Sony SS CS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers Review
Sony SS CS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers Review
Hey everybody, sincerely hope you’re all doing well.
As you’ve probably already surmised from the title, this will be the Sony SS CS5 3-way bookshelf speaker review, a quick look at a set of bookshelf speakers that quite frankly, ending up surprising me more than I thought they would.
Was that a good thing though?
More importantly, should you consider them?
Let’s find out!
When it comes to the appearance of the Sony SSCS5 speaker, at least when the grille on, things look pretty unassuming admittedly. There’s a small Sony logo towards the bottom but besides that, there’s nothing really that stands out from first glance.
However taking a closer look, you’ll notice that the edges of the cloth grille are actually chamfered, giving the speaker an ever so slight aerodynamic look.
These are actually what Sony calls tapered edges, and is apparently done to reduce unwanted noise from the baffle board and cabinet; ultimately giving you a much higher quality sound.
Whatever the case, I personally think they look pretty cool and gives this 100 watt bookshelf speaker a slight edge to it (quite literally)
When removed, you’re then greeted with a double tweeter and woofer display that looks pretty nice.
I wouldn’t say it’s the most inspired design in the world, but for what it is, I like it. It definitely blends in with its more contemporary design.
The color of the woofer is also pretty nice and kind of shimmers when light hits it which is a nice touch.
As for the cabinet itself, it has a smooth matte black wood finish that luckily doesn’t pick up finger prints which I’m a really big fan of.
Now while definitely not gigantic, these also aren’t the smallest speakers in the world by any means, so you’ll definitely want sufficient space to house them.
They’re certainly much more manageable in terms of space though than say a floorstanding speaker given that these are bookshelf speakers and focus on providing quality sound in a smaller footprint.
But they’re not small either, I’d say they’re right in the middle in that regard.
What’s great about these speakers though is that it’s appearance also stems from its functionality, meaning it’s not only meant to look great, but perform exceptionally as well.
Overall then, it’s a really subdued yet refined design that quite frankly, looks good.
If one of your main concerns is looks, then rest assured that this is a very attractive speaker that’ll blend right into whatever room you ultimately decide to place it in.
Features & Specs
~ 3 Way Design Provides For Improved Versatility With Audio
In regards to features, one of the most notable ones immediately apparent is its build. Unlike most speakers, this one is actually a 3 way design.
Instead of the typical 2 way design that most speakers tend to sport (one driver and one tweeter) a 3 way design adds an additional driver for even further clarity and sound depth.
3 way speakers tend to have greater control over their frequency ranges due to each driver being optimized to work within a specific range and in turn, can end up sounding better than their 2 way counterparts.
~ Wide Dispersion Super Tweeter That Enhances Clarity
3 way speakers usually add an additional driver, but what makes this one even more unusual is the fact that Sony has opted to add an additional tweeter instead.
This “super tweeter” as it is dubbed, is responsible for handling the the extremely high sound ranges; well over 20kHz and up to 50 in fact — to provide a much higher fidelity of sound.
~ Large 5.12 Inch Woofer That Improves Low End Frequencies
Then what’s also unusual is that for the 5.12 inch bass reflex woofer, Sony also decided to go with a foamed-Mica Reinforced Cellular variant.
The reason I say it’s unusual is because you really don’t see this material being used too often. It’s typically either paper or even some kind of plastic.
If anything, you’d usually see this material used in much bigger speakers or even subwoofers due to its great tensile strength.
What’s great about this material in particular though is that only is it a very light material, but also has the ability to remain firm even under great stress. The implication of it being included here is that it’ll allow the SSCS5 to ultimately deliver a much cleaner and distortion free sound, even at much higher volumes.
In addition, this also gives it more versatility in the lower range too, providing for a much deeper bass response.
~ Specialized Port That Helps Further Improve Clarity
Further augmenting that is the port over on the back that’s included to help further eliminate any kind of chuffing or unwanted noise.
Often times what can happen with compact speakers is at higher volumes, additional stress can be placed on the tweeters resulting in a more muddied sound that may also be accompanied by distortion or unwanted noise.
Sony took this into account and built a specialized port into the design as to mitigate this issue entirely.
~ .98 Inch Soft Dome Tweeter Makes The High End Sing
As for the normal tweeter, it’s a .98 inch polyester soft dome variant that uses sound absorbing felt to eliminate rear sound pressure, ensuring that things are as clear as possible.
~ Proprietary High Resolution Audio Codec For Better Quality Sound
Then there’s also Sony’s own proprietary audio codec which offers support for high resolution audio by improving bitrate accuracy as well as frequency of the audio sample.
This gives your content an entirely different level of immersion and realism.
In terms of specs, the speakers have a noted peak wattage of 100 watts. They measure 7.01 x 13.19 x 8.66 inches (W x D x H) and have an impedance of 6 Ohms.
