Polk Audio TSi300 Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Cherry)
|Price:||$169.95 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Single versatile high-performance floorstanding loudspeaker
- Equipped with 1-inch silk/polymer composite Dynamic Balance dome tweeter
- Frequency response: 35-25KHz
- Equipped with two 5.25-inch diameter bi-laminate organic fiber cone woofers
- Recommended Amplification: 20-150 watts/channel
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- Brand Name: Polk Audio
- Model Number: AM5202-B|4
- Color: Cherry
- Speaker Type: Floorstanding
- Speaker Connectivity: Wired
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This item Polk Audio TSi300 Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Cherry)
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|Sold By||AUDIOLAB - Since 1958||Amazon.com||Warehouse Deal Express||WORLD WIDE STEREO||AUDIOLAB - Since 1958||HiDEF Lifestyle|
|Item Dimensions||7 x 11.5 x 36.38 in||8.88 x 10.62 x 35.19 in||7.7 x 15.6 x 42 in||8.19 x 11.75 x 36.25 in||7 x 14.25 x 38.88 in||11.25 x 13.38 x 37.44 in|
|Item Weight||26 lbs||25.81 lbs||47 lbs||26 lbs||32 lbs||29.9 lbs|
The Polk Audio TSi300 floorstanding speaker is the most compact tower speaker in the TSi series. Its affordable price and small footprint means they can be used as the front channels in a home theater system or as the main speakers in a music system. For home theater, pair it up with some TSi100's or OWM3's for surrounds, CS10 center and PSW series subwoofer and you'll have a spectacular sounding system! The new TSi Series is a quality-built, affordable line of high performance loudspeakers for music and home theater. The TSi Series boasts a stylish look that complements today’s flat screen technology, with wood grain finishes, piano black top plates and pewter trim rings. Built for value and sound quality, the TSi Series is a great introduction to high performance sound.
Top Customer Reviews
Sound and Quality
A little background about me. I've been into stereos and good sound my whole life. I was introduced to high quality equipment by my father over 45 years ago, and have always had excellent equipment. I've had many amplifiers and a good number of speakers over the years, and I've listened to a lot of different equipment in showrooms and hifi stores. My bias is that I am after what sounds great to me, not what costs a fortune or what is in vogue with audiophiles (my view is that some of them really do know their stuff and some do not and are just paying a fortune for stuff that sounds no better than things costing far less).
I mention my own tendencies because these speakers really do sound fantastic for this price point. The build quality is amazing, and they look good, too. You cannot really tell from the pictures, but they are not large. They are towers, for sure, but they take up a modest amount of space which is excellent unless you have a lot of room. They put out a lot of sound for their size. I use them in a medium size family room in a finished basement. I am using them with my favorite (now quite old) amplifier/receiver of the many amplifiers I have had had over the years (an Onkyo TX-840). I use these speakers in a stereo--not surround or theatre setup--setting. This particular model of Onkyo has a sound I like better than anything I've ever owned, and I have long thought they sounded particularly good with Polk speakers, which is why I wanted to try the TSi-300s. And I am really happy I got these
These Polks have a warm, full sound. The highs and mids are clear and I can more readily pick out things like locations of instruments (e.g., cymbals and such) than with the Infinities they are replacing. The sound is not harsh but it is very clear (not mushy). What I was not prepared for was just how good the low end is for this size speaker. While there are plenty of reviewers who note these need a subwoofer because the bottom is not the strong suit, I frankly think that is only the case if you are looking for a rattling low end for movie sound tracks. For music (and most movies), what these TSi-300s can do on the bottom without a sub is pretty surprising to me (it's excellent). I have two very good quality subwoofers from Polk. I forget but I think they are each rated at 250 watts or so, and Polk is very conservative in their ratings (as an example, see how happy people are with the Polk sub PSW10 here on Amazon. That's not a model I have, but unless you have a very large room, I bet it's a fantastic unit for the price).
Back to the bottom. I tried these TSi-300s with and without one of my subwoofers. I found that, for music (including music with a lot of bass in the mix), I did not like the sound any better with the sub than without it. The TSi-300s perform amazingly well on the low end for their size--much better than I expected. If, however, you want to use these speakers for a home theatre, or even with just a left-right set up that includes a lot of movie watching where you want to feel your body shake, then you'd want a sub with them. Ditto if you have a large room and love hip-hop or club-like dance music, you probably would want a sub. But even at that, I would not assume you would want or need the sub. I am genuinely surprised at just how excellent these perform on the bottom--really delighted in fact.
