Sorry for the delay gents, I planned to have this one published Tuesday 21st but, I’ve had some personal issues arise that pushed it back.
Today we have the beautiful Polk S15’s. Now I purchased these on sale for $136 to replace a pair of Polk Monitor 40’s which started the snowball effect in spending thousands & thousands of dollars this year..which I’ve enjoyed quite much.
At this point I wasn’t big in audio, the Polk Monitor 40’s along w/ yesterday’s BIC FH6-LCR replaced an LG soundbar, which to its credit for having 4 .75” soft domes & 6 2” drivers sounded decent for a soundbar. From the soundbar to the Monitor/FH6 combo was a major stepping stone, I could turn the volume up without distortion, it was louder but, not the ear piercing kind of loud the strained sound bars create. It was incredible not having to specifically turn the volume up just to hear a dialogue only scene.
After a month or two here I felt unproven & residing within the very bottom tier of audio which lead me to a budget friendly upgrade but, still an upgrade.
The Polk S15’s are definitely an upgrade. A comparison between them & the Monitors revealed an uneven treble line within the Monitors that the Signature series accurately corrected. Not to mention aesthetically they are much more pleasing.
At first before the break in period I’ll be honest, it was lacking something; bass, midbass, I wasn’t sure at that time what but making that change I did notice something was different for the worse. Now the bass isn’t an issue as I’ve learned throughout training for what to listen to. The measurements below will show my conclusion.
It’s definitely the midbass, crossover region but, I do not believe that this is a cast of negatives towards Polk as depending upon placement will change the frequencies drastically. For anyone that does not know Polk has designed a new “Power Port” which is a rear port with..well idk how exactly to describe it so just look at the picture below. As we know most rear ported speakers want space away from the front wall but, having a non-direct rear port this reacts a little differently with boundaries. To get a full sound signature they (in my room/setup) like to be approximately 6-8” away from the front wall. If you like accentuated midbass you could pull them out a couple inches but IMO this would not result in having a flat crossover area. If you are looking for speakers for a desk setup (extremely nearfield w/ a wall directly behind them) I would recommend the S10’s if you cannot accommodate the 6-8” spacing.
The tweeter is my favorite part of this particular speaker although if this was the S20 I would call it a complete budget friendly speaker as it goes down to 38Hz I believe. I listen to a wide variety of music - rap, hip-hop, R&B, rock, classic rock, some blues, occasional jazz if I’m drinking, rarely some classical, movie scores. I absolutely adore Hans Zimmer & the one who done Sicario... Johann Johannsson, the name escaped me. It plays vocals with authority & clarity with only one recommendation from an AVS user that had screeching with a female pitch. It will play cymbals & horns clear & sharp but, at the same time being pleasant & non-shrill.
Here is the specs for the Polk S15
All measurements were measured in half space @ 1m with the dB level & crossover specifically noted in each graph
I measured the -3dB at 58Hz & the -6dB point at 51Hz. I have a null which is a reaction with the room at 1-2kHz so those sips can be ignored.
Placement along with sub distance makes a huge difference in making the crossover area completely flat but, a few sweeps & tweaking settings it was a breeze.
I will be reviewing the SVS Prime Elevations next