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ELAC Uni-Fi UC5

Center channel speaker

11 Reviews | 1 question - 4 answers

Overview

Our take on the ELAC Uni-Fi UC5

Great home theater sound begins with crisp, clear dialogue and engaging special effects. That means having a top-notch center channel speaker like ELAC's Uni-Fi UC5 in your system. This tidy, unassuming looking speaker packs a real wallop, giving you the power and performance needed to anchor your home theater system's front soundstage to the action on your TV's screen. And since the UC5 was created by renowned speaker design guru Andrew Jones, you can count on true audiophile-quality performance for a steal. 

The center of attention

Great home theater sound begins with crisp, clear dialogue and engaging special effects. That means having a top-notch center channel speaker like ELAC's Uni-Fi UC5 in your system. This tidy, unassuming looking speaker packs a real wallop, giving you the power and performance needed to anchor your home theater system's front soundstage to the action on your TV's screen. And since the UC5 was created by renowned speaker design guru Andrew Jones, you can count on true audiophile-quality performance for a steal. 

What's this center channel's secret?

ELAC concentric driver

The ELAC concentric driver places its tweeter at the center of its midrange cone for enhanced imaging and clarity.

In part, the UC5 owes its clear, detailed sound to a custom-designed concentric driver. Conventional speakers place the midrange and tweeter in different locations on the front baffle — causing their sound to reach your ears at slightly different times, and smearing subtle details. Instead, the UC5's concentric driver places a 1" soft dome tweeter directly in the center of a 4" aluminum midrange cone. This precise alignment creates a "unified source," ensuring that all frequencies arrive at your ears at the same instant, producing a more coherent and accurate sound.  

How about that bass?

The UC5 uses two custom-designed 5-1/4" aluminum cone woofers to supply articulate bass that blends in precisely with the concentric driver. The woofers' large magnets and vented pole pieces increase power handling for bass that's clean, clear, and powerful. Dual rear-firing ports extend bass performance, but keep it tight and tuneful.

Crossovers — the unsung heroes 

I don't usually mention a speaker's crossover. That's partly because crossovers are not very glamorous, and to be honest, it's also because many of them aren't really worth mentioning in the first place. But proper crossovers are never an afterthought with a well-designed speaker. In fact, they're one of the most critical elements in any speaker's design and sound, and potentially, one of the most costly.

When Andrew Jones passed around a crossover from one of his Uni-Fi speakers, it was remarkably substantial — chock full of large, high-quality capacitors, precision resistors, and massive copper coils embedded on a heavy PC board with thick copper traces. The fact that ELAC was willing to spend their resources on something that's inside their speakers, where you can't even see it, speaks volumes to the integrity of their designs.    

Product Highlights:

  • true 3-way center channel speaker design
  • custom-designed 1" soft dome tweeter concentrically mounted in a 4" aluminum cone midrange
  • two custom-designed 5-1/4" aluminum cone woofers
  • frequency response: 48-25,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 85 dB
  • impedance: 4 ohms
  • maximum power input: 140 watts
  • sophisticated multi-element crossover with high-grade components to ensure smooth transition between drivers
  • bass-reflex (ported) cabinet design
  • thick MDF enclosures with internal bracing reduces cabinet vibration that causes unwanted sonic coloration
  • 5-way binding post speaker terminals
  • magnetically attached cloth grille
  • black brushed vinyl finish
  • 18-3/4"W x 7-7/8"H x 10-3/4"D
  • weight: 23.3 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Center-channel loudspeaker
  • Grille
  • Operating Instructions

Works well with Uni-FI UF5

Charles, Livingston, NJ

Reviews

ELAC Uni-Fi UC5 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(11 Reviews)

ELAC Uni-Fi UC5

Charles from Livingston, NJ on 12/1/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works well with Uni-FI UF5

Pros:

Cons:

I think I need a bigger stand

David from Tampa, FL on 8/29/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sound? Fantastic - I have this paired with the ELAC UniFi UF5 floor speakers and a DT ProSub 800, plus some ceiling speakers. Super clear sound. My only gripe is that this thing is BIG, like it's bowing my media stand in the middle. Definitely not something you'd mount to a wall unless you used some heavy duty anchors.

Pros: sounds great, crisp clear voices for movies, great separation

Cons: pretty big for a center speaker

I do recommend these speakers.

Dennis from Charleston, WV on 6/18/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought the UC5 to replace a Cambridge Soundworks MC-500 whose tweeter had burned out. I liked the MC-500. I used three of them across the front of my home theater. They have been discontinued for a while now, so I needed to look elsewhere. After doing some research I decided on the UC5 center speaker. I'm glad I did. It has a warm and detailed sound and dialogue is much clearer than what I have been used to. As soon as I can save the money I'll be replacing the front left and right speakers with matching Uni-Fi speakers. I like the Uni-Fi UC5. I do recommend these speakers.

