Paired with inexpensive, high-quality Monoprice 16 gauge speaker wires, these speakers provide amazing sound at a price that can't be beat.
I recently installed an entirely new media center consisting of the Samsung LN46B650 LCD TV, an Onkyo TX-SR606 AV Receiver, these speakers (with Monoprice 16 gauge speaker wires), these inexpensive speaker mounts, HDMI cables that cost less than a dollar each, and a PS3. The sound is amazing! (August 2012 update: These are STILL my primary speakers, I still LOVE them, and I now use a Sony STRDN1030 Receiver with WiFi and Bluetooth. Sept 2014 update: 5.5 years later, they are still my primary speakers, and I still love them.)
I am so glad I didn't buy more expensive speakers than these, because these sound awesome. I was a little hesitant at first because I had never heard of the Energy brand, but after reading the reviews here and on CNET, I gave it a shot and I'm so glad that I did!
Crisp sound, powerful bass... I couldn't ask for anything more. The only complaint I have about these speakers is that the positioning, size, and angle of the 5-way speaker wire connections on the back makes it difficult to use regular sized banana plugs. But I didn't even deduct a star for that because the sound was excellent when I just twisted the wire ends and inserted them bare.
Regular TV sounds awesome. Movies sound awesome. PS3 games like Rock Band sound awesome. Music streamed from my PC to my PS3 sounds awesome.
I recommend these speakers to everyone!
Additional specs you may find useful:
- Satellite speakers weigh 2.9 lbs. each, center speaker weighs 3.2 lbs.
- Speakers are all magnetically shielded
- Recommended crossover frequency on receivers is 100Hz-120Hz. Satellite speakers have frequency response of 115Hz-20kHz, and center speaker 110Hz-20kHz
- Speakers rated at 8 ohms, 100 watts
- Speakers have 1/4"-20 TPI threaded inserts AND old school keyholes for mounting
- Tweeters in all speakers are 3/4 inch Hyperbolic aluminum-dome
- Woofers in all speakers are 3 inch poly-titanium
- Crossover points are 2.9kHz, efficiency room rated 89dB
- Subwoofer has separate volume level, low-pass filter 40Hz-150Hz @ 18dB/octive, Phase setting 0 degrees to 180 degrees, and a power mode switch for ON/OFF/Auto-Off
- Subwoofer is 200 watts with an 8" MPP Cone
on June 10, 2013
I am no audiophile but my wife is ;) She really loved the clarity of the sound the way the music comes alive though these speakers. I like the booms from the subwoofer, but the part that I liked the most about these speakers is the price (vs performance)and the easy mounting options on them. I liked the fact they included the M4 threaded slot on the back apart from the key hole. This gave a really secure and firm grip when mounted on the VideoSecu speaker mounts. I use it with Sony STR-DN1040 receiver and I am very happy with these speakers. Since I have not used a lot of other speakers I wont say much about the comparative performance of this speaker set. But I can say that the sound is great, real nice style and very nice finish all at amazing price. You have many more reviews on amazon from experienced guys that give these speakers a high five. The reason I bought these speakers was because of the CNET review and couple of other online reviews. These speakers have stayed on top for more than 4yrs so I guessed they should be great anyway and no regrets. One note is if you are planning to put them on a wall then i think it is best to use wall speaker mounts for the 4 satellites because they have the bass port in the back.
Speakers: Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black) (I Paid 299$ on Amazon)
Receiver: Sony STR-DN1040 7.2 Channel 1050-Watt A/V Receiver (Paid $449 on rakuten/buy)
Speaker Wire: RCA AH16100SR 100 Ft. 16-Gauge Speaker Wire
Banana Plugs: Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 Deadbolt Banana Plugs, 12-Pair(26$ NOTE: Cannot use banana plugs on the speaker side without Speaker mounts)
Speaker Mounts: Videosecu 6 Black Satellite Studio Speaker Mounts / Brackets for Walls and Ceilings 1UP(19$) (needed some grinding to fit the speaker but works great for the price)
Some amazon reviewers mentioned break in period but i think the sound is great already out of the box have to see how it sounds in a few weeks or months.
