ELAC Uni-fi UB5 vs. Jamo S 803

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
$500 $330
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.81” × 7.94” × 12.19”
325mm × 202mm × 310mm
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 57-26,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget audiophile bookshelf speakers, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 presents a compelling case with its concentric driver design, promising a coherent and detailed soundstage. Meanwhile, the aesthetically pleasing Jamo S 803, part of the Studio 8 series, offers a lively and dynamic performance. Both speakers serve up a rich listening experience, but the ELACs edge out with their sophisticated midrange and smoother integration between drivers. The Jamos, on the other hand, have a more forgiving nature and a punchier bass, which might be preferable in less acoustically treated spaces. Choosing between them boils down to personal taste and room compatibility.

Speaker Comparison

When comparing the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 to the Jamo S 803 bookshelf speakers, we find ourselves at the intersection where precision meets aesthetics. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 brings to the table a sophisticated design with its concentric driver technology, which promises a time-aligned audio experience, while the Jamo S 803 manifests a modern Danish design that can blend seamlessly into any contemporary living space. In the realm of audiophile-grade listening, these two contenders have distinct approaches to how they fill a room with sound.

Sound Engineering

The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 is the brainchild of renowned audio designer Andrew Jones, and it showcases a 3-way design that separates the low, mid, and high frequencies effectively. The concentric driver, which houses a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter within a 4-inch aluminum midrange cone, is the star of the show, offering a point source for sound that maintains coherence and reduces phase issues. The 5.25-inch aluminum woofer complements this setup by delivering tight and accurate bass. In contrast, the Jamo S 803 utilizes a more traditional 2-way design with a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter and dual 5-inch polyfiber woofers, which focus on a dynamic and punchy sound profile that resonates well with contemporary music genres.

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

Aesthetic and Build Quality

The aesthetic of the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 is one that exudes a professional, no-nonsense vibe with its clean lines and classic boxy shape. It's built like a tank, with a thick MDF cabinet that reduces unwanted vibrations and a vinyl finish that is understated yet elegant. On the other hand, the Jamo S 803 is designed with a youthful edge, featuring wood grain accents and magnetic woven linen grilles that give them a refreshing Scandinavian look. Lightweight and sleek, the S 803s manage to feel both robust and stylish, making them a statement piece in any audio enthusiast's setup.

Performance in Listening Environments

When it comes to performance in a typical listening environment, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5s are precise and require a bit of power to truly shine. They excel in a room where critical listening is appreciated, and they can reveal the nuances in well-recorded tracks with aplomb. The Jamo S 803s, while they may not offer the same level of detail retrieval, project a wider soundstage and are more forgiving in terms of placement. They also have an easier time filling a space with sound, making them suitable for a variety of rooms and settings, from intimate listening spaces to larger social gatherings.

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Furthermore, the UB5's low-end response is tight and measured, perfect for listeners who crave accuracy over exaggerated bass. However, this may necessitate the addition of a subwoofer in larger rooms or for bass-heavy genres. The S 803s, with their dual woofers, have a more pronounced bass response that's sure to please those who prefer a little extra thump in their music, potentially foregoing the need for additional bass reinforcement.

Another consideration is the amplification. The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 speakers have an impedance of 4 ohms and are less sensitive, meaning they require a robust amplifier to reach their full potential. The Jamo S 803 speakers have an easier-to-drive 8-ohm impedance and are more sensitive, making them friendlier to a wider range of amplifiers and AV receivers, which could be an important factor for those with existing equipment or budget constraints.

In conclusion, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 and Jamo S 803 bookshelf speakers cater to different audiophile sensibilities. The UB5s are for the purists and detail-seekers, those who have a dedicated listening space and are willing to invest in the right amplifier. The S 803s, meanwhile, appeal to the design-conscious listener who values versatility and a lively sound that's both accessible and enjoyable straight out of the box. Ultimately, the choice between the two will come down to personal preference, the genres of music predominantly listened to, and the specific requirements of one's listening environment and system synergy.

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ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 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.