on November 23, 2012
I did a ton of research before I bought these. I even went to a local shop to compare them to others using my own sound check playlist. The salesman looked at me funny but he let me do my thing. These were by far the best ones I heard, so I ordered them.
I hooked them up to my alpine cde hd138bt hu. The first thing I noticed was the tweeters seemed to be a little brighter in my truck and there was a sharp peak in the high-mids, around 6 to 8k. Nothing a little eq work couldn't fix. That was fine....for most of the time. Sometimes I like to really crank it though, and the 18w rms from the alpine wasn't enough. So, I wired them to an amp that's feeding them 75w rms each. MAN! What a difference! They're supposed to handle 100 rms. You don't need that much. They sound great with the extra power. Fuller lows(you will still need a sub for any real beef. You'll be hard-pressed to find components that hit super low because they are specifically designed to be augmented by a sub in most cases. I have a pair of Polk db1040dvc subs). I even flattened my eq because the highs are way flatter and tamed. I can't really put into words how amazing they sound when setup right. I hear snares and runs on toms with amazing definition. Vocals sit just right. Acoustic and electric guitars, cymbals, horns, acoustic and electric bass, cellos and violins....everything. And this is in my poorly insulated Chevy truck with flowmaster super 40's(I like to hear that v8 too ;-) )
So here it is. If you don't plan on putting these on an amp, don't get them, or at the very least install a 22uF cap across the tweeter posts at the xover to tame the high end. You'd probably be better with the infinity ref 6030cs as they are lower impedance and will be higher output per watt as a result. If you have or plan on an amp, these are it! You should also treat your doors etc(wherever you install them) with dynamat or something similar for the best low end performance.
If you don't trust my 20 years in professional audio(think music festivals for 10000+ fans and live recordings) or my 15 years in car audio, check out the review at bestcovery.com where they were ranked a best pick over alpine sps610c, infinity 6030cs, focal access 165 a1, and Boston acoustics se60. These aren't the "best" but they are the best in class. You can't beat the price either. You can get 2 sets here for less than you'd pay for 1 set at Fry's.
So, it's been a few months and the Polks continue to perform exceptionally well. We'll see how they do in the 120+ heat this summer.
I made a correction. Someone pointed out some info I had overlooked previously and they were absolutely right. While (in my opinion) the Alpine SPS610c's do sound good, they are not particularly well suited for use without an amp because of their low efficiency (88dB) as compared to the Polk or Infinity (92dB). (Lower number = more power required for the same level of output) It's been stated that for every 3dB increase in output you need to double the amount of power.
So, it's been a year. These speakers have survived their first Phoenix summer, and one of the hottest on record no less. They continue to perform remarkably. My truck was totaled a few weeks ago so these found their way into my CVPI's front doors along with the alpine head unit. Haven't gotten around to installing the amp or sub yet, but these speakers just keep sounding great. I also plan to get a second set for the rears when i get around to finishing the system in this new ride. I would and will buy these again and again.
on August 15, 2013
I initially loved the speakers. However, one failed just shy of 6 months and Polk refused to honor their warranty. Their reasoning was that Amazon.com, nor the third party vendors selling through Amazon.com, are approved resellers. As a result, everyone should be aware that Polk will not warranty these.
This information came to me from Polk Customer Service Representative Matthew Heinecke.
Amazon.com has since then issued me a full refund of my purchase. I just thought it important that future customers are informed of the lack of manufacturer warranty because the product page states that they have a 1 year warranty. This is not the case. Polk will not honor any warranty for these speakers.
on February 14, 2010
I installed these as a part of the first car audio upgrade I have done since I was in the 10th grade (10 years ago). I wasn't even going to bother with a car audio upgrade unless it could play on the same field as my home stereo. The home stereo is a pair of Polk Monitor 70s, a Denon receiver, and a Martin Logan Dynamo sub. Obviously a tall order.
Powered by an Alpine MRP-F600 amp, these speakers produce excellent, clear sound at any volume. From the inhale of a vocalist to a loud trumpet, at social listening volume to beyond ear-damaging levels, these speakers reproduce the source faithfully.
Installation note: The speaker adapter brackets have a lot of tabs on them to fit a variety of factory mounting points. In some installations you will need to remove the extra tabs so they don't interfere with the door panel. THESE TABS EASILY SNAP OFF BY HAND! I was a dope and didn't realize this at first, so instead of snapping the tabs off I spent 20 minutes making a mess cutting them off with a Dremel. =D
on March 23, 2014
I put a pair of these in the front doors of my '05 Subaru Forester XT as part of a full stereo install (Dynamat/Ensolite on doors, 12" subwoofer, 5-channel amp), and they are fantastic. I made a set of 3/4" MDF speaker spacers for the mids, and they fit perfectly in the stock location. My Forester had the optional tweeter package, and it was simply a matter of unscrewing the old tweeters and epoxying the new ones in their place. The crossover fits on the outer door skin perfectly, about halfway up the rear of the door, with no modification to the door card.
