Edifier R1280DB vs. ELAC Uni-fi UB5

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
12.81” × 7.94” × 12.19”
325mm × 202mm × 310mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
55-20,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the world of immersive audio without breaking the bank, the Edifier R1280DB and ELAC Uni-fi UB5 stand as popular contenders. The Edifier offers a budget-friendly entry with versatile Bluetooth connectivity and a solid, balanced sound profile, ideal for casual listening environments. Meanwhile, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 steps up with a sophisticated 3-way design and audiophile-grade components, delivering a more detailed and accurate soundstage. While the UB5 may require a more substantial amplifier to unlock its full potential, discerning ears will appreciate its superior depth and clarity over the more accessible Edifiers.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the world of bookshelf speakers, the market is brimming with options that cater to audiophiles and casual listeners alike. Two notable contenders in this space are the Edifier R1280DB and the ELAC Uni-fi UB5, each with its own set of features that appeal to different ears. The Edifier R1280DB is an entry-level, powered speaker system that offers a solid combination of functionality and sound quality for those on a budget. On the flip side, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 is a passive speaker that sits at a higher price point, boasting superior build and sound quality for the discerning audiophile.

One of the main differences between these two bookshelf speakers lies in their power requirements. The Edifier R1280DBs are powered, meaning they have a built-in amplifier and don’t require an external one. This makes them incredibly easy to set up and use right out of the box, which is perfect for those who favor convenience. Conversely, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5s are passive speakers, which means they need to be paired with a separate amplifier or receiver. This allows for more customization and potentially better sound quality, but it does add an extra layer of complexity to the setup.

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB arrow (at Amazon.com)

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280DB speakers offer a modern, sleek design that can easily fit into most living spaces without much fuss. They come with a wood veneer paneling that gives off a contemporary look, but the overall build quality doesn’t quite reach the heights of more premium offerings. In contrast, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 speakers showcase a no-nonsense, professional design with a superior build quality that feels more robust and is likely to last longer. The UB5’s cabinet construction is engineered to minimize resonances, delivering a cleaner and more precise sound.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, the Edifier R1280DBs are impressive for their price point. They offer a balanced sound with decent bass response and clear mids, making them suitable for a variety of music genres. However, they do have their limitations when it comes to the depth and nuance of the audio they produce. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5s, in contrast, deliver a significantly more refined auditory experience. With a dedicated 5-inch midrange driver and a 1-inch soft dome tweeter, the UB5s produce a more detailed and accurate soundstage. The bass is tight and controlled, and the speakers excel in vocal clarity and instrument separation.

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

Functionality and Connectivity

The functionality of the Edifier R1280DB is one of its strong suits. With Bluetooth connectivity, multiple input options, and a remote control, users can enjoy a high degree of convenience and versatility. This is particularly appealing for those who might want to connect multiple devices without the need for manual switching. In comparison, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5s are more traditional in their approach, focusing purely on delivering high-fidelity audio without the additional features. This might be less convenient for some, but audiophiles who prioritize sound above all else won't mind the trade-off.

Price is another significant factor that sets these two speakers apart. The Edifier R1280DBs are positioned as affordable, offering great value for those looking to enhance their audio experience without breaking the bank. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5s, while more expensive, justify their price with their superior audio quality and build. They are an investment for those who are serious about sound and are looking for a speaker that can deliver performance closer to high-end models.

Ultimately, choosing between the Edifier R1280DB and the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 bookshelf speakers depends on what you value most in your listening experience. For the casual listener or those just starting to explore the audiophile world, the Edifier R1280DB offers an accessible entry point without the need for additional equipment. For audio purists willing to invest in superior sound reproduction and build quality, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 emerges as the clear winner, provided you're prepared to accommodate an external amplifier. Each speaker serves its audience well, fulfilling the varied demands of sound enthusiasts across the spectrum.

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Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB Powered 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.