Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 Surround Speaker System Review

Build Quality

Build Quality
PRICE $3,000 (as tested)

Clean, well-balanced sound
Consistent off-axis performance
Subwoofer control app with Auto-EQ
Excellent value
Basic looks; black-only finish option

Despite its low-key exterior, Elac’s 5.1 Uni-Fi 2.0 system delivers the goods for movies/music and represents an excellent value.

Germany's Elac is a brand that has greatly expanded its presence in the hi-fi and home theater worlds over the past five or so years. While the company itself has been around for considerably longer, back in 2015 it brought on former KEF, Infinity, TAD, and Pioneer chief speaker engineer Andrew Jones to develop new product lines. First out of the gate for Jones was the Debut Series, followed by the Uni-Fi series, both affordable lines designed to pull fresh recruits into the audiophile ranks. New speakers arrived in quick succession, including the upscale but still affordable Adante passive and Navis powered models. One element that has remained constant through this flurry of speaker production is Jones's use of a concentric driver that locates the tweeter at the center of the midrange cone. According to Elac, this design allows for matched off-axis performance of the tweeter and midrange, which in turn yields a flat frequency response, enhanced imaging, and consistent sound quality throughout the listening space.

The most recent project for Jones has been to revisit the first two series he designed for Elac and create "2.0" versions, including the Uni-Fi 2.0 speakers under review here. While the new Uni-Fi lineup has a largely similar look to its predecessor, there are many changes to be discussed.

Improvements to be found throughout Uni-Fi 2.0 include an all-new concentric driver featuring a wide-surround 1-inch soft dome tweeter with expanded frequency response. Elac says the new design enables a better blend with the 4-inch mid-range driver, which itself features a larger diameter voice coil and a new low-profile surround and neodymium magnet assembly. Woofers have also been upgraded with a new single- piece dished aluminum cone that offers improved stiffness and combines with an oversized magnet and large diameter voice coil to deliver more accurate performance and improved dynamics, according to Elac.

Also new for Uni-Fi is an enhanced three-way crossover. While the original Uni-Fi lineup had a specified 4-ohm nominal impedance, Uni-Fi 2.0's new crossover design has upped that spec to 6 ohms, enabling compatibility with a wider range of A/V receivers. Version 2.0 also features enhanced internal bracing to add strength to the cabinet and reduce vibration. Last but not least, especially if you have plans to place the speakers on shelves or in a cabinet, the ports on the book- shelf and center models have been moved from the back to the front baffle.

The Uni-Fi 2.0 system Elac sent consisted of the UF52 floorstander ($1,200/pair), UB52 bookshelf ($600/pair), and UC52 center channel speaker ($400). All speakers sported a basic, no-frills look and arrived in a Black Ash vinyl finish— the lone option Elac offers. While there's no specific Uni-Fi 2.0 subwoofer, the company added its SUB3030 ($800) to the mix to create a full 5.1 system.


The UF52 floorstander is a slim, compact three-way tower that features a trio of bass drivers. Three ports are located on the tower's rear, along with a single set of gold-plated five-way binding posts. Black mesh plug-in speaker grilles are provided, along with four attachable outrigger feet with carpet spikes and floor discs for installation on wood or tile floors. You can adjust the height of each spike using a supplied Allen wrench to account for uneven floors, while supplied caps let you lock in the spike and also provide a finished look. Elac's rated frequency response for the UF52 is 46Hz to 35kHz and its sensitivity is spec'd at 85dB—a relatively low number for speakers aimed at entry- level audiophiles, though I can't say I had any issue making the UF52 towers play loud when powered by a standard 100Wpc receiver.


Elac's UB52 bookshelf is almost identical to the UF52 tower except for its single woofer and front-facing port. It uses the same concentric driver to cover the mid- and high- frequency ranges and, similar to the tower, is a three-way design. The UC52 center channel speaker is also a three-way with the same driver array, but in this case a pair of woofers and dual- front-facing ports horizontally flank its concentric driver.

The SUB3030 subwoofer Elac included with the system at first surprised me when I unpacked it owing to its complete lack of physical controls to adjust volume, crossover, phase, etc. There isn't even a power on/off switch! The reason, of course, is that all adjustments are made using Elac's Sub Control 2.0 iOS/Android app, which also provides an Auto-EQ function. Beyond that, the substantial-for- the-money SUB3030 features a set of RCA jacks that accept a stereo or LFE input from a receiver. The sealed Black Ash cabinet holds a front-facing 12-inch doped paper cone woofer powered by a 500-watt continuous, 1,000-watt peak BASH amplifier, and there's a bottom-mounted 12-inch passive radiator.


I evaluated the Uni-Fi 2.0 speakers in two separate spaces: my 12 x 9 x 16-foot home theater and slightly larger living room, which houses a two-channel system. The UF52 towers were installed at either side of an 80-inch-wide projection screen and the UC52 center channel speaker was placed on a stand below it, at first tilted up at the main listening position, and later with tilt removed when I realized it wasn't required. I placed the pair of UB52 bookshelf speakers on high stands at the rear corners of my room, angling them in at the main listening seat. A/V gear used for testing included a Marantz SR6014 receiver, Roku Streaming Stick+, and an Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Along with playing discs, I tapped the Oppo player as a Roon endpoint for music streaming.

Subwoofer setup with Elac's Sub Control 2.0 app, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy connection to wirelessly link your phone or tablet with the subwoofer, could not be simpler. After launch, your sub appears on the app's main screen, where you can rename it if desired (subwoofer 1, 2, etc.). Available adjustments include volume, phase (0-360 degrees), delay (0-20 ms), low pass (40-150 Hz), and an Auto-On with a variable threshold slider. There are also Flat, Cinema, Music, and Night EQ presets, plus a parametric EQ with eight memory slots to store custom adjustments.

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