The Speakers very much accept banana plugs unlike some reviewers believe on amazon. Just need to pop the red and black plastic stubs on one end of the metal caps of the tightening post . I use them and I have uploaded a pic showing how to do it(i think it is the 26th picture of 27)
A special note here anyone looking for mounts for this speaker in a small budget. I have used VideoSecu Mount on Amazon and I really liked it. It is not the best mount or greatest or finest but it is the best at the price(6 for 19$). If you are interested in this mount I would recommend you read my below review for the mounts this might be helpful because there are a couple things you need to know about these cheap and good mounts.
Product Link is above in My Setup Section
on April 9, 2008
I have recently purchased this system paired with a Denon AVR1508. And all I can say is WOW!
I originally purchased the POLK RM705 package, and kept them all of 2 days, brought those back and got the Klipsch Quintet III paired with the KSW10 subwoofer, on both systems all the satellites' did was nothing but scream at you and the subwoofer distorted at low to medium levels regardless of what I threw at it, music or home theater (KSW10 not quite as bad). Needless to say they went back as well, I know I am picky! I was going to give up on the 5.1 package and go get bookshelf speakers or towers.
However ENERGY has changed my view on the 5.1 kit! ENERGY has also made very nice high end speakers for a while now, which have always been very efficient, crisp and clean, and they have done it again! Music and Home Theater purely sound superb! The satellites' do not scream which helps the subwoofer compliment the overall sound, hence not missing the mid range. This helps in accomplishing the full sound that I believe we all desire.
I do only have one small complaint. I do have to turn the subwoofer down when jamming normal music (stereo 2.1) or there will be slight distortion from the subwoofer, however for the money and the fact the 5.1 systems are pretty much entirely designed for movies... top notch! And a slight turn of the knob once or twice a year when the time calls for really cranking up the volume, not a huge issue!
As far as home theater no subwoofer issues there! The subwoofer produces extremely clean, tight, deep bass, which makes any explosion or thunder shake the couch. The satellites' in any listening configuration are absolutely unbelievable, clean, clear, crisp, enabling you to hear fingers actually sliding over the guitar strings as they are being strummed, incredible!
Do yourself a favor and go listen to these if you are in the market for a 5.1 system and make sure to bring the check book as you will need it, I did!
I hope this helps as this is a fairly new HT system and there are not a whole lot of reviews out there, but the ones that are, seem to agree with mine!
on April 13, 2009
I have been a home theater hobbyist/enthusiast since 1989. In that time, I have setup over a dozen systems for myself, friends, and family with budgets ranging from $500 to $20,000. I have seen a lot of speakers come and go over the years. I personally prefer full-range speakers, but have always admired the sound that the Energy Take series has put in a sat/sub package. However, I never felt that the price/performance was right - until they came out with this Take Classic 5.1 package with the subwoofer now bundled in at one low system price.
I currently have these setup in my 10' x 11' home office, serving their duty in a computer media and gaming sound system. They are being driven by an old Yamaha RX-V 995 5.1 receiver and the combo sounds shockingly good given the relatively small investment. It has totally exceeded my expectations. For a smaller room (10'x10' to 12'x15'), I have to say that this Energy Take Classic combo produces the best sound for the money of the many speakers I've installed and used over the years.
Overall build quality is top-notch which was completely unexpected for me given the low price. I can't see where Energy has cut any corners - if they did, they hid it well. The system has, by far, the nicest fit and finish of any speaker I've seen anywhere close to this price range. The system comes carefully boxed in styrofoam cut-outs, with the speakers individually wrapped with foam sheets and then again in thick plastic. The result is a high-gloss black finish that is FLAWLESS.
As far as installation goes, the speaker binding posts are quality, gold-plated, all-metal screw-type. Home Theater mag review says bananas are accepted but mine were too big so YMMV on that. Wall or ceiling-mount options are plentiful with each speaker supporting both key hole and threaded insert style brackets. I used the threaded insert to mount mine and it worked perfectly and securely. The subwoofer has the typical L/R line level RCA inputs, variable volume control and crossover adjustments. There is also a two-way phase toggle (0, 180 degrees) and a three-way power toggle (on, off, auto). Speaker level input (but no high-pass output) is also supported.
