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EMP Tek Cinema 5 Compact HT System Preview

EMP Tek Cinema 5 Compact HT System Preview

EMP Tek Cinema 5 Compact HT System Preview


  • Product Name: Cinema 5
  • Manufacturer: EMP Tek
  • Review Date: February 07, 2013 03:00
  • MSRP: $999 (Currently on sale for $699)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

E3b Mini-bookshelf Speakers

• 3" Aluminized Polygraphite Woofers

• 3/4" (19mm) Nano-silk Dome Tweeter

• Recommended Power: 10-100 Watts

• Impedance: 8 Ohms

• Frequency Response: 80Hz-20kHz ±3dB

• Crossover Frequency: 3,000 Hz

• Sensitivity: 83dB (2.83V@1m)

• Dimensions: 4-1/4" W x 6-3/4" H x 5-1/8" D

  (108mm W x 173m H x 130mm D)

• Weight: 3.25 lbs. (1.47 kg.)

• Available in Black or White


E3c Center Channel Speaker

• Dual 3" Aluminized Polygraphite Woofers

• 3/4" (19mm) Nano-silk Dome Tweeter

• Recommended Power: 10-120 Watts

• Impedance: 8 Ohms

• Frequency Response: 80Hz-20kHz ±3dB

• Crossover Frequency: 3,000 Hz

• Sensitivity: 84dB (2.83V@1m)

• Dimensions: 10-3/4" W x 4-1/4" H x 6" D

  (273mm W x 108m H x 152mm D)

• Weight: 5.90 lbs. (2.68 kg.)

• Available in Black or White


E10s Subwoofer

• Drivers: 10" (254mm) Aluminum Cone Subwoofer

• Amplifier Type: Class D

• Voltage: 110V/220V (60Hz/50Hz) switchable (IEC socket)

• Amplifier Power: 150 Watts

• Crossover Frequencies: 40-150Hz (variable)

• Frequency Response: 32Hz-150Hz

• LFE Input: Yes

• Line Level Input: Yes

• Speaker Level Inputs: No

• Speaker Level Outputs: No

Regular readers of Audioholics should be familiar with the Internet direct speaker manufacturer, EMP Tek. Many of their products have received high-praise from us and we have even installed their flagship E55Ti floorstanding speakers for own family. Of course, not everybody is interested in such an imposing system as the E55Ti’s, either for reasons of aesthetics or because it simply isn’t practical in terms of available space. For those people, EMP Tek has introduced the diminutive Cinema 5 system, a sub/sat system based on the E3b mini-bookshelf speaker, E3c center speaker, and E10s powered subwoofer.

The Cinema 5 system includes 4 E3b speakers for use as the main and surround speakers. The E3b is a mini-bookshelf/large satellite speaker sporting a ¾” silk dome tweeter coupled to a 3” aluminized polygraphite cone woofer. To cover the all-important center channel position, the E3c adds a second 3” woofer, creating a conventional M-T-M center speaker. At first glance, the trained eye will note that all satellite channels have a rated frequency response down to 80Hz; as such, this setup shouldn’t suffer a hole in response when crossing over to a subwoofer that a certain popular brand that rhymes with “hose” is known for (but with 3” drivers we would likely still cross over the E3b's between 100Hz and 120Hz). Moreover, because the satellites are two-way models with a dedicated tweeter, you can expect credible top octave performance, unlike the aforementioned popular brand that utilizes a 2” or smaller paper cone driver in place of an actual tweeter. Moving beyond potential performance, those sensitive to aesthetic concerns will also note that the E3b and E3c are available in white or black, which may be useful when it comes time to blend the speakers in with the décor.

In order to provide a solid low end to the Cinema 5, EMP Tek has released the new E10s subwoofer, which is also available as a standalone model. Employing a relatively high excursion 10” aluminum cone woofer with a large butyl rubber surround and a 150 watt (that's a continuous power rating) Class D amplifier in a bottom vented enclosure, this compact sub appears to offer quite a punch for its size and asking price. With extension rated down to 32Hz, this isn’t the subwoofer for those chasing infrasonic frequencies; however, that doesn’t mean the E10s can’t provide a satisfying experience. Realistically, for a budget subwoofer it’s a smart tradeoff to eschew plumbing the depths in favor of focusing on the content from 32Hz on up.



 EMP Tek E10s Subwoofer


EMP Tek E10s Subwoofer

On paper performance is all fine and good, but what about the fine details? Unlike the often overpriced brand that rhymes with “hose”, the Cinema 5 System is unlikely to be a budget buster at only $699. That means if you buy a budget receiver you can have a complete 5.1 system for around a grand. It’s worth noting that the E3b mini-bookshelf and E3c center are covered by a 5 year warranty, and the E10s subwoofer is covered by a 5 year warranty on the driver and 1 year warranty on the amplifier. Finally, for those of you that are interested in the Cinema 5, but unsure if you’ll like what you hear when you get it home, you can take heart in the fact that like all other EMP Tek products, you get a 30 day in home trial (which is better than we can say for some other Internet direct manufacturers).


As an audio enthusiast, I can admit that I like big imposing speakers; on the other hand, it’s not hard to see the appeal of a setup that only reveals itself when it’s time to actually play some tunes or watch a movie. Nobody should expect E55Ti performance in a cute package, the laws of physics don’t yield, even for the engineers at EMP Tek. However, if you are looking for a system that is priced lower than the cubed alternatives (and built better), can blend into your decor, and still pack a punch (especially if you use a bigger subwoofer), the EMP Tek Cinema 5 system might be right up your alley.

For more information visit EMP Tek

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Steve Munz is a “different” addition to Audioholics’ stable of contributors in that he is neither an engineer like Gene, nor has he worked in the industry like Cliff. In fact, Steve’s day job is network administration and accounting.

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