They weigh about 9.92 pounds each, and have a frequency response of 53 Hz – 50 kHz.
They also have a screw type binding post meaning you’ll need to use pin plugs with them if not using bare wire.
Sony SSCS5 Setup
Well in regards to setting these up, since there’s a screw type post on the back, pin plugs are definitely the way to go.
Of course you can also use the wire as is by stripping and then twisting it, but for a really solid connection, I’d highly recommend going with pin plugs.
Other than that, these connect just like any other speaker would to the receiver.
The one side of the wire would go into the back of the speaker, while the other side would go into the receiver.
For a refresher on how to do that exactly, this should help.
Once that’s done, that’s pretty much it. Simple.
How Does The Sony SSCS5 Speaker Sound?
With all of those features, surely it has to sound great right?
Well you’d be correct.
These things sounded absolutely fantastic — more so than I was expecting to be honest.
I’m not sure if it’s the extra tweeter, or the support for high resolution and lossless audio, but these speakers seemed to perform better than a lot speakers I’ve actually I’ve tried which is surprising.
Things were clear and crisp, but not too sibilant to the point where you’d get ear fatigue after an hour or two. Everything just sounded right.
I was honestly expecting these to lean more on the treble side of things, but really I’d say they’re actually pretty neutral in terms of sound signature, at least from what I’ve noticed.
Frequencies in the 120-130Hz and 1kHz range do seem to be just slightly emphasized over the higher and lower frequencies respectively when graphed, but not really enough to even be noticeable.
So for those of you out there who are into sound mixing — whether it’s professionally or as a hobby, this might be an attractive reason to go with these to due to their pretty neutral sound signature.
But these really could work for anyone given just how versatile they are.
But to be fair, everything I tried with these speakers — be it movies, video games, you name it just sounded crystal clear and realistic.
Music especially; I don’t think it can be stated enough how good music sounds with these. It’s pretty incredible really. With a lossless media source, (Tidal & Spotify for example) music sounds downright transformative.
Now I know it can of course be argued that human hearing doesn’t exceed 20 kHz so a second tweeter that targets that might be pointless, but ehh..I don’t know. There has to be something to it because I was noticing new sounds that I hadn’t heard before.
Not saying I have supersonic hearing or anything (I wish) but there was a new sense of depth that these things had for whatever reason that was just super immersive.
I will say though that while the CS5 does go down to 53 Hz, I wouldn’t say that the bass is low enough that you’d want to forgo a subwoofer all together.
I mean for stereo applications they’re more than adequate, but if you’re planning on running these in a home theater then I’d still stick with a dedicated subwoofer.
Still for a bookshelf speaker to even get that low is still really impressive.
Carrying on with my Sony SSCS5 testing though, I noticed that the mids are actually really good, with vocals coming in loud and pronounced. This could be attributed to the optimized crossover which allows changes in sound and frequency ranges to be nice and smooth.
In any case, sound quality is definitely there, and they really do everything you can ask for in a speaker.
Well almost everything.
The one thing that’s really worth pointing out is how low the sensitivity is. With its sensitivity rating of 87, you’ll likely need more power to actually get these things loud so that’s something to note beforehand.
These would be excellent nearfield or even midfield monitor speakers for that very reason, especially when using them desktop speakers since you wouldnt need to turn the volume up as loud.
But for home theater proposes, having a high power pre amp/receiver to use with them is highly recommended so you get the same awesome experience as one with a higher sensitivity.
I’d recommend using a receiver that at least has 75 watts per channel to get the most out of them.
But overall, I’d have to say I’m impressed with the sound quality of the CS5 and give these 2 giant thumbs up.
Pretty good chance you’ll absolutely love them.
- 3 way dual tweeter design provides incredible sound clarity
- Support for high resolution audio through a proprietary codec
- 5.12 inch woofer provides a solid midrange with depth
- Vocals & dialogue are represented beautifully
- Wide soundstage gives a greater sense of immersion
- Tapered faceplate edges allow for a cleaner sound
- Fits in aesthetically with any contemporary setting
- Work great as computer speakers
- Low sensitivity requires decent amount of power to get loud
- No 5 way binding post, only screw type
- No keyhole for wall mounting
Well that’s about it for now. Hopefully you enjoyed this Sony SS CS5 3-way bookshelf speaker review and now have a better idea of whether or not they’re for you.
I personally think they’re a great set of speakers, and work well with pretty much everything content wise; provided you have the adequate power to make them work.
But let me know if you have any questions, and certainly let me know what you actually think of the speaker in the comments below. I love to hear from you guys.
Until next time my friends, make it easy, keep it simple. 😉
Hey everyone it’s nice to meet you. I’m Jasmere, the founder of Easy Home Theater. I’ve been with this hobby for many years now, and decided to create this site to share everything that I’ve learned from personal experience with you. I also happen to be a huge gamer, lover of all things tech related, and a major fitness buff. Feel free to say hey!