Finding surround-sound speakers that sound great isn't that difficult. Of course, if you want them to be small and inexpensive, those criteria raise the bar significantly. That's why the Energy Take Classic is a doubly impressive product. The 5.1 speaker package is a "remake" of Energy's much beloved Take 5 system from the 1990s. The Classic keeps the same overall design: four compact satellite speakers (under 7 inches high), a dedicated center channel (just over 10 inches wide), and a modestly sized 200-watt sub sporting an 8-inch woofer. Pair the Take Classic with any worthwhile AV receiver, and you'll find that that the system delivers a seamless blend between the sub and the satellites, offering a detailed, full-bodied sound that transcends its modest size.
The Take Classic's superior performance is even more impressive considering the package's $600 asking price. It's that value proposition that elevated the Take Classic to an enthusiastic CNET Editors' Choice. Amazingly, the system is currently being offered at some online retailers for under $400. Toss in a solid mid-range AV receiver, and you've got the basis of a formidable home theater system for under $1,000.