Recording - October 2017 - 43

as a reference microphone and white
noise or sine wave sweeps. ESI notes
that Character "allows you to adjust the
sound according to the requirements in
your room as well as to your own hearing
preferences and requirements." That's a
great thing for casual listening at home,
but not something I'd recommend for
reference monitoring.
I did play with these controls in my
listening space at the Recording offices,
and they work smoothly and well, but
ultimately in my setup I ended up getting
the best and most believable results with
all controls left flat. My room's better
treated than many, though, and I could
see a Low or High tweak of 1 dB or less
benefiting a lot of listening spaces.

Pull out the plug (or not)

Another feature of the uniK speakers,
one that's unusual but not unheard of, is
an optional port plug. Whether or not
a speaker cabinet is ported is a basic
design decision that's integral to a monitor's construction; a properly-tuned bass
reflex port can do wonders for a smooth

frequency response and bass that's extended without being inaccurate, but
proponents of sealed cabinets (with or
without passive radiators) believe that
porting adds more issues than it solves.
I've reviewed many monitors with and
without porting, and there are great
examples of both.
In the case of the uniK models, ESI
feels that placement in very tight spaces
(as on a bookshelf or in corners of a
small room) will result in too much bass
emphasis with a rear-ported design,
so each speaker is provided with an
acoustic-foam bass port plug that fits
snugly into the port and seals the cabinet.
ESI recommends using the speakers
with the ports open when possible, but
offers the plug as a practical solution
for very tight spaces.
In my listening sessions, I found that
the plug mitigated bass boom when the
speakers were placed in very cramped
locations; for example, I have an office
workstation table whose bookshelf is
otherwise unusable unless with frontported speakers. In any other application,

removing the ports made the sound
really open up and bloom the way it
was intended to do. Taking ESI's advice
in this case is a good thing; don't use
the plugs unless you have a bass boom
problem that can't be solved any other
way. Judicious use of the Low shelf will
almost always be preferable, but hey-
it's nice to have the option, isn't it?

In use: the uniK 05+

I set up the uniK 05+ in a conventional
triangle setup and put it to work on my
critical listening library for several days
before moving to studio mixing and editing
work. I had plenty of time to get over
my shock at what these little speakers
were providing me.
The uniK 05+ is not a big speaker; it
weighs less than 10 pounds and would
fit nicely into any studio setup, even very
small ones. The big concern with small
speakers, of course, is bass extension-
how low can you go, and can you trust
what you hear? The uniK 05+ claims a
frequency response of 49 Hz to 25 kHz
with no tolerances given... and based on


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2017

Contents
Recording - October 2017 - Intro
Recording - October 2017 - Cover1
Recording - October 2017 - Cover2
Recording - October 2017 - 1
Recording - October 2017 - 2
Recording - October 2017 - 3
Recording - October 2017 - 4
Recording - October 2017 - 5
Recording - October 2017 - Contents
Recording - October 2017 - 7
Recording - October 2017 - 8
Recording - October 2017 - 9
Recording - October 2017 - 10
Recording - October 2017 - 11
Recording - October 2017 - 12
Recording - October 2017 - 13
Recording - October 2017 - 14
Recording - October 2017 - 15
Recording - October 2017 - 16
Recording - October 2017 - 17
Recording - October 2017 - 18
Recording - October 2017 - 19
Recording - October 2017 - 20
Recording - October 2017 - 21
Recording - October 2017 - 22
Recording - October 2017 - 23
Recording - October 2017 - 24
Recording - October 2017 - 25
Recording - October 2017 - 26
Recording - October 2017 - 27
Recording - October 2017 - 28
Recording - October 2017 - 29
Recording - October 2017 - 30
Recording - October 2017 - 31
Recording - October 2017 - 32
Recording - October 2017 - 33
Recording - October 2017 - 34
Recording - October 2017 - 35
Recording - October 2017 - 36
Recording - October 2017 - 37
Recording - October 2017 - 38
Recording - October 2017 - 39
Recording - October 2017 - 40
Recording - October 2017 - 41
Recording - October 2017 - 42
Recording - October 2017 - 43
Recording - October 2017 - 44
Recording - October 2017 - 45
Recording - October 2017 - 46
Recording - October 2017 - 47
Recording - October 2017 - 48
Recording - October 2017 - 49
Recording - October 2017 - 50
Recording - October 2017 - 51
Recording - October 2017 - 52
Recording - October 2017 - 53
Recording - October 2017 - 54
Recording - October 2017 - 55
Recording - October 2017 - 56
Recording - October 2017 - 57
Recording - October 2017 - 58
Recording - October 2017 - 59
Recording - October 2017 - 60
Recording - October 2017 - 61
Recording - October 2017 - 62
Recording - October 2017 - 63
Recording - October 2017 - 64
Recording - October 2017 - 65
Recording - October 2017 - 66
Recording - October 2017 - 67
Recording - October 2017 - 68
Recording - October 2017 - 69
Recording - October 2017 - 70
Recording - October 2017 - 71
Recording - October 2017 - 72
Recording - October 2017 - 73
Recording - October 2017 - 74
Recording - October 2017 - 75
Recording - October 2017 - 76
Recording - October 2017 - 77
Recording - October 2017 - 78
Recording - October 2017 - 79
Recording - October 2017 - 80
Recording - October 2017 - Cover3
Recording - October 2017 - Cover4
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