Little beats on mid-sized beasts, for under $200. These "bookshelf" speakers are amazing. Nothing about these speakers screams under or over powered. These are worth every penny.
I picked up a pair of RB-42s on amazon for $150 and the second I hooked them up I wanted a second pair. The speakers themselves are not powered, they are rated up to 100w continuous power, and come with a pair of banana plug/twisties in the rear. It is rear ported, don't put flat against a wall. The grills are magnetic! Why doesn't everyone do it this way?! When you take off the grills, the lack of mounting holes for the grill make a difference. All you see is the tweeter house and woofer mount, and its pretty! Whats also nice is that the grill can be put on in either orientation, logo near the tweeter or the woofer! Do note, the banana plugs in the rear are too far apart for a two head plug.
Build quality is there. I pulled these out of the box and dropped them onto tile, not a dent. I keep whacking them with my light by accident and still haven't noticed a mark. The outside is a dark brown, think coffee made strong without cream, but you can barely tell they are brown over black. Being on a dim lit office, I can't tell unless I turn on my LED lights.
Sound, that's why we are all here. Treble is clear and not overpowering, I wouldn't say recessed but defiantly not sharp. The treble test I used was "A Night in Tunisia" by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. From the high hat to the trumpet, you hear everything as it was intended to be heard. The high hat sounds exactly like I'm in the room, the trumpet does the same. The mids are where the RB-42s are strange. In songs like "Sober Up" by AJR the mids are fantastic and clear as can be. The mids are not forward of the sound, but they are more full and heard than some other speakers I've heard as of late. In songs like "Gravedigger" by Dave Mathews, I find that the mids are struggling to be heard over the mid-bass range. A simple eq should fix it, but I didn't test that. The lows are big, bright, and boosted. I swear these woofers are all bass. When I put on "Advanced Placement" by Watsky or "Meet Virginia" by Train I can feel the bass. Not hear, FEEL. The bass that these speakers have reminds me of subs I have in my car, those are 12" dual subs. My wife in the room next door says she can hear the bass over everything else. I don't think I could fully explain how bassy these are. Now, the bass is accurate, rolls fantastically, and pops perfectly.
My opinion? Yes. For $150, these are a no brainier. The only way these could be better is if there was a pair that sounded the same and was powered. The RB-42x however have more than just power, I'll be reviewing those later. If you have a way to power these speakers, you will want to save your money and buy these.
(photo provided by google images.)