Energy Take 5.2 Home Theater Speaker System

When this magazine's predecessor, Stereo Review, evaluated Energy's Take 5 system some four years ago, micro-size home theater speaker systems weren't too common. We were more than a little impressed that the Take 5's tiny satellite speakers and 8-inch powered subwoofer could produce a well-integrated, dynamic, tonally "right" sound from surround and stereo sources alike. Four years is an eternity in this business, and for a speaker system to survive that long unchanged is a sure sign that plenty of folks have felt the same way - and proved it by plunking down their dollars. Nevertheless, in the world of home theater, change is as inevitable as hyperbole, and the Take 5 system has now been supplanted by - ta da! - the Take 5.2.

Had it been up to me, this $900, five-speaker-plus-subwoofer suite would be called the Take 6, but I can understand why Energy would pass over a name that might suggest 6.1-channel capabilities. Anyway, this year's model is very similar to the original, but the five satellites, which arrive packed in a single carton, are snazzier and slightly larger. They're also vented instead of sealed and have larger, 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeters along with their 31/2-inch woofers.

The Take 1.2 center speaker has two of the woofers, and the four Take 2.2 left/ right satellites have one each. As in several competitive systems I've seen lately, the finish of the satellite enclosures is exceptional for the price. Gloss-black lacquer flanks curvaceous, playfully bulbous grilles, with multiway binding posts seamlessly inset in the back of each speaker. The Take 2.2 satellites also incorporate a nifty tilt-and-swivel fixture that clips onto the supplied wall-mount brackets or to the top of optional Take 2.2 stands, which can be had for $75 a pair.

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