ELAC Uni-fi UB5 vs. Sony SSCS3

Note: the 3D models above approximate the external volume of the speakers, and may not accurately reflect their shape.

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower Speakers
$500 $460
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.81” × 7.94” × 12.19”
325mm × 202mm × 310mm
36.30” × 9.00” × 10.25”
922mm × 229mm × 260mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 45-50,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the clash of titans between the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 bookshelf speakers and Sony SSCS3 3-way tower speakers, we're looking at an intimate audio affair versus towering presence. The UB5s, designed by the legendary Andrew Jones, boast a coherent soundstage with a concentric driver that delivers astonishing detail and depth for their size. Conversely, the Sony SSCS3 towers offer a grander scale of sound, with a bass reflex and super tweeter aiming for high-res audio across a wider listening area. Both have their merits, but your choice hinges on room size, listening preferences, and the tug-of-war between precision and power.

Speaker Comparison

In the realm of entry to mid-level speakers, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 bookshelf speakers and Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower speakers represent two philosophies in achieving high-fidelity audio within an accessible price range. The UB5s, designed by the renowned Andrew Jones, take a compact approach, packing a sophisticated concentric driver design into a bookshelf format. Sony's SSCS3 towers, on the other hand, stand tall, with a 3-way driver layout that seeks to fill a room with ease. Both are strong contenders, but their differences are substantial and worth exploring for any audiophile making a decision on their next purchase.

Design Philosophy & Build Quality

ELAC's Uni-fi UB5 speakers exude a serious commitment to build quality and audio performance. The concentric driver, a hallmark of Jones's design, allows for a more accurate time alignment between the tweeter and the woofer, promising a more coherent sound. Encased in a robust MDF cabinet, they feel substantial and well-constructed. Conversely, the Sony SSCS3 is a sleek, tall speaker that makes a visual statement. Despite its plastic front baffle, the towers are reasonably solid and designed to blend seamlessly into a modern living room.

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

Sound Signature & Performance

When we delve into the sonic characteristics of the UB5s, we discover a sound signature that is remarkably neutral with a hint of warmth, making them incredibly versatile for a wide array of musical genres. The midrange is particularly lush and engaging, while the highs are crisp without being piercing. Bass, though not ground-shaking, is tight and defined. The SSCS3s, on the other hand, boast a brighter sound profile with an emphasis on the upper frequencies. The mids are clear, but not as forward, and the bass, supported by the larger cabinet, is more pronounced but can be less controlled than the UB5's.

The UB5s shine in terms of imaging and soundstage, offering a holographic listening experience that is usually reserved for speakers at higher price points. Each instrument and vocal is placed with precision, creating a truly immersive experience. The Sony SSCS3s, while not as precise in imaging, provide a spacious soundstage that benefits from the vertical orientation of its drivers, offering a different kind of immersion, particularly in larger rooms.

Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower Speakers
Sony SSCS3 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Power Handling & Efficiency

Efficiency is another battleground for these two contenders. The UB5s, with their nominal 4-ohm impedance and 85 dB sensitivity, require a bit more power from an amplifier to reach their full potential. They reward the extra power with a rich and dynamic sound that belies their size. The Sony SSCS3s, with a 6-ohm impedance and a higher sensitivity of 88 dB, are easier to drive, making them a better match for less powerful amplifiers or AV receivers - a practical consideration for those with more modest electronics.

Value & Versatility

One can't discuss these speakers without touching on value. The UB5s, despite being bookshelf speakers, come at a higher price point but offer a sound that can easily rival floorstanders costing much more. They're also compact enough to fit into most spaces without dominating the room. The SSCS3s, while taller and more imposing, are surprisingly affordable for floorstanding speakers, making them accessible for individuals looking to fill a larger space without breaking the bank. In terms of versatility, the SSCS3s might edge out slightly due to their easier power requirements and larger sound dispersion.

In conclusion, choosing between the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 bookshelf speakers and the Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower speakers is less about which is better and more about what suits your listening preferences, room constraints, and amplification. The UB5s offer a refined, audiophile-grade experience with a smaller footprint, while the SSCS3s provide a more room-filling sound with a bit more flexibility on the electronics front. Both sets of speakers present compelling cases for their respective designs, each with their unique strengths that promise to elevate the listening experience for any music enthusiast.

Check Current Prices:

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower Speakers
Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower 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.