Great sound, and they handle a lot more low frequency than I thought they would for a 6.5". I have my crossover set at 80Hz, and they play as loud as my ears can stand without distorting. I opted to select -3dB for the tweeter output on the crossovers, since the tweeters are pretty "in your face" in their stock location on this car.
I wouldn't expect this speaker to perform as a mini-subwoofer, especially on head unit amplification - Don't expect to drop this into a stock system and get incredible sound. While these speakers may be serviceable for that purpose, I have not tested them in that manner at all. I can say, however, that with clean signal and 100W of clean power, these sound great, especially with care taken to isolate the rear speaker wave from the front. I would highly recommend this speaker set as part of a quality custom sound system.
on January 14, 2009
About 3 months ago, I decided that I'd had enough of my factory car speakers in my 2008 Toyota Prius. I haven't replaced speakers in my cars for years so I didn't want to do the whole rewiring/amp/equalizer/etc deal. I simply wanted to replace the stock speakers with better ones. After a couple of weeks of research, I chose these over Boston Acoustics, Pioneer and Infinity because of the sensitivity rating and price.
Before I get on with how great these are, let me explain how bad the old ones were. The stock speakers suffered bad "motorboating"...you know, when a bass heavy piece of music causes the speakers to make a fluttering sound like a motorboat engine. This was a daily occurence, even with the base kicked down two pips. I also had to kick the treble up two pips. Still, the treble was severe. Songs like Alanis Morisette's "Citizen of the Planet" were almost impossible to listen to because the lows were too quiet and the parts where the bass kicked in overpowered the speakers immediately. Once I pulled the stock speakers out, it was evident why they sounded so terrible. The magnets on them were slightly less than an inch in diameter and I couldn't find anything that would actually stick to them.
okay, back to the polk audio's. Installation went pretty easy. I did have to make my own mounting brackets from mdf to fit in the huge holes that Toyota has in it's doors. The tweeters fit nicely in the same place as the stock tweeters were. After the install, I was able to put the treble and bass back to flat. Initially, the bass seemed to be a little week and I was concerned that I would have to put an amp in to correct it. After about a month though, it seemed like the speakers started to loosen up. Now, the sound is great. I know I don't need an amp, at least not with this radio. I'm enjoying hearing new things in my music that I'd not heard before because the previous speakers couldn't reproduce it. One note of caution though....as a regular podcast listener, I happened to be listening to a podcast that, at one point, had a car horn honk. It sounded realistic enough that it caused me to swerve to avoid the imaginary car that was approaching on the right! :)
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these speakers to anyone!
on August 8, 2012
I replaced my factory speaker on my 99 Nissan pathfinder for this component polks. And it sounds very good, Im using an alpine amp 75W RMS per channel. It sounds really good, I'v used polks before but never components speakers. If you want to inprove the sound in your car any aftermarket speaker will do it. But if you want something you can crank up the volume and still listening to music and not just a lot of noise this are the ones. I use this to listening Heavy Metal and by the time I get home (15 min) my ears are ringing like coming out of a concert! It feels like the music is not that loud because of all the power. But I can't even hear any noise from the road anymore.
The only reason Im giving 4 stars out of 5 is because nothing is perfect in this world.
on September 15, 2013
Review aimed towards 8th generation Accord owners with premium audio.
Always thought the stock system in the premium audio system was pretty good compared to other stock systems thus why I waited four years to upgrade the speakers. So I didn't really feel I was lacking in the mid and high range but last year I laid 200Sf of sound dampening and noise suppression gutting my interior but neglecting the doors(doors are the most important I've heard). Therefore when I decided to finish the job and do the doors I might as well replace the speakers. Glad I did.
The premium audio system includes a crossover for the front speakers that will work fine for the Polk Audio. Most will recommend swapping it out but that will add 2-4 hours of additional install time. From information I found online where someone reverse engineered the stock crossover it begins to drop off at 5000kHz and is -3db at 4500kHz. In sum, there are no worries about using the stock crossover with stock amp and I would suspect that those that go through the effort to replace it too will receive negligible improvements(unless amped).
I replaced the right side first then tested it out shifting the balance back and forth. I had never thought the stock speakers sounded muddy till installing the Polk. Everything seemed clearer and more crisp like taking an earplug out. I used a db meter to see if they were actually any louder and they didn't register anything appreciably higher db. What had improved was the sound quality. I tested it within the first hour of use and since speakers need some break in time it's likely that in a month it will be a little louder.
