There are some very good internet direct speaker brands. But unless you are near their home base you probably can't audition their products. I'm not even close to a decent audio store, it's 125 miles east, or 185 miles to the west. So I've relied on reading reviews provided by others on this forum, and elsewhere. I've been fortunate I suppose, I've bought internet direct speakers a few times, and haven't had a letdown yet. If you are interested in Polk speakers you might want to take a listen to their offerings in the LSiM series. I have a pair of their 705s in the back room. I'm quite impressed with them. They have very good bass, better than my Salk SongTowers, but not by a wide margin. The Polks are more of a large room speaker, they can play very loud and quite clearly. My only nit with them is the ring tweeter, they tend to get a bit shrill, at least for me. After a couple of months I decided to put the Salk's back in the MLP. The Polk 707's, the top of the line, is supposed to be just a bit better than the 705,s I don't know since I never have heard them.
Anyway, some internet direct speakers:
- based in Franklin Tenn, might be close enough for you to audition, and they are happy to have visitors. Their T2 towers are supposed to be very good. I've heard the T1's and thought they were 'ok', but a bit bass heavy for my taste.
- they have many different models and prices. Definitely worth looking into.
Known more for their subs, but make some very nice speaker systems
- also known more for their subs - good speakers too. I own one SVS sub, very good IMO.
- I have one of their custom one-off center speakers - I'll probably never sell it, it is that good!
And there is Aperion Audio, and many others that escape me atm. Someone else can chime in with some other ID brands.