Monday, November 14, 2011

Energy Reference Connoisseur 10 (RC-10)

The Energy RC-10 bookshelf speaker not only has good looks, but good sound to back it up.  With a cabinet made of legitimate wood, it is hefty and straight out of the box you can tell it's built with quality material.  The kevlar woofers give it a very luxurious look, and the inset tweeter looks gorgeous as well (but it's more than the looks of this tweeter that make us smile, but we'll get to that later in the review).

Besides the aesthetics of this speaker, an important factor for those thinking of purchasing this speaker to consider is sound quality.  More specifically the type of sound these speakers create.  If you have any experience with Energy speakers, you've noticed that many of the budget lines (for example, the new C-series) can be a bit bright.  Some people enjoy brightness for some content, and if that's the case for you, you may want to look elsewhere (possibly at one of the C-series speakers, CF/CB/CC).  The Energy RC-10 is by far the most neutral and least bright of any recent Energy speakers.  That being said, this allows the speakers to relay movie and music material the way they were meant to be heard.  The sounds are more lifelike and clear, distortion is at an absolute minimum (note: This is the case when powered by an adequate receiver.  We remind all our readers to protect your speakers by supplying proper power to speakers, but we're happy to inform you that these RC-10s can take all the power you can give to them, and happily so.).  Another side to the brightness of a speaker is the ability to listen to material for extended periods of time.  The majority of people who own bright speakers find that they can't listen to music or watch movies for too long before getting what can only be accurately described as "ear fatigue."  That problem is completely non-existent with these RC-10 monitors.

The RC-10 sports a 1 inch tweeter, with a 5 1/2 inch kevlar woofer donning Energy's Ribbed Elliptical Surround.  The kevlar alone makes the speaker have a much higher "Wow" factor than other speakers with more plain-looking woofers.  Another plus in this RC speaker vs. the new C-series (CF/CC/CB) that we've reviewed, is that the cabinet has a very solid feel and look.  The grains in the wood are raised, and the speaker is quite heavy (in a good way).  The RC-10 was manufactured in three different finishes: black ash, cherry, and rosenut.  Unfortunately the only finish that can be found new as of right now (in any RC speaker) is black ash.  The other finishes are quite rare, even used, and therefore might cost a bit more to purchase.

The following is our analysis of Movies, Music, and Gaming with the Energy RC-10 bookshelf speakers:


We were excited to try the RC-10 in a Home Theater setting, especially considering this was our first RC speaker.  One of the first movies we popped in was Star Trek (2009) on Blu-ray.  An excellent movie, with a whole lot going on, with lots of dialogue and a lot of action, we felt this was a good choice.  Throughout the movie, we found the voices of characters was spot on with tone and pitch.  It sounds like they're right there with you.  Once again going back to the lack of brightness, making the voices come from the source without shooting into your ears from known speakers.  The clarity of this speaker is fantastic.  Other than the dialogue, the action was great, and we noticed that this speaker, although a bookshelf speaker, and only having a single 5 1/2 inch woofer, still could get quite low, when there were explosions, etc.  The specifications of the speaker state that the speaker can get as low as 50hZ.

After the initial use of RC-10s as mains, we have since then used them as surrounds for a short time and they are our height speakers in our current system.

As surrounds they are quite capable, and with their previously stated surprising bass, add an extra level of fullness to any surround sound experience.  This is also the case for the height application.


***More content testing (music, games) and more coming soon!  I decided to post my reviews in increments due to current events in the household, so please be patient with me.***

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