Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers Review
Polk Audio is a reputable device manufacturer. They are known for their top-of-the-line HiFi speakers. In 2018, they received the HD Guru award and the AVS Forum Best of CES nod.
Today, Polk’s latest installment in the market is the Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speaker. Are you planning to buy this product? Do you want to know if it’s worth your money? If so, then continue reading because below is a comprehensive guide for the Polk T15 bookshelf speakers.
Polk audio T15 Product Details
The T15 bookshelf speakers are versatile and they can produce concert-quality sounds. Encased in a classic black casing, you wouldn’t expect that these medium-sized speakers could produce clear and crisp sounds.
Using Dynamic Balance Technology, Polk was able to design a low-cost sound system that features the following high-quality parts:
- A front-firing bass port
- A 0.75-inch silk dome
- A 5.25-inch composite driver
All of the above are engineered with Polk’s Dynamic Balance Technology. T15 speakers can generate bright highs and clear mid-ranges. Their bass is also powerful.
T15 ’s furniture-grade and acoustically-inert MDF case also helps in reducing distortion and resonance. Polk used high-grade and selected materials in developing this set of amazing audio devices.
When a structure is dynamically balanced, it responds to the forces acting on it. It doesn’t produce any residual sound. When one isn’t balanced, it resonates like a bell where sound scatters.
Different materials resonate at different frequencies. When materials in a loudspeaker resonate, independent with the music signal they’re trying to reproduce, they add distortion to the output sound.
Distortion affects sound clarity. Because of distortion, the tones become fuzzy, gritty, or growling. If you maximize the volume of low-quality speakers, you will often hear distortion. When volume levels go beyond a specific degree that a device could handle, you will end up with unwanted noise that can ruin your mix or hurt your ears.
Loudspeakers should only produce the sound sent from the amplifier as they were sent. It shouldn’t generate additional resonance. Picture a bridge that can only withstand 42 miles/hr. wind speed. When the wind added the necessary energy, the bridge will resonate and collapse.
On a microscopic level, the same distortion happens on the surface of a loudspeaker. In John Hopkin’s lab, research engineers from Polk studied the effect of energy on different types of materials. They objectively measured the effects.
They discovered that no single material could solve the problem with distortion. However, a combination of chosen material can minimize resonance.
According to the sound engineers, there are several critical factors that one should consider in designing loudspeakers:
- The mass of the material
- Its stiffness
For loudspeakers, these all add up to modal resonances. The earliest sound systems are nonlinear in nature. However, audio devices made from composite materials are different.
Modal resonance is a very rare phenomenon in classic speakers. But complex systems, like Polk T15, utilize modal resonance to generate crisp sounds. When the two frequencies collide, either a strong or weak resonance is produced.
In a resonance condition, negative damping results in strong resonance. Positive damping produces weak resonance. Further, negatively damped modes can cause system instability.
Other manufacturers use aluminum in manufacturing their products. Aluminum is strong and stiff. Although it’s not particularly light, it has good strength and weight ratio. When processed, it becomes stiffer and more durable before it’s