"The bigger the speaker, the better the sound" is a rule of thumb that you're likely to hear from many audiophiles. Thankfully, every rule has an exception. In this case, it's the Energy RC-Micro 5.1. Energy's latest surround-sound speaker system sports downright miniscule dimensions--the satellite speakers are a mere 4.7 inches high--but they deliver the sort of sound you'd expect from much larger speakers. Among the highlights were the $1,000 system's ability to blend seamlessly between the tiny satellite speakers and the 8-inch subwoofer. While the system's size does have its limitations--wattage freaks who like to crank it overly loud will soon find its sonic restrictions--most listeners looking for a set of surround-sound speakers that's heard and not seen would be hard-pressed to find a better-sounding solution at this size and price than the Energy RC-Micro.
One caveat: Anyone who's tempted by big sound from little speakers might want to wait for our review of the $1,200 Mirage MX 5.1--an even smaller version of the Mirage Nanosat 5.1, which is still available, and a steal for under $600. (Mirage and Energy are sister brands in the Klipsch family.)