Rated 5 out of 5
by DianaE310 Quality Speakers without hefty price
While an output amplifier is important, so are the speakers. These are crisp and also incredibly affordable, and if you can get them on sale for $150 - wow.
WHAT I USED WITH:
- iTunes + UDA-1 Amplifier (OR) iPhone + UDA-1 Amplifier
- Tablet + Amplifier
- If using above, refer to reviews and instructions on downloading a driver and change iMac settings to sound preference // Select the Apple menu - “System Preferences” - “Sound,” and select the “Output” tab. (2) Select “Sony USB DAC Amplifier” from the “Choose a device for sound output” list. -- ** The sound will not push from the desktop speakers to the speakers if you don't do this. I went crazy trying to figure this out! **
- Speaker wires not included, will need the wires and the cable connectors. I used Monster Cable Quicklock cable connectors and also bought Insignia Speaker Wires.
- This is a set of 2 speakers
- Showing photo of back of speakers, screws tight.
- At this price, you can't pass it up.
- Excellent sound
- Dimensions: 7W x 13 3/16H x 8 5/8D inches (each speaker) so if this size works great.
- Simple, nothing fancy, just good sound!
- Nice to eliminate a subwoofer - bass sounds decent enough to me.
December 11, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5
by BeJay2 HEARING A DIFFERENCE
I’m not an audiophile or technophile; although I do appreciate good-sounding music. I was initially skeptical around “Hi-Res Audio” and whether adding Hi-Res components to my home audio equipment could justify the cost. Short answer: it’s definitely worth the price, in part because these new Hi-Res SS-CS5 Bookshelf speakers are surprisingly affordable for their quality.
So, I recently added a Sony UDA-1/B USB DAC as the hub of my computer-based digital music system. This digital-to-analog converter/amplifier is meant to power a pair of quality bookshelf/desktop speakers or to drive high-end headphones. Naturally those devices need to be of sufficient quality before you can appreciate what your Hi-Res Audio amplifier will supply – hence my addition of a set of Sony’s SS-CS5 speakers (see photo below).
These remarkable 6-ohm speakers are part of Sony’s new Core Series and these are a three-way design with a 5.1-inch foamed mica-reinforced woofer, a 1-inch polyester dome tweeter, and a 0.75-inch dome super tweeter that extends the high-frequency response up to 50KHz. There is a bass port and heavy-duty speaker wire connectors on the back panel of each 7x13.3x8.6 inch enclosure. The other three Core Series products are a floor-standing tower, a center-channel and a 10-inch subwoofer. Used all together, the Core Series speakers would form a 5.1 channel home theater configuration.
I discovered that high-resolution audio really does sound better even to my over-60 ears, or should I say, especially with my compromised hearing. I read in reviews that the SS-CS5s had “superior detail and clarity.” I was anxious to put that to a test.
As soon as I set up my UDA-1/B with a pair of these bookshelf speakers, my digital music files seemed to burst open with tone and texture. Over time I had forgotten how fine the original recordings ought to sound. And, the combination of the DAC with these particular speakers works nicely in both sound quality and level. At the 20 watts per channel that my DAC can output, these speakers will fill a good-sized room (see photo below).
Specs aside, it’s all in the hearing. I particularly like to listen to cello solos and cello with full orchestra. It was a revelation to hear pieces that I am very familiar with sounding so clear and, well, exciting! I’ve only had the SS-CS5s for a short time and already find I am listening more often and enjoying what I can hear now. The very first track I played, YoYo Ma playing the first movement of Elgar’s Cello Concerto (Chicago Symphony), convinced me. But you’ll need to hear your own music through them to agree.
Curious now, I decided to throw additional tracks at the SS-CS5s to see how they handle different musical situations. First, the second movement of Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 4 (Chicago Symphony) where the music builds to several riotous climaxes – I could hear detail and separation that surprised me given the complexity of Ives’ compositions and the small footprint that the SS-CS5s have.
Next I switched genres to a live digital recording of T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday” by Hummingbird (a band from Connecticut’s Northwest Corner that plays an eclectic blend of blues, jazz, and country). It pleased me to recognize the acoustic ambiance of Miranda Vineyard’s club-like tasting room behind Bobbi Soares’ melodic, jazz-influenced voice – nicely resolved by the DAC and voiced by the SS-CS5s.