Overall the sound is impressive given the small size. As expected with any micro/sub system the mid-bass region of the frequency spectrum is a little thin. However, the midrange performance of the 3.5" titanium mid-driver makes up for a lot of that with velvety clear vocals. Center channel dialog comes through very clearly - a feat that not many speakers in this price range can claim. The satellites do an equally excellent job with music and sound effects. While the 8" sub will not shake your home's foundation, it is more than enough to fill a small room with rich (not boomy) bass. The clarity and smoothness of the 3/4" aluminum tweeter is most impressive and is on par with systems costing 3-4x more in my opinion. The speakers all have the same drivers in the same arrangement which yields a totally seamless sound field (the THX demo DVD really highlights this capability). I was also impressed with how well these speakers perform with all types of music from Jazz to New Age, to Pop, to Rock. These speakers make it all sound fantastic, which is indicative of what they are: an extremely well-designed, highly refined speaker system.
In summary, this is not your Mom's home-theater-in-a-box, folks. This is the real deal! This system is capable of putting out a good deal of high-quality sound in a high-quality package for a very small price.
on December 12, 2014
I consider myself as a veteran home theater enthusiast. Having worked for 5 years part time for Circuit City before they went under as a Home Theater Sales Associate. I’ve had the unique opportunity to review and test a wide range of speakers. I owned high end Infinity Kappa speakers for the longest time, but ended up giving them to my brother-in-law when we moved to a new house. I went for over 2 years suffering with a cheap Sony home Theater-in-a-box that sounded muddy and downright….well….cheap. I finally saw Amazon put these speakers on sale for $299 so I bought 2 sets of them (I’ll explain why in a moment).
A little about my system. I watch a lot of Blu-ray movies in hi-def surround formats and we have a PS3, Xbox One, and a Wii-U integrated into my system as well. There is also a Grand Videoke TKR371MP as a top of the line wireless Karaoke system that my wife uses that also outputs hi-def audio on certain song choices. I use Verizon Fios as my cable provider. I purchased 2 of these Energy systems because I wanted to do a 7.2 setup in my man cave. The extra speakers left over will hopefully someday be integrated into a 9.2 Dolby Atmos setup down the road.
Here is my unbiased review of these speakers:
a. The sound quality is much better than I had expected them to be. I have a slight hearing disability so dialog from the center channel is difficult sometime for me to hear, especially on cable TV. The Energy’s center speaker is crystal clear on all sources and I have yet to struggle with any dialog. Even my Infinity’s were not this clear and they cost thousands more!
b. The blend between the subs and the satellites is the best I’ve encountered for a system in this class. I’ve tested similar sized systems from Polk, Infinity (TSS Series), Definitive, and JBL. None blended so seamlessly as this Energy system does. You must set your volume on the sub to the mid-way point and set the cutoff frequency to 110hz, then do the auto calibration with your receiver. I have an older Sony STR-DH-810 and I hate the auto calibration DCAC that Sony uses. I much prefer Audyssey, but had to use what I got for now. With the Sony DCAC I still had to do a few minor manual tweaks here and there, especially on surround levels (there was a bias of too much volume on the left side). I fully intend on getting a new Denon next year once they finally work out the HDCP 2.2 issues for 4K, so I can calibrate these with the Audyssey XT32 calibration system instead.
c. The two 8 inch subs put out cleaner and tighter bass than my 12 inch infinity sub ever did. Put the new Godzilla in during the Honolulu airport scene and you will know exactly what I am talking about.
d. The satellites are small and easy to position around the room. I recommend putting them on dedicated wall mounts so that the bass tube on the back of the speakers can breathe. You can wall mount them flush with a nail as there is a key hole slot on each speaker including the center, but for best performance, let them breathe a little away from the wall.
e. They work very well for both music and movies! Something that many speakers can’t do (it’s either one or the other). I listen to a lot of 80’s metal so guitar work is the focus when listening to music. I listen more for the guitar work from the likes of Randy Rhoades, Zakk Wylde, Jake E. Lee, and especially George Lynch, so I wanted speakers that could handle this type of music. The Energy’s did not disappoint!
f. If you’re into the karaoke thing, they will pleasantly surprise you. We had my Karaoke system hooked up to an Onkyo system and a Bose Lifestyle system at two different friend's houses and my Energy’s smoked the competition on voice clarity and overall sound quality from both the background music and the singers voice (disclaimer: They will not make you a better singer. If you can’t sing, there is no speaker on earth that will help you….trust me, this is me! I don’t sing, remember, it’s my wife’s system not mine….see autotune for help on that).
g. If you want that IMAX feeling in your man cave. Definitely do the 7.2 setup if your receiver will allow, you will be totally blown away! The 2 subs combined with the processing of the extra back channels of the 7.2 system will put you right in the movie, literally.