Pros: Clear dialogue with a warm detailed sound.

Cons: Haven't found any yet.

ELAC Uni-Fi UC5

audioful from Biloxi, MS on 4/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had to replace a older high end center channel due to cabinet replacement. The Elac center surprised me with it's clarity, depth of sound and overall quality in build also sound. Crutchfield customer service over the phone was professional. knowledge of product is top notch.

Pros: sound construction great customer service

Cons: none

ELAC Uni-Fi UC5 each

Anonymous from Macon, GA on 1/26/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This UC5 was purchased as an open box sale. By the time it got delivered to me, it was in the scratch and dent category. These boxes are good for one shipping trip at the most. It arrived with the bottom of the box open and damage to one if the back corners of the speaker. I'm not sending it back mainly because the damage will not show once installed. ELAC needs to ship their products in sturdier containers. Crutchfield needs to be a little more honest with the condition of the products they sell. It does sound very good though so I gave it 4 stars anyway.

Pros:

Cons:

Excellent speaker for music and dialogue

Barry from Charlottesville, VA on 12/26/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I added the UC5 center speaker to a pair of ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelf speakers and am very satisfied with the result. The UC5 added more depth when listening to music and significantly improved the clarity of dialogue when watching TV. It is a large speaker and I had to raise my TV to prevent the speaker from obstructing the screen.

Pros: Very clear dialogue. Music sounds full.

Cons: Speaker is large and heavy. TV may need to be raised to prevent screen obstruction.

ELAC Uni-Fi UC5

Anonymous from Staten Island NY on 12/24/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Made a huge difference in separating voice from bass & treble. Can really hear the voices now. Don't need subtitles as much

Pros:

Cons:

Great sounding center speaker

Tom from Warren, OH on 11/8/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm slowly upgrading my system and added a UC5 center and SVS 2000 sub and what a difference that made. The UC5 really cleared up the voices over the last center speaker I had. My next move will be 4 unify UF5 tower speakers for my 5.1 system. I'm really impressed with the small upgrade I have done so far. My amp is a Denon AVR S700 which I'll replace last.

Pros: Sound, good build quality for the price.

Cons: Non so far.

ELAC Uni-Fi UC5

Anonymous from Bend, OR on 9/26/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great sound, great design, great price

Pros:

Cons:

Center Speakers

Charles from Tulsa, OK on 9/7/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A noticeable improvement in the clarity of dialogue and an enhanced sound field. This speaker along with my ELAC UNI FI SB 5 has improved the overall listening experience.

Pros: Sound quality.

Cons: None worth mentioning

UC5 Received today

Bill from Memphis, TN on 7/25/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Received my UC5 today. I currently have a Unifi B5 front speakers and Debut B5 surrounds. Also using Onkyo SKH-410 Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers and a Denon x2200w. (No need to upgrade to the Elac Dolby enabled speakers at this time.) Went through the Audessey setup and so far experimenting a bit. While the receiver is up to the task, I am now considering updating my one year old receiver to a higher watt per channel capability. Not sure I couldn't have gotten by with with the Debut C5 but I think it was worth keeping the concentric speakers across the front. Tested the Dolby demos and I must say it is an immersive experience and well worth the trouble. Up until I went to the Elac speakers and the Denon receiver, I had a mish-mash of speakers. The clarity worth it to me and I can only imagine the Audiofiles who spend thousands of dollars for the aural experience. For my pocket book I'm good.

Pros: Clean clear sound.

Cons: Have to up my audio level on the receiver due to the 4 ohm and 6 ohm speakers. Not a problem as I am not close to maxing the volume but I will likely upgrade my receiver in the next 6 months for some additional headroom.

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Tweeter Soft-dome
Midrange size (inches) 4
Woofer size (inches) 5-1/4
Connector Type Post
Power Range 40-140
Sensitivity 85 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 4
Frequency Response 48-25k Hz
Height (inches) 8
Width (inches) 18-13/16
Depth (inches) 12
Weight 23.3 lbs
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years

Product Research

Features

3-Way Speaker Design: The Elac Uni-Fi UC5 center-channel loudspeaker employs a 3-way design with a new in-house developed concentric driver. A 3-way speaker offers many advantages in the design of a full-range system. By assigning dedicated drivers to high, midrange, and bass frequencies, each is optimized for the frequency range for which its design and material composition is best suited. The UC5 center-channel speaker consists of a concentric midrange-tweeter driver for high and midrange frequencies, while two aluminum-cone woofers handle lower-frequency midbass and bass. At the same time, a 3-way speaker allows for a more straightforward crossover and cabinet design.

