The Energy Take Classic 5.1 surround-sound speaker system draws a ton of praise from reviewers for its terrific value. Though not intended for brute force, its small speakers produce excellent sound quality for all types of content and can fill a moderately sized room easily. Its proven track record among reviewers make it a safer choice than its doppelganger, the Monoprice 9774 (*Est. $250).
Big sound from small speakers. While headbangers may be better served by larger and more expensive home theater speaker systems, reviewers say the Energy Take Classic 5.1 offers outstanding sound quality, especially considering its price. Don't let its satellites' near-compact size fool you; the Take Classic 5.1 can easily fill a moderately sized room with sound. Movies sound great, though experts are especially pleased with the system's music performance, especially with two-channel recordings. Dialogue is clear, and surround effects are placed with accuracy, though where it really shines is with its lack of coloration while producing sound. The 200-watt subwoofer provides fairly deep bass, but those seeking earth-shattering lows will be disappointed. Blending among the satellites, center-channel and subwoofer is superb, reviewers say.
High-end design for a not-so-premium price. The Energy Take Classic 5.1 sports a glossy piano-black finish that's sleek and stylish; experts say it looks more high-end than its price would suggest. Even with the subwoofer, the Take Classic 5.1's minimalist design makes it a welcome addition to most rooms.
The Energy Take Classic 5.1 does a decent job of disappearing in a room, and its small satellites make wall mounting easy. Speakers include keyhole slots, and threaded inserts for bracket-mounts are provided, though blocking the rear ports may slightly muffle bass output. The speaker grills are removable.
Solid, but small connectors might be a problem. The four satellite speakers are small, yet not quite compact as smaller systems -- weighing about 3 pounds each. They each use a tweeter and midbass driver; the center-channel speaker has the same setup only horizontally oriented. The 200-watt subwoofer boasts an 8-inch driver on the bottom.
Audioholics.com's J. Walker Clarke notes that the Energy Take Classic 5.1 uses mini-5-way binding posts that "seem adequate" for this type of home theater speaker system, adding that using anything heavier than 14-gauge speaker wire could cause problems.
The best value in its class. Among moderately priced home theater speaker systems, the Energy Take Classic 5.1 is an exceptional value, reviewers say. Sound quality is incredible for the money, and the design is first rate. It won't shatter your eardrums, but for any practical home theater use, it's in a league of its own. The Take Classic 5.1 is extensively reviewed, and experts agree it's one of the best home theater values available.
However, no assessment of the Energy Take Classic 5.1 is complete without addressing its apparent clone, the Monoprice 9774. CNET has taken the Monoprice 9774 and Energy Take Classic 5.1 apart and found some, umm, similarities. Given its lower price, the Monoprice 9774 presents a very attractive alternative to the Take Classic 5.1. However, its track record regarding reliability is unknown, and the future availability of the Monoprice speakers is a bit up in the air as a result of a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Klipsch, the Energy's parent company.
Review Credibility: Excellent CNET reviews the Energy Take Classic 5.1 in a detailed, hands-on evaluation, where it is named an Editors' Choice winner. Mathew Moskovciak says it's the "best budget speaker system" he's reviewed, thanks in part to its "outstanding sound quality." It receives 4.5 stars out of 5 and a rating of Outstanding.
Review: Energy Take Classic 5.1 Review, Mathew Moskovciak, Steve Guttenberg, July 17, 2011
Review Credibility: Excellent Audioholics.com offers a fairly balanced, hands-on review of the Energy Take Classic 5.1. J. Walker Clarke says that while it isn't capable of shaking the walls of your house, it will outperform most comparable options for movies, and especially for music. He notes a few caveats, saying the binding posts don't accommodate larger speaker wire and satellites are prone to overdrive at high volumes. Even so, he says it "raises the bar for competition" regarding value.
Review: Take Classic 5.1 Speaker System Review, J. Walker Clarke, Feb. 14, 2011
3. Home Theater Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent In a richly detailed review, Mark Fleischmann writes that the Energy Take Classic 5.1 is a "fine, all-around performer." Analysis includes both listening impressions and formal bench testing. He writes that while you won't get the "slamming low-frequency effects you'd get from phat towers and/or a giant sub," the Take Classic 5.1 delivers the "midrange goods -- the single most important aspect of speaker performance."
Review: Energy Take Classic Speaker System, Mark Fleischmann, June 9, 2008
4. Sound & Vision Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent The Energy Take Classic 5.1, writes Ken C. Pohlmann, will "perform beautifully" in small to mid-sized rooms, but it can't "match the big boys," due to its small speakers. Still, for a compact system, he is impressed with the sound quality and reproduction abilities.
Review: Energy Take Classic Home Theater System, Ken C. Pohlmann, May 22, 2008
Review Credibility: Excellent Hundreds of users weigh in on the Energy Take Classic 5.1 over the years, and an overwhelming majority gives it a 5-star rating. Most praise this home theater speaker system for its value, offering great performance for the money.
Review: Energy Take Classic Home Theater System , Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013