h. Construction of the actual speaker modules (tweeter and the midrange) are superb and look and feel like they would last forever. The housing is ok but nothing to wright home about. It is durable enough that you don’t have to worry too much about scratches or peeling, but it is a laminate/pressboard finish so definitely not indestructible. My infinities were real wood so I guess I got spoiled a little. Energy does make higher end speakers with better material but you will pay an arm and a leg for them. Keep in mind these were only $299 for me on sale with Amazon!
a. Fingerprint magnets. The high gloss finish will need to be cleaned after you handle them or anytime you touch them. This is a very minor gripe by the way.
b. As other reviewers have noted, there is a break in period for these speakers due to the type of material they are made of so out of the box they may sound a little bright at first but will gradually become warmer sounding after a few days of using them. The manufacturer recommends 50 hours of use to properly break them in. Mine are already sounding much better than day one when I first hooked them up. Just be patient.
I highly recommend this system to anyone wanting smaller speakers for a surround system. The performance of these speakers greatly, and I mean GREATLY outweighs the cost. It is money well spent because they perform like high end speakers allowing you to use the rest of your home theater budget on better equipment such as a higher grade receiver or that overly comfortable man cave couch. I would buy these again for another room without hesitation and I have already recommended this system to a good friend of mine who is currently in the process of hooking up his own new home theater system. Again, it is money not wasted….enjoy!
on February 15, 2009
I recently plunged into the HD market -- bought a Samsung LCD (A550), a Sony Blu-ray player (350 model), an Onkyo TX-SR606, and these speakers. I did tons of research on TVs, BDPs, receivers, and speakers. I found 3 audio/video websites that had reviewed the Energy speakers. Google "Energy 5.1 Take Classic review" and you'll find them.
Aside from what the reviews say, I fell in love with these speakers for their elegantly simple design (they look great with my TV). They are nothing flashy, and since I've owned them (about 6 months now), none of my friends have commented on my "cool-looking speakers." But they HAVE commented on the sound. They sound very fresh, alive, and well-rounded. Movies sound terrific -- the multi-channels blend seamlessly together and create this living, breathing soundfield. And like the professional reviewers say, music sounds especially good. In 5-channel stereo mode, it is bliss for my ears.
I live in an apartment in New York City, so my living room isn't exactly huge. These speakers fill my space wonderfully. I'm not sure how far you could push the volume in a bigger room, but I have yet to push these too far, and I've listened to many movies at a pretty loud volume (my poor neighbors...).
After living with these for half a year, I couldn't be happier. This just might be your best bet at getting amazing 5.1-channel sound without buying large expensive speakers.
on January 7, 2012
I purchased this speaker set based on the reviews I found here and all over the internet. After hooking up the speakers I found that the tweeter in the center channel speaker and in one of the satellite speakers was not working. The non-functioning tweeters issue wasn't immediately noticeable to me. However when running my receiver's speaker setup and calibration program I noticed that two of the speakers sounded much different, very flat, when test tones were played through them. Being impatient I didn't want to wait for the speakers to be exchanged so I disassembled one to see if I could find the problem and fix it myself. I disconnected the internal wiring, inspected the cross-over and tested the tweeter by connecting it directly to the speaker wire. Everything seemed fine, the tweeter itself worked and there was nothing visibly wrong that I could see. I put the speaker back together, reconnected it to my system and now it was working just fine. I repeated the process with the other non-functioning speaker and got the same result. My only guess is that the red paint used to mark the positive terminal on the tweeter is too thick and insulates the connection (as part of the inspection process i scraped some of the paint down on the terminal).
Anyway once I got all the speakers working I was very happy with my purchase. The satellites have great full clean sound like all the reviews suggest. The subwoofer blends well, plays low and can reach surprisingly good output levels considering it's size and cost.
I give these a three star rating because while the sound is excellent I feel it is unacceptable that two of the five speakers didn't work out of the box.
on November 5, 2011
I purchased the Energy system in August of this year and am extremely impressed with its performance.
