Edifier R1280T vs. ELAC Uni-fi UB5

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
$120 $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
75-18,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of accessible high-fidelity sound, the Edifier R1280T offers a compelling package with its warm, balanced output and user-friendly features at a budget-friendly price point. Conversely, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 steps into a more advanced league, introducing an audiophile pedigree with its concentric driver design and sophisticated crossover network, promising a crisper, more detailed soundstage. While the R1280T impresses with its value, the UB5 edges ahead in pure sonic refinement and depth, catering to the discerning ear that seeks an immersive listening experience, albeit at a higher investment.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to setting up a home audio system, audiophiles often seek a balance between price and performance. Two popular choices on the market that embody this balance are the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers. Both of these models bring different strengths to the table, and understanding these can help you choose the right pair for your listening preferences.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280T speakers boast a classic aesthetic, with a wood veneer paneling that appeals to traditionalists. They're compact and fit easily on most bookshelves, making them ideal for small to medium-sized rooms. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5, on the other hand, sports a more modern look with its three-way design and sophisticated driver arrangement. Its build quality feels solid and robust, indicating a speaker that's built to last and perform consistently over time.

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality and Performance

When it comes to sound quality, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 shines with its impressive clarity and detailed soundstage. The concentric driver, which combines a 1-inch soft dome tweeter and a 4-inch aluminum midrange cone, ensures a cohesive sound that's both dynamic and precise. This makes the UB5 particularly well-suited for critical listening and a wide range of musical genres. The Edifier R1280T, with its 4-inch bass driver and a 13mm silk dome tweeter, offers a warm and pleasing sound that may lack the same level of detail as the UB5 but is nonetheless enjoyable for casual listening and everyday use.

Powering these two speakers reveals another stark difference. The Edifier R1280T is an active speaker with built-in amplification, which means you can plug them in and play without needing additional equipment. This feature makes the R1280T an excellent option for those seeking simplicity and ease of use. In contrast, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 is a passive speaker that requires an external amplifier or receiver, which can be seen as a benefit for audiophiles looking to tailor their sound with high-quality components, but it also adds to the overall cost and complexity of the setup.

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

Connectivity and Features

The Edifier R1280T offers straightforward connectivity, with dual RCA inputs that allow you to connect multiple audio sources simultaneously. Additionally, it comes with a remote control for convenient volume adjustments and input selection. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5, lacking built-in amplification, offers traditional binding posts for speaker wire connection. This means that while the UB5 can be part of a more complex and high-fidelity system, it doesn't have the same plug-and-play simplicity or extra features such as remote control, which some users might miss.

Price is a considerable factor for many buyers, and it's here that the Edifier R1280T stands out. These speakers offer great value for those on a budget, providing decent sound quality and features at a fraction of the cost of many audiophile-grade speakers. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 is significantly more expensive, but for the additional outlay, you're rewarded with superior sound quality that could satisfy even the most discerning listener. For those willing to invest in additional audio equipment, the UB5s have the potential to create an exquisite listening experience.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the choice between the Edifier R1280T and the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 comes down to personal preferences and priorities. If you're looking for an affordable, all-in-one solution with a warm, friendly sound signature, the Edifier R1280T could be the ideal starting point. For audiophiles ready to take their listening experience to the next level, with a more refined and articulate sound and the ability to customize their setup, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 is a worthy investment. Both speakers cater to different audiences, but each excels within its intended market niche, ensuring that whichever you choose, you're in for a delightful auditory journey.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T 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.