The Energy Connoisseur CS-30 Sound Bar: No Frills, Solid Sound

Energy Connoisseur CS-30 Sound Bar/Wireless Subwoofer System. Image Provided by Energy Speakers

If you are in the market for a sound bar and are looking for something that delivers quality as well as convenience, then check out a sound bar/subwoofer system from Energy, the Connoisseur CS-30.

Core Features of the Energy CS-30

The Energy CS-30 features a two-channel sound bar housing a 3-inch mid-range/woofer and 3/4-inch tweeter on each channel. The sound bar is approximately 40 inches wide, which visually matches well with TV screen sizes ranging from 37 to 50 inches (or larger), and can be either shelf or wall-mounted.

The CS-30 sound bar unit provides Dolby Digital decoding. After 5.1 Dolby Digital sources are decoded, the audio is mixed down to the two-channel speaker configuration built into the sound bar. However, Energy employs 3D virtual surround sound postprocessing, which expands the sound field slightly beyond the borders of the sound bar horizontally for a wider sound field.

Connectivity options included on the CS-30 include one digital optical (cable included) and one set of analog RCA-type audio inputs.

For additional content access, the CS-30 sound bar also includes Bluetooth, which allows direct wireless streaming from compatible smartphones, tablets, and desktop and laptop PCs.

In addition to the sound bar section, the CS-30 also includes an 8-inch side-firing bass reflex design wireless-powered subwoofer. Since the subwoofer is wireless (except for the need to plug into AC power), you don't need to use a long and unsightly audio cable connection to the sound bar in order to get those low bass frequencies. Just following the pairing instructions and you are all set. Placement of the subwoofer in your room becomes much easier: you just need to find the spot that enables it to deliver the best bass.

Power output specifications aren't provided for the sound bar and subwoofer individually, but Energy states the power output rating for the entire CS-30 system as 250 watts peak (​continuous power output will be lower), and the frequency response range as being from 27Hz to 20kHz. 27Hz on the low end is pretty good from coming from an 8-inch subwoofer, and the upper range is a good response from a sound bar.

For control, the CS-30 comes with an easy-to-use slightly-larger than a credit card sized remote, or, if your TV or Cable/Satellite Satellite remote has learning capability, you can use that option as well. The sound bar also provides basic onboard controls as well for volume, mute, and source selection.

The CS-30 can be easily placed below a TV but, at about 4-inches high may obstruct the bottom of some TVs. However, the CS-30 can also be placed on an open shelf below or above the TV, and, your TV is wall mounted, you can also wall mount the sound bar as well - A wall mounting template is included, but you need to supply the additional mounting hardware. Rubber feet are provided for either table or shelf placement.

The Bottom Line

The Energy CS-30 is not a fancy sound bar in terms of features. For example, it doesn't provide HDMI video pass-through. What this means is that if you have a Blu-ray Disc/DVD player, media streamer, VCR, or other AV source device, you will need to make a video connection to your TV and a separate audio connection to the sound bar. However, on many TVs, you can connect both your audio and video to the TV and then pass the audio out through the TV's digital optical cable back to the sound bar. Experiment with your TV and see what works best for you.

Another feature that is not included is internet streaming capability. Also, it is not compatible with Apple Airplay. However, you do have the ability to stream music directly from compatible devices using Bluetooth.

However, even though the Energy CS-30 sound bar/subwoofer system does not have a lot of frills, it does provide solid sound bar audio performance that can enhance your TV viewing experience. If are looking for a sound bar, out the Energy Connoisseur CS-30 as a possible choice.

For more details, including more on speaker construction, amplifier design, and the virtual surround sound processing system, refer the Official Energy Connoisseur CS-30 Product Page. The CS-30 is available through Authorized Energy Dealers.

For more sound bar suggestions, check out our continually updated list of Best Sound Bars.