To represent another chunk of my listening time, I wanted to try a close mic’d track without instrumental distraction. I chose the title track of singer-songwriter Shane Faubert’s new “Line in the Sand” album on the French Bam Balam label. It’s a non-compressed Folk/Pop recording with a lot of air around his smooth, buttery-voiced and intimate vocals. Again, the SS-CS5s performed with a presence that felt as if the artist was in the room with me. Very nice, indeed.
For convenience, I have been using the source configuration in the accompanying photograph. That’s my Xperia Tablet Z attached to my Sony DAC’s front-panel USB port and playing tracks from their Walkman app.
I am also a MacBook Pro user. So, to listen to digital music that lives on my laptop I downloaded and installed a free app called Hi-Res Audio Player and a driver named SONY USB DAC Amp Driver (Mac). The Player launches from the OSX 10.9.5 Desktop, finds Sony’s UDA-1/B, and presents a straight-forward playlist interface, see screenshot below. There is also iTunes….
Like most of Sony’s home audio products, the SS-CS5s have a clean design that is quite compact. Of course, you will need to supply speaker wiring (don’t skimp) and sound sources like mine that have the ability to provide the fine Hi-Res Audio this speaker system is capable of delivering. For my listening taste there is more than enough bass, eliminating any thought to add a sub woofer.
I am more than satisfied with my SS-CS5s. I can recommend this Hi-Res Audio speaker system without hesitation – you’ll get a lot of enjoyment from them.
December 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Belenbaa Great value
These speakers were recommended to us by store salesman who said I could return them if not satisfied. I was skeptical that speakers in this price range would be good enough. I have been very pleased. They sound better than my other much more expensive top brand speakers in my living room.
September 28, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by sandiegodom Unbelievable Wide Sound Stage For Tiny Speakers!
In many ways the SS-CS5 reminds me of the vintage Baby Advents designed by the legendary Advent Corporation (founded by the even more legendary Henry Kloss). The Baby Advents had a big sound and decent bass response for their small footprint. While Sony has bragging rights for innovations on the electronic side of things they have been lauded quite a bit less on speaker design. The SS-CS5 are an impressive step forward.
The solid, well built enclosure itself is an uninspiring rectangular box with what feels like a vinyl finish (although, according to Sony, underneath the finish is actual wood). Yes, they are inexpensive bookshelf speakers…but a wood finish feels so much more high-end in my opinion. The cloth grills are also rather standard and boring. Remove the grills though and you are looking at a very handsome face: the three drivers are quite attractive and when exposed give the set a much more contemporary feel.
BASIC FEATURES & SETUP
The cabinet is a three-way design featuring what Sony calls a ¾-inch super tweeter (output up to 50 kHz), 1-inch tweeter and 5-inch woofer (output down to 53 Hz). There is also a port directly behind the woofer. The port is an obvious necessity with a bass driver of this size.
I connected the SS-CS5s to a two channel amp and fed it the optical output from my Apple TV. I used vocal tracks from Diane Schuur, Dire Straits as well as Lorde to evaluate the overall balance of the system. As usual with Sony speakers (and especially given the inclusion of the super tweeter) the high-end response was more than enough (too much). After making some adjustments with iTune's onboard EQ I was able to tame the highs and balance out the sound to where it was very listenable, clear and full. That last adjective is what I will talk about a bit more: full.
In what on the surface looks like a simple three way design Sony has managed to create a speaker that with no active electronics creates a sound field that literally wraps around you. The sound is incredibly live and expansive with the vocals rock solid in the middle of the soundstage. Especially when listening to the Lorde tracks I kept looking to see if somehow my main system was on and powering the rear speakers!
Placed on the floor and with a few EQ tweaks you can tease some pretty decent bass out of SS-CS5 (although I feel the bass is not tight as would be the case with a sealed design). They perform well with modern pop music (with it’s electronic rhythm section) and excel with jazz and classical. As there is a separate optional subwoofer you can add this to the set at a later date if you really want more on the low end.