Conclusion: Incredible improvement in an already "premium audio system". Minor fitment alterations for housing involved cutting plastic with a razor to make room while maintaining stock appearance. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to improve sound quality, I didn't know what I was missing until I installed these.
on August 14, 2015
I was a bit pissed off when they seemed to blow. Everything tuned correctly, they stopped working. When you push on the cone, it moves as if its not blown at all, no problem moving it, BUT, in its resting position, it will not play music. When you push the cone in or out, it will begin to play as if there are no issues, when mid-bass stops and the cone barely vibrates or when the song ends, it reaches its resting cone position and stops playing again. Bit of a PITA. After 2 weeks of ownership the passenger speaker did this. 2 weeks later the driver side was not far behind. I have never had this happen before. The speakers I had before these, the passenger side tinsel lead got messed up somehow (manufacturer defect?) and thus that speaker would no longer play. The driver side of that other set (which i wont name because not necessary) still works to this day for some odd reason. I kept the single speaker and 2 tweets to use for a mechanic box speaker setup. But these polks, pissed me off, and I only payed 116 for it. Very disappointing. I had the DXI-6500 in my 06 s2000 when they first came out and they never had a problem (but then again never amped them like i did with the DB6501....). Now I am questioning if I should even TRY the MM6501's or if I should just change brands.....
on September 23, 2011
I installed these with the goal of having a near-audiophile mobile audio setup in my 2000 Honda Insight. The Insight is particularly hard to deal with because Honda left almost zero room for mounting speakers. Very few aftermarket speakers will fit in the shallow 6.5" door holes on the car. The Polk DB6501 do fit the bill, and marvelously, at that.
These speakers took a significant amount of tuning to get right. Out of the box, the tweeters are extremely bright. In order to correct this, I had to use the lowest attenuation on the crossovers, and then actively attenuate by -9dB @ 4kHz and -8dB @ 1kHz. This gets rid of the "lispy" vocals and ear splitting cymbals.
The clarity of the mid-range on these speakers suffers greatly if they are allowed to play full range. This becomes obvious when playing bass heavy songs like "Inertia Creeps" by Massive Attack. To alleviate this, I had to high-pass them at 180Hz, while low-passing the rear speakers at 180Hz. This greatly cleans up the mid-range clarity. These speakers can play a little bit of the low frequencies, but not without letting the mids suffer.
After getting these speakers set up properly, the sound is absolutely incredible. They are able to fill the car with impressive, theater-like sound that, when matched with speakers to fill in the low frequencies, will fill the entire spectrum of audible sound at clarity levels that would satisfy all by the most discerning of ears. The clocks at the beginning of Pink Floyd's "Time" will scare you with their realism, many songs will almost "shimmer" with the new high frequency detail that can be heard. I am highly impressed with these speakers and would recommend them to anyone with shallow-mount needs.
on September 26, 2013
I wanted to upgrade the sound system in my 02 Golf TDI, so I decided to mix up some of my favorite old-school gear and these highly-rated component speakers. I purchased an Alpine CDA-9835 from "an auction site", as it's the last Alpine head unit to have a motorized face and the 60W x 4 V-Drive internal amp. (26W RMS x 4). I ran a 10AWG wire directly to the battery for maximum current.
The 9835 also has a 3-way mode, that allows you to route the front channels to the front two tweeters, and the rear channels are routed to the front mid speakers. This allows 26W RMS to the tweeters, and 26W RMS to the mids, totalling 52W RMS to each of the front stage speakers. I installed 6.5" bass drivers in the rear doors, so mids and highs only play in the front doors in my setup.
This means that I'm using the active crossover in the Alpine 9835, so I didn't need to use the passive hardware crossovers included with these Polk DB6501 speakers. I really like that I can set the gain for each of the bands - high, mid, and low. It allowed me to set the tweeters at -4db, whereas you can only do -3db with the hardware crossover included with the speakers.
The sound these speakers produce is incredibly rich and full. The tweeters were a bit too bright for me out of the box, making the music sound almost artificial, so dropping them -4db fixed that right up. My head unit has a 5-band parametric EQ which I tuned by ear to what I think sounds very natural. I haven't used the speakers extensively yet, so they probably aren't burned in, but I'm still happy with the low-end output. It's not pounding bass, and in a car with lots of outside noise, they probably wouldn't produce much bass, but I'm happy with the bass in my car with no sound deadening. My car blocks sound out pretty well in the first place, though.
I'm going to be adding an amp to power my 6.5" Pyramid bass drivers in the rear doors tomorrow, but I would be 95% happy with this one component set on its own, with no low end added on.
My goal is just to have a rich-sounding setup without overpowering the highs, mids, or lows. I have tinnitus in my left ear, so I can't turn the volume up to max without hurting my ears. As such, it's important for my audio setup to sound good at lower volumes, which these Polks surely do.
I've added some pictures of these speakers in my 02 Golf to the photos section here.