I should preface this review by disclosing that I am a heavy researcher, my wife says bordering on compulsive. Whenever I am considering a large purchase I plot and plan for weeks, scouring reviews and forums pertaining to whatever product it is I'm interested in. My aim in this research is to get the best possible value for my money. Essentially I really like nice "stuff." After enduring roughly two years of shallow, boxy sounds emitted from my Samsung home theatre in a box, I decided it was time to kick it to the curb. I wanted a system offering rich, full sound to complement the picture of my TV. And the researching commenced. . .
I initially heard about the Take Classic system from a cursory browsing of CNET. Being a Amazon Prime fanatic, the Amazon reviews were the obvious next step in the process. Five stars with so many reviews? I was confused. I decided to cross reference several different website's reviews looking for bias. After not finding any such thing, similar products were scrutinized in the same manner. Obviously, I ended up going with Energy--which was actually my initial choice anyways.
With the speakers I purchased and paired the Pioneer VSK-1021K receiver, which I'm also very pleased with. Other system components include: 12 gauge speaker wire, high quality HDMI and subwoofer cables and the Atlantic Satellite speaker stands for the fronts.
I must admit I was initially a little underwhelmed with the performance of the speakers. I had spent several hours cleanly running all the cables into the attic, under carpet and connecting everything to the receiver via banana plugs; why didn't it sound better? I listened to all matter of media over the course of the next few weeks; adjusting speaker levels, auto calibrating everything and generally fretting. Yet still, the sound was tinny. Disconcertingly so with female vocalists, which would produce a shrill sound from the tweeter resembling static. I read on Energy's website that there was a "break in period" that must be followed. I decided to leave music, tv, etc. playing throughout the day in order to break them in before my return period expired (a course of action I was seriously considering.) However, as the hours of play time wore on I started to notice a change in the sound stage emitted from the speakers. The room was starting to be filled with increasingly rich sound.
After several months of the usage I am blown away by the performance of these speakers. They are now incredibly warm when playing music and the aforementioned "problem tweeters" resonate with a silkiness previously inconceivable. They excel in cinema watching as well producing good bass response and a well-balanced center channel. The subwoofer, although small, is well paired with the system producing clear and concise lows. None of this overpowering, floppy and out-of-sync bass commonly experienced with larger $200-500 subwoofers.
For the size of my living room (roughly 15x20) these speakers fill the room with sound quite impressively.
As many other reviewers have noted, the binding plugs won't accept banana plugs; although the posts themselves crimp quite well on the speaker wire--so not a worry to me. Another point I'll echo from some of the reviewers is the importance of setting up your receiver properly. Set the speaker size to "small" and crossover around 100-110HZ if not auto calibrating. As a matter of preference I have the subwoofer crossover set at 130HZ and volume around 80%.
Being a connoisseur of good value I'll say overall I'm very impressed with this system. It rivals speaker systems in the $1500 range, as I've witnessed on several occasions. If you pair it with a GOOD receiver and observe proper break-in you will not be disappointed.
on July 13, 2013
Don't buy this if you plan on hanging on the wall. After 6 months or so of mounting this on the wall, the rear face of the speaker came off. If you plan to keep the speakers on some support or floor, then it's great because the sound it produces is great. I regret spending money on such items that break so easily on normal use.
on January 5, 2012
I purchased theses in Dec 2011 and have been using them for about three weeks now. Man, these are great speakers! Im not an audiophile (sounds like something you can be arrested for) but a 46 year old biker that probably doesnt have the best hearing having spent too much time on a Harley with loud pipes and wind. Having said that, I can hear these speakers great!! I sold my pioneer tower speakers and surround system and went with the energy after all the great reviews. Sound is crystal clear and continues to get better and better during my 50 hr break in period. The bass from the woofer is excellent! True story, I was listening to Def Leppard Hysteria and my teenage daughter yelled down the stairs for me to turn it down because the bass was ratteling the things in her room right above our living room. Watched cowboys and aliens on blue ray last weekend, and that was a sound immersion you wouldnt believe. I felt like i right in the middle of everything, bullets flying, lazers zapping, explosions you could feel... it was intense!!! All these 5 star ratings are there for a reason, these speakers rock!!!! For speaker mounts I used: Atlantic 77335068 Satellite 5 Speaker Mounting Brackets (Black)for the rears and Sanus HTB3 stands for the front. Both speaker stands worked great with 14 ga. wire and banana clips. Looks like amazon doesnt carry the HTB3 anymore, i had to get mine from Bestbuy and you can see my review of them there. Bottom line, you wont regret buying these speakers!