I also placed them on stands and was a bit less satisfied with the overall balance. I feel that these speakers will produce a more balanced sound when they can interact with the surfaces around them (e.g. the floor, wall, bookshelf or table).
As strictly bookshelf speakers, and with a little equalization applied, the system provides a balanced sound that should satisfy casual and even more discerning listeners. The expanded soundstage and articulate vocals though put it in a very different class. I can’t overemphasize how impressed I was with the width and depth of the soundstage created by these very unassuming little speakers. And they are dirt-cheap.
December 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by MarkWellman Great Bargain!
I have owned many pairs of speakers over the years. These have super detail and balance. The midrange is top notch. The bass is OK, but for many a subwoofer would be necessary. These little gems plus my trusty Sony subwoofer make for some great listening. I am quite pleased with how they sound.
December 27, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by pressanseal1 One Bedroom Apt. Sound Reinforcement. Best Ever!
They together will put most to shame. They ROCK!!! I am positively pleased with the set. Nice sound every in my apt. Sony Rocks!
January 30, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by samtheman2013 Exceptional Sound!
I used these with my Sony UDA-1 DAC High Res Audio Amp. These speakers are made well enough to handle High Res Audio, so they work well with regular audio as well.
These speakers along with the Sony UDA-1, blew my socks off! I do not know whether to cry or to laugh! I am writing this while listening to ‘Celine Dione – The Power of Love’ on the Sony UDA1 DAC System for PC Audio using just pair of Sony SS-CS5 BookShelf Speakers. I am no audiophile, just an ordinary guy that loves music from Classical, Techno, Dance, Rap, Heavy Metal or anything in between. But five stars are not enough to justify the sound coming out of these speakers right now!
Hi-Res Audio – what is it? I did not know much about it until I received this. If you have watched non HDMI movies vs the HDMI (1080p) movies the comparison is similar, but now it is audio vs video for HDMI. So basically it is like cooking before the Microwave! If you never had it you won’t know the difference. What you have listened to before is basically quite useless when compared to Hi-Res audio.
The sounds are so clear that you would not believe your ears! You can basically increase the volume to max and the sound only gets better. When music was first created in the studios this is how it was supposed to be. What we’ve been listening to so far the quality of sound has been lost thru the imaging and digitizing process, no matter how good you thought it was.
Mind you before this, my in home-theater was a 7.2 Harmon Kardon speaker system with a mid-range Pioneer Amp that cost me about 3000$ so yes I am used to good sound! The UDA-1 is tiny (9 inches long, couple inches tall) and the bookshelf speakers are small as well, but the sound that comes out of this system will blow you away. I still use my existing home theater for movies as that has surround sound etc. I use this in my office which is a smaller room about 20 X 20 feet, but it is loud enough that you will go deaf if you are in the room for too long at max volume.
The CS-SS5 does handle the max output from the UDA-1 without and shaking, rambling or other complaints and the sound does not get distorted either. They are exceptionally well designed and solidly made.
For the UDA-1 you need to use speakers that support Hi Res Audio and the Sony SS-CS5 seems to work well with it. Someday I will replace my Harmon Kardon home theater speakers with equivalent Sony Speakers of the same family – basically SS-CS3 (Floor standing Speaker) SS-CS8 (Center) and SA-CS9 (Sub-Woofer).
The quality of sound does not change no matter what type of music it is – Tried Mozart – “Marriage Of Figaro Overture” it’s like you are in front of the orchestra! Unbelievable! All this from a couple of book shelf speakers - 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide and the tiny UDA-1.
In conclusion although I use these just for the High Res Audio amp UDA-1 USB DAC system in my home office, pretty soon I will be replacing my Harmon Kardon home theater speaker system with the SS-CS5, SS-CS3, SS-CS8 and the sub-woofer as the sound coming out of these speakers are exceptional. These speakers are worth their price and I have no hesitation recommending them.
December 9, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Solaris72 Awesome speaker
I'm using this surround back on a 7.2 setup. while my other speakers are energy, I'm hearing sound clearly. I wish i will use it as front speakers, but i have energy wall mounted.
January 20, 2015