Custom-Designed Concentric Driver: The Elac Uni-Fi UC5 center-channel loudspeaker employs a concentric driver design, combining the 1" soft-dome tweeter and 4" midrange cone diaphragm within a single voice coil. Because of its ideal time-domain characteristics, a concentric driver design delivers the most coherent and accurate reproduction across the treble and midrange frequency spectrums. Positioning the tweeter concentrically within the midrange voice coil achieves a uniform directivity pattern, for flat frequency response and formidable power handling, along with enhanced imaging for both on- and off-axis listening positions.

Dual Aluminum Woofers: In addition to the concentric midrange-tweeter driver, the Elac Uni-Fi UC5 features two 5.25" aluminum cone woofers. Through the use of aluminum, resonances that affect the linearity of common paper cones can be placed beyond the driver's operating frequency range. An extended size magnet with vented pole piece increases power handling, for accurate reproduction of bass frequencies that are clean, clear and powerful.

Sophisticated Crossover: One secret to the great sound of the Uni-Fi series loudspeaker is the high quality, audio-grade components specified in the manufacture of each custom, 3-way crossover. This careful 3-way crossover design provides a smooth transition between the high, mid, and bass drivers.

Note: Optimal results for the center speaker are obtained by setting your AV receiver's center channel size to small. If given the choice, set the crossover frequency between 50 to 100Hz.

Dual Bass Ports: The Elac UC5 center-channel loudspeaker utilizes a bass reflex enclosure with two rear-firing flared ports for greater efficiency and bigger bass response.

Robust MDF Cabinet: The Uni-Fi speaker enclosure is engineered for the long run with thick MDF outer walls and a luxurious textured vinyl finish. The Uni-Fi series cabinet incorporates specially designed internal bracing to add stiffness and strength to the cabinet's outer walls. This bracing greatly reduces cabinet vibration, which causes unwanted coloration to the sound. ELAC believes that the only parts of a speaker that should be moving are the speaker drivers themselves.

Magnetic Grille: When the protective grille is removed, hidden magnets beneath the surface of the cabinet keeps the front-panel free of attachment holes, for a clean appearance.

Binding Posts: The Elac Uni-Fi series center-channel loudspeaker is fitted with a set of heavy-duty, binding-post terminals which will accept bare-wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, and banana plugs (single only).

Placement & Mounting Options: The center-channel speaker should be placed directly above or below the center of your TV screen. It can rest on a flat surface like a table top, shelf, or stand. Try to keep the center-channel as close to the same level as your front speakers for a more even soundstage. If this is not possible, you might try tilting the center speaker up (if too low) or down (if too high) to aim it wards the listening area. The speaker should be positioned approximately 1' to 2' away from boundaries, such as walls or corners.

Note: The center-channel speaker does not offer wall-mount capability.

Elac Uni-Fi Series: The Elac Uni-Fi series family of loudspeakers consists of a floorstanding loudspeaker, a bookshelf loudspeaker, and a center-channel loudspeaker (all sold separately). All of the Uni-Fi series of speakers feature concentric driver technology. The Uni-Fi series can be the basis of an outstanding two-channel system, or used to build an awe-inspiring multi-channel surround-sound system.

Optional Powered Subwoofer: Add an ELAC powered subwoofer (sold separately) to the Uni-Fi series to bring more bass to your movie and music soundtracks.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Research and rec from Marshall. [ David  Jan 12, 2018 ]
Good reviews [ Francisco  Dec 29, 2017 ]
Internet research [ Ryan  Nov 27, 2017 ]
Great reviews from different sources. [ Santos  Sep 01, 2017 ]
To match my Elac Uni-Fi UF5 Floorstanding speakers. [ Timothy  Apr 04, 2017 ]
Online reviews [ DAVID  Dec 08, 2016 ]
to complete my uni-fi system. Love these speakers. [ Louis  Sep 29, 2016 ]
Hopefully TV and movies dialogue will be clear. [ Elizabeth  Sep 14, 2016 ]
To complement my ELAC UNI UB 5 speakers. [ Charles  Aug 25, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

I see no reason at all why that wouldn't work. [ MARK  Feb 28, 2017 ]
I am sure you can do anything you want, but why? - according to ELAC materials, you get better frequency response, and more woofers (3 in UF5 vs 2 in UC5) - if budget is a concern, but you want to stay with Unifi line , UB5 is an option with still better frequency response for lower price - if budget is a concern and you are not tied to Unifi line but want Elac, why not Debut speaker line ? in short, there are many alternatives and options depending on what is important to you [ engChi  Feb 28, 2017 ]
I don't know. I do know that it is an excellent center speaker when paired with the two matching Elac speakers. [ Martin  Feb 28, 2017 ]
It's what I'm doing with mine! Unifi on each end and a unifi center and definitive technology ceiling mounts for back/surround! Sounds great in my small room! [ Leslie  Feb 28, 2017 ]
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