Sony SS-CS5 Speakers Review

The SS-CS5 bookshelf speakers from Sony aim to bridge the gap between high-fidelity speakers and low budget options. The speakers offer some nice features such as an extra low 53 Hz bass and a supertweeter. They are a perfect addition to a great beginner turntable or look can great next to a wooden design turntable.  But how exactly do they perform? Let’s find out!

Our Verdict

Sony SS-CS5 Speakers

Type: 3-way, 3-speaker system || Dimensions: 7 1/8″ x 13 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ || Maximum input: 100 W || Impedance: 6Ω || Frequency range: 53-50.000 Hz


» Great price. A high-end, transparent, and warm sound.
» Supertweeter. Not very common in this price-range.
» Smooth and tight bass.


» Can lack bass for heavier music. 
» The higher frequencies could have been more detailed.

Design And Build Quality

The first noticeable detail when picking up these speakers is the weight. Each speaker weighs just over nine pounds.

The speakers also have a small footprint, measuring 7.125 x 13.25 x 8.75 inches. They are narrow and slim but a little tall due to the three-way design. Compared to a two-way speaker, the SS-CS5 may take up a little more vertical space. However, it is still relatively compact.

The lightweight, compact design provides more placement options. You can easily position the speakers on a shelf or tight spots. As with many speakers, the enclosures are constructed from wood and given a matte black finish to help them blend with other contemporary audio equipment. The matte black vinyl finish looks a little cheap. However, the SS-CS5 speakers feel solidly built.

The wood is thick and rigid, which should help absorb and dampen unwanted vibrations. The speakers also have interior joints to strengthen the wood enclosure. The top of the faceplate on each speaker has tapered edges. The slightly tapered edges are intended to suppress unnecessary noise from the cabinet and baffle board.

The grill is a solid rectangle that covers all three speakers. It secures to the front of the speaker with standard grommets instead of magnets, which are becoming more common on high-end speakers.

The design of the SS-CS5 also includes premium components throughout. The speakers include air-core inductors in the tweeters and a silicon steel plate for the woofer. They also use the thickest winding materials available and quality film condensers.

The back of the speakers includes a bass port to enhance the quality of the low-end frequencies. Allowing sound to escape through the vent in the back filters out high frequencies to deliver cleaner bass.

Features and Connectivity

The main feature that sets the SS-CS5 apart from other speakers in the same price range is the extra driver in each speaker. These are three-way speakers instead of two-way speakers. The woofer is positioned at the bottom with the super tweeter at the top and the standard tweeter in the middle.

Many budget bookshelf speakers include a woofer and a tweeter. The SS-CS5 includes a super-tweeter to increase the frequency response and increase the clarity of mid-range sounds.

The super-tweeter driver measures 0.75 inches while the main tweeter measures 0.98 inches. The speakers also include a 5.12-inch woofer with a mica-reinforced cellular (MRC) diaphragm. Instead of using a standard paper cone that may deteriorate over time, the SS-CS5 woofers use MRC fiber to maintain their shape.

The tweeters use soft domes, which is a common choice as the softer domes typically produce a smoother frequency response and less distortion. As these are passive speakers, they are not plug-and-play ready for use with computers, laptops, and other electronics. You need external power from an amplifier or receiver. Each speaker can handle a maximum of 100 watts of power.

To determine if they are the right choice for your receiver/audio setup, check the impedance rating. The speakers have an impedance of six ohms and work best with receivers that offer the same impedance. Using the speakers with an eight-ohm receiver may damage the receiver, especially at high volumes.

The frequency response of the SS-CS5 speakers extends beyond the typical bookshelf speakers. The listed response range is 53Hz to 50kHz. The sensitivity rating of the speakers is 87dB, which is relatively standard. Most speakers have a sensitivity rating between 87dB and 88dB.

The back of the speakers includes two binding post audio speaker connectors. Sony recommends using stripped-bare speaker wire for connecting the speakers to your receiver or amplifier. You could also use banana connectors.


The SS-CS5 speakers deliver natural, pure audio at any sound level. The speakers are built to provide a faithful reproduction of the source audio without prioritizing the bass or treble. You receive accurate audio throughout the entire frequency spectrum.

The mid-range sounds and treble are clear and accurate when listening to music with low volumes or high volumes. As vocals tend to fall into the mid and upper frequencies, these speakers provide exceptional voice reproduction.

Narration and vocals sound full and detailed. However, the lowest and highest notes tend to sound less refined.

The bass response covers sound as low as 53 Hz while the average budget bookshelf speakers go down to around 60 Hz. You may notice a slight reduction in clarity from the bass notes. The speakers also tend to experience minor distortion around between the 4kHz and 5kHz frequency range.

For best results, these bookshelf speakers should be paired with a separate subwoofer that can cover the bass frequencies down to 20 Hz, which is the lower limit of normal human hearing.

The audio, including the bass, sounds bright. The main limitations of the speakers become more obvious when you reach the peak sensitivity rating. The speakers have a sound pressure level (SPL) of 87dB and experience the highest levels of distortion when reaching the limits of the sensitivity rating.

When compared directly to high-end bookshelf speakers, the overall sound may appear flat. However, the neutral, authentic sound of the speakers makes them versatile. They sound great for use with any media, including music, movies, television, and video games.

The bottom line is that you get clear vocals but may want to add more bass from a separate subwoofer.


SS-CS5 speakers are relatively cheap but made with premium components and several beneficial features. They include a super-tweeter for increased frequency response and cleaner sound. They also have MRC cones in the woofers for smoother bass.

The main drawback is the lack of power from the bass and fewer details from the upper frequencies. However, based on the average Sony SS-CS5 speakers review, these speakers are still a great buy. They offer clean sound at an affordable price, giving you more value for your money compared to most other options in the same price range.

Buying Options

Sony SS-CS5 Speakers

Type: 3-way, 3-speaker system || Dimensions: 7 1/8″ x 13 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ || Maximum input: 100 W || Impedance: 6Ω || Frequency range: 53-50.000 Hz

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