Part of it for me is just a bias against soundbars, partly because they have the same compromises that most "flat panel" speakers do, and partly because they're usually really expensive given the soundquality.
Anyway, kartoon take another look at this quote:
The RC-10s are minimonitors, not bookshelf speakers. You will not get the best that these speakers have to offer if you place them on a shelf or up against the wall. I initially made the mistake of placing them too close to the wall, assuming that they would need boundary reinforcement. What I got, in my 14' x 13' x 7' listening room, was too much bass. Energy does provide foam plugs for the rear-firing ports, should it be necessary to place the speakers near a boundary, but you are better off pulling the speakers out into the room. I ended up with them four feet from the front wall and about six and a half feet apart, angled inward to cross just behind my head.
I think his comment about placing them on a shelf or near a wall is something that could be said about most speakers. But two points:
- the effects are not as huge as you might be thinking, from that. yes, you may lose some air and some soundstage with your placement. but it won't be a disaster.
- some of the biggest effects - like boomy bass, if it happens - can be managed down or away. he mentions port plugs.
He's trying to get the absolute best sound, the usual audiophile tweaking for the last increment of performance. But even at something less than their absolute best, these speakers will still sound very good.