The RC-10’s Kevlar woofer looks pretty standard, until you look closer and spot its Ribbed Elliptical Surrounds—that’s the rubbery rim around the edge of the 5.5-inch woofers. Energy claims the elliptical shape and raised “ribs” lower distortion, increase dynamic range potential, and increase the surface area of the woofer so it can move more air and make more bass than a conventional 5.5-inch driver. The 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter’s rear chamber was designed to minimize interaction with the woofer. The RC-10’s fit and finish are well above par, and the design details, like the two sets of beefy, gold-plated binding posts are as good as I’ve seen on speakers that retail for two or three times the Energy’s modest MSRP.
Tip: The RC-10 comes with foam port plugs to tame bass bloat that might occur when the speaker is placed near a wall.
The RC-10 has the gravitas of a much larger speaker. I’d attribute that to its warm, self-assured balance, and yet it never struck me as overly mellow or soft. Image depth and focus are excellent.
There was something about the sound of Willie Nelson’s Across the Borderline CD [Sony] that brought the RC-10’s midrange honesty to the fore. Willie’s vocals were present, full-bodied, and natural—damn, he was right there. I just love the way he poured himself into Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up,” and the song’s redemptive message sent chills up my spine. Mark Isham’s trumpet had the detail, texture, and harmonic completeness that’s rare in $550 speakers.