Think of ELAC and you may tend to think of innovation and, in my case, ribbon tweeters. These things are true of ELAC and this Uni-Fi Reference UBR62 is the latest example of their focus on innovation. This range, introduced on the 90th Anniversary of ELACs founding, represents a rethink by ELAC of what is achievable at this sub-one thousand pounds competitive price point.
The ELAC Uni-Fi Reference UBR62 is a 3-way design that features a 1” soft dome tweeter inside an aluminium 4” midrange cone in a concentric configuration. Aligning the tweeter and midrange in this way, like KEF’s Uni-Q arrangement, facilitates accurate phase alinement, and ‘improves imaging’, claims ELAC. The tweeter and midrange drivers are held in a new cast chassis keeping them in place. There is a new ‘oversized voice coil’ associated with this setup.
There is a new 6.5” single piece aluminium cone woofer, also with a larger magnet for the low end, the new dual ‘flared slot vent’, ELAC further claims, allows for lower noise and higher bass output.
There is what ELAC refers to as ‘full perimeter bracing’ in the cabinet that is designed to reduce the speaker cabinet’s influence on the sound in respect of colouration and vibration.
The Uni-Fi Reference range includes a floorstanding speaker with three slightly smaller diameter woofers and an improved performance specification.
The speaker looks very appealing indeed, I have the white satin finish with oak sides, and they are lovely. To the touch, the oak sides are slightly textured, and the satin facia of the speaker is super smooth, with a cool feel.
The metal terminal plate is flush to the rear of the cabinet and the binding posts offer bi-wiring capability if required. The grey (in this case) fabric grilles are rather attractive too, attaching magnetically over the drivers, leaving the flared port free.
The ELAC Uni-Fi has a declared frequency range of 41 Hz to 35,000 Hz with a sensitivity of 85dB at 2.83v/m.
The standmount speakers are 62.23 x 47.24 x 46.48 cm (H x D x W); they are 22.52 kilograms each.
The ELAC Uni-Fi Reference UBR62 are priced at £749 a pair. The floorstanding version in the Uni-Fi Reference range is called UFR52 and they are £1,499 a pair. They are available in satin black with walnut sides or satin white with oak sides.
I’m listening to these ELAC Uni-Fi Reference UBR62 standmount speakers using Atlas Hyper Achromatic bi-wired speaker cable. Although I have mainly driven them with the Moor Amps Angel 6 power amplifier (150W per channel into 8 Ohms impedance nominal, slightly oversized I grant you), I have also used an Audiolab 6000A Play (50W per channel into 8 Ohms impedance nominal), a Bluesound PowerNode 2i (60W, 8 Ohms) and a Naim Uniti Star (70W/ch, 8 Ohms).
I’ve got the ELAC Uni-Fi Reference on a proper solid speaker standmount, they’re 25cm from the rear wall that has a couple of GIK Acoustics diffusers near them softening things to the rear. Image centring is pretty easy in my view, I’m still using the ‘Leema Grid Approach’ to speaker placement, they’re approximately 2.5m apart and I am the same distance away. Dispersal is good for me, and I have not needed to toe them in at all.
ELAC Uni-Fi Reference with Moor Amps
Obviously, the Moor Amps Angel 6 is a massive amplifier for these speakers, but the key is I know where I am as a reviewer. I’m always careful not to blow things to bits but the Angel 6 drives speakers with such ease and it can reveal everything, it always delivers on the bass too which with a standmount of this range is needed. With a good source, reviewing is just so enjoyable with Moor.
Cueing up Benson Boone’s Ghost Town (Qobuz, 24-bit, 44.1kHz) for a low-end response the ELAC Uni-Fi Reference offers a solid deep and controlled bass with the Moor Amps doing its thing. I will expect this to be peak low-end extension in the absence of the REL S/510 that is lurking menacingly in the room whenever there are stand-mounted speakers around.
For me, the midrange feels very accurate and the female vocal here like Arooj Aftab’s Last Night (Qobuz, 24-bit, 96kHz) or Taylor Swift’s exile (Qobuz, 24-bit, 44.1kHz) are just perfect.
There are bundles of detail from these ELAC speakers for example in the background of I Lost a Friend by Finneas (Tidal 16-bit, 44.1kHz), it is all there. Similarly, on Thanatos’ impeccable cover version of Bloodbuzz Ohio (Qobuz 24-bit, 96kHz) the deliberate metallic edge to the acoustic guitar is delivered with exceptional detail by these speakers alongside the mesmerising vocal. For a bit more resolution it is time for a listen to Jan Lisiecki’s Chopin Nocturnes, so beautiful. The piano is pitch perfect in Op.9 – No.2 in E Flat Major (Tidal 16 bit, 44.1kHz) from the centre of the atmospheric soundstage. The speakers sound very natural in this presentation.
Naim Uniti Star
Using the Naim Uniti Star there is a very strong performance delivered by the ELACs, the Star is four thousand pounds worth of integrated amplification mind you. Naim’s dynamic sound signature is easily presented by the loudspeakers and timing is effortless as expected, the key point is the ELACs are keeping pace with these electronics
Audiolab 6000A Play
The Audiolab 6000A Play is possibly the more likely partner to a pair of speakers such as this, it is a super performer in every way at this price point, and it retails at £849. Whilst not delivering the presence of the Uniti Star there is a strong soundstage here and there is little to complain about, the Play-Fi App is certainly a more forgiving place than the Naim App.
As a combination with the Audiolab 6000A Play and these speakers (the Atlas bi-wired cable is a big upgrade at £550), this is a £1,600 system that delivers a strong and excellent sound.
Following a quick firmware upgrade, it is pretty apparent just how good the Powernode is, and how nicely it drives these speakers. Sure, Benson Boone’s Ghost Town is a bit thinner compared to the Moor Amp and the thundering extension is less apparent but that does not take away from the speaker’s performance. Indeed, plugging in the REL S/510 and using the BluOS App to set the subwoofer crossover setting at 50kHz, delivers a wonderful voluminous experience, with the ELACs concentrating on the vocal and piano and the REL handling the low end with comfort.
Really, this is all about excellence at this price point and there is nothing here being left behind by these speakers. Obviously, you wouldn’t buy a £2,000 plus subwoofer with these speakers (maybe you would?) but if you did there is a thunderous soundstage here and the ELAC loudspeakers can mix it with the best of them. ELAC does make a subwoofer in other product ranges, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a Uni-Fi Reference subwoofer emerge since they do have a centre speaker in the same Uni-Fi Reference range. The soundstage with the £800 Powernode was terrific using the digital crossover in the BluOS App.
There is nothing to find fault with here, the ELAC Uni-Fi Reference UBR62 standmount speakers are dynamic, lively, and detailed, easy to drive and they offer exceptional value at this price point. They offer a natural sound in female vocals and pianos hinting at an excellent midrange performance.
Female vocal, pianos
Strong foundation to build on
At this price nothing
Full details are on the company’s site.