Not only is white the new black, but speakers are getting skinnier. The pressure to be thin is not limited to us humans, it seems. That appears to be the ethos behind ELAC’s Uni-Fi Slim range, which – if the blurb is to be believed – is the same as the existing Uni‑Fi range in deeper cabinets with narrower front baffles. The spec for the Uni-Fi UF5 says it’s 200mm wide, the FS U5 seen here is 22mm narrower, which is less than an inch so not a lot but every millimetre counts in this image conscious era. A consciousness that is particular to Europeans it seems as the standard Uni-Fi range is not available in this market.
Designer Andrew Jones learned his chops at KEF back in the Laurie Fincham era. He then took his skills to TAD and developed a concentric mid/tweeter for their high end models. He has done the same trick at ELAC, clearly his KEF years convinced him of the efficacy of this approach. This time the drivers are in far more affordable loudspeakers and feature aluminium cones exclusively: the tweeter is the only soft part in this toned beauty.
The Uni-Fi Slim range consists of a bookshelf and a tower/floorstander with two extra bass drivers in the cabinet. As is becoming the norm, you can have it in black or white paint finishes, but veneers are, it seems, right out in the world of affordable loudspeakers. And given the choice between imitation wood and a satin paint finish, I too would be inclined toward the latter. Where IKEA leads the world follows!
The Uni-Fi Slim tower comes with a raft of accessories to keep it standing straight and tall. Machined and anodised aluminium bars fit on the bottom of the cabinet and extend the footprint to give it greater stability and, more compellingly, the ability to pass EU tilt tests. This bar accepts custom spikes with their own separate top caps that come with metal and rubber spike pucks to stop the speaker from impaling the laminate floor. It’s quite an impressive array really, albeit somewhat at odds with the discreet inclinations of the box as a whole. So while the hidden driver fixings and magnetic grille mounting minimize the mechanical aspects of the look, the stand goes the other way, but it looks cool so I’ll forgive it.
The only slight jarring feature is a clip on the back that is obviously too small to wall mount the speaker. It turns out that this is a safety clip so that you can tie the speaker to the wall and make sure that not even the most determined toddler could tip it over. A sensible idea in theory, but a bit too close to the practices of the aforementioned Scandiwegian furniture outlet for comfort.