ELAC Uni-fi UB5 vs. MartinLogan Motion 35XTi

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
$500 $1500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.81” × 7.94” × 12.19”
325mm × 202mm × 310mm
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 50-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 and MartinLogan Motion 35XTi are both formidable contenders in the realm of high-fidelity bookshelf speakers. The UB5, with its concentric driver design, offers a cohesive soundstage and warmth that excels in midrange clarity, while the Motion 35XTi shines with its Folded Motion tweeter, delivering crisp, articulate highs and dynamic sound. The UB5's bass response is nuanced, yet the 35XTi edges ahead in low-end precision and room-filling power. Both cater to audiophiles, but the choice hinges on listener preference for ELAC's rich tonality versus MartinLogan's detailed, airy presentation.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, the speakers you choose can make or break the experience. Two standout contenders in the bookshelf category are the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 and the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, each bringing a unique set of features to the table. The former, designed by the acclaimed Andrew Jones, offers an affordable entry into high-end audio, while the latter boasts MartinLogan's reputation for precise sound reproduction.

Design and Build Quality

The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 features a three-way design that is relatively rare at its price point, housing a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter concentrically mounted within a 4-inch aluminum midrange driver, paired with a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer. Its MDF cabinet is robust, though the vinyl finish is more functional than decorative. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi exudes a more sophisticated air, with its distinctive folded Motion XT tweeter and a 6.5-inch aluminum cone woofer. The cabinet's reinforced baffle and luxurious real-wood veneer finish give it a premium feel that is visually striking.

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

Sound Quality

Sound-wise, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 delivers a cohesive and balanced audio presentation, thanks to its concentric driver arrangement. This design grants a more uniform dispersion of sound, resulting in excellent imaging and a wide sweet spot. The bass is respectable for a speaker of its size, though it may lack the depth that some larger models provide. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi shines with its signature tweeter, which produces incredibly detailed highs that never feel harsh or fatiguing. The larger woofer also provides a more authoritative low-end response, which can be a significant advantage for bass aficionados.

Performance and Power Handling

When it comes to power handling and sensitivity, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 can sometimes present a challenge to lower-powered amplifiers due to its 4-ohm impedance and modest sensitivity rating. It may require a bit more juice to reach its full potential. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi is easier to drive, with a more accommodating 8-ohm impedance and a higher sensitivity. This means it can perform admirably with a wider range of amplifiers, from modestly powered integrated units to more robust separates.

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi arrow (at Amazon.com)

In terms of overall performance, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 performs admirably for its class, especially at its price point. It has a talent for delivering nuanced textures and a soundstage that belies its compact size. However, in the same vein, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi is also a stellar performer, with an emphasis on revealing subtleties in music and offering an expansive soundstage that can fill a room with ease.

Value and Verdict

The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 brings exceptional value to the table, providing audiophile-grade sound quality that is difficult to beat without stepping into a significantly higher price bracket. It's a speaker that allows budget-conscious listeners to taste high-end audio without breaking the bank. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, while pricier, justifies its cost with its luxurious build and extraordinary sonic clarity. It serves as an ideal choice for those willing to invest in a more refined listening experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 and the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi comes down to personal preferences and priorities. For those prioritizing value and a balanced sound, the UB5 is a formidable option. For listeners who place a premium on exquisite detail and a more robust bass response, the Motion 35XTi stands out as a compelling choice. Regardless of the decision, both speakers are sure to elevate any audio system they join, providing countless hours of listening pleasure to their fortunate owners.

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ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker

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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.