, we take a look at Dayton Audio's T652-AIR Tower Speakers and compare them to the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers, two contenders that promise to bring out the best in your music and movies. Both models cater to the audiophile who's conscious of budget without compromising on sound quality, but each brings its own distinct flavor to the listening room.

Design and Build: Standing Tall vs. Compact Elegance

The Dayton Audio T652-AIR carries the traditional look of tower speakers with its slim and tall profile. Standing at about 30 inches in height, they present a physical presence that's hard to miss in any room. The dual 6.5-inch woofers promise robust sound, while the "AIR" in the name indicates the use of Dayton Audio's Air Motion Transformer tweeter, designed for crisp, high-frequency response. In contrast, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 sports a more reserved and bookshelf-friendly design with its three-way speaker configuration. The concentric driver, which places the tweeter in the center of the midrange, is a statement of ELAC's design philosophy, marrying aesthetics with acoustic precision.

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR arrow (at

Sound Signature: Bass Presence vs. Analytical Purity

Dayton's T652-AIR doesn't shy away from delivering the kind of powerful bass that is often expected from tower speakers. The combination of twin woofers and a ported design results in a sound that can fill a room, leaning towards the warmer side of the spectrum. This makes them particularly well-suited for genres of music that benefit from a bit more heft in the low-end or an immersive home theater experience. On the flip side, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 approaches audio reproduction with an eye for detail and balance. The signature of these bookshelf speakers is one of nuance and precision. The UB5's excel in rendering the intricate layers of sound with a level of clarity that audiophiles with a taste for subtlety will appreciate.

Performance in Space: Room Considerations

Since the Dayton Audio T652-AIR towers are larger, they naturally require more space and are better suited for medium to large rooms where they can breathe and output their sound without constraints. Their ability to project sound can lead to a more immersive experience, especially if positioned correctly. Conversely, the compact nature of the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 makes them ideal for smaller rooms where space is at a premium. The UB5's also perform well when placed close to walls, thanks to their front-ported design, so they're a bit more forgiving in terms of placement.

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 arrow (at

Despite their differences, both the Dayton Audio T652-AIR and the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 have their own unique appeal. The T652-AIR towers offer an engaging listening experience with a more pronounced bass response, making them a solid choice for home theater setups and those who like their music loud and full. The ELAC UB5s, although smaller in stature, deliver an audiophile-grade soundstage with a focus on accuracy and detail that music lovers looking for fidelity above all else will treasure.

When considering power handling, the T652-AIR are relatively efficient and don't demand a high-powered amplifier to reach satisfying volume levels. They also have the advantage of producing deep bass without the need for a separate subwoofer, which can be an advantage in a simple stereo setup. The UB5s, meanwhile, with their advanced driver technology, can be a bit more demanding in terms of amplification to truly shine, but the payoff is a more pristine sound that can reveal the nuances in high-resolution audio recordings.

Ultimately, the choice between the Dayton Audio T652-AIR and the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 bookshelf speakers comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your listening space. The T652-AIR towers excel in creating a powerful and enveloping sound, while the UB5s aim to deliver audiophile-level performance in a compact package. Whichever you choose, both speakers are capable of elevating your home audio experience, each in their own distinctive way.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower 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.