As you can see from the reviews here at Amazon, people who have purchased these are very happy with them. If you'd like to check out some external reviews, here's one that put me over the top for trying these TSi-300s. Search for: TSi-300s review Ralf Neels. That will get you there. He does a very nice review, and what he says matches my sense of these speakers very well (though, he has better ears than me to discern a slight lack in the mid-bass region). Note that he says you could not get better sound at twice the price. I agree completely with him except that I'd say you'd not find better sound at several times the price (except, I think at double the price, the TSi500s would likely sound even better). But for what else is out there, you could pay a lot more to get sound as good as this (as long as you like this type of sound signature, which I'd call crisp, distinct, yet on the warm/smooth side).
Okay, so what's not to like. Here is the design problem, and it's real and serious but easily fixed. I will write to Polk about this in a few days.
After I had these for a few days, and was enjoying the sound a lot, I occasionally noticed a sort of little fizzt or fuzz sound whiz by, especially in a particular register on the higher end. I thought my left speaker had a tweeter problem. I listened to various things trying to pick up just what was wrong. Then I tried tightening down my connections more, and realized that one might not have been a little loose. The problem seemed to go away and I was happy. Then it came back after a few days. Importantly, I truly think many people would not hear this little bit of a problem, and it was intermittent, so it was really bugging me as I was trying to figure out why this would be happening.
Finally, I had decided there was just something wrong with the left speaker and I was going to take it back (maybe the set, because I'd already spent hours trying to figure this out and was frustrated). As I was disconnecting the left speaker, I noticed something about the metal strip that connects the posts for the bi-amping feature. It was loose even though the wire nuts were tightened down all the way.
What's bi-amping? A speaker that can do bi-amping allows you to run a separate amplifier for the high end of the speaker and the low end, so it gives you two sets of posts to connect the wires (one for the highs and one for the lows). Now, honestly, why Polk would build this function into a speaker at this price point mystifies me. Only really hard core audiophiles are going to be interested, and they are not buying Polk speakers in this price range--trust me on that. Here's why this matters to you if you get a pair. You are likely not interested in bi-amping. Here's where the metal strip that was lose on mine, comes in. The metal strip connects the two negative posts together and the two positive posts together so that when you connect your speaker wires to one set of posts, the others are connected too (so you get both the high and the low end).
The problem is the design. Once the speaker wires are in the holes, and the nuts on the posts are tightened down on wires as tight as at least I could make them, the little metal strips were still not locked into place. I could not on my speakers) tighten the nuts down far enough to actually solidly clamp those little strips in place. They were slightly loose after connecting the speaker wires, and that means the connection from one set of posts to the other was not solid. Hence, after hours of fiddling around, I realized only as I was disconnecting these speakers to return them why the high end on the one side was sometimes a little tiny bit fritzy.
If you get these and do not want this problem, you can solve it in one of several ways. After you connect speaker wires, try wiggling the little brass colored metal strips (you'll see--it's obvious what I mean once you see them; or see the two pictures I posted). If you can wiggle them, you need to solve this problem. The way I solved it was to cut four very short wires, and connect each set of plus and minus posts (red and black) on each speaker, along with, of course, reconnecting the wires from the amplifier to one set of the posts on each speaker. Essentially, I created a better connection between the high and low end of the speakers than Polk supplied, given the bi-amping design. Another solution would be to connect to the speakers using banana plugs. This would solve the problem because if you tighten down the nuts on the connection posts all the way, without any speaker wires needing to go through the posts, the metal strips are held down solidly and make good contact. Again, if you cannot picture this, trust me, it will be obvious once you have the speakers.
I highly recommend these speakers. Just check carefully if those metal strips have any looseness at all once you connect your amplifier, and solve that problem if it exists.
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These are set up in my living room, which is about 20 x 10, carpeted, with 12 foot ceilings. Imaging doesn't seem to be a problem, I get full colorful sound at all volume levels, even with all the upholstered surfaces. FM radio even sounds pretty amazing with these, with completely clear stereo channel segregation and a nice warm tone.
Of course results will vary, but if you pump enough power to them, these speakers will not disappoint. Make sure to calibrate them to your specific room. My Pioneer receiver has a self-calibration mode with a wired microphone to set things up, after I did that the sound quality increased by a decent amount.
The reason I'm only giving these speakers 4 stars is that the bass response leaves something to be desired. But considering that the cones are only something like 6 inches, it's about what I expected. However, with a subwoofer hooked up, these things jam.
Bottom line, a great sounding speaker for the buck. Add a dedicated subwoofer to fill in the bottom end and you'll be more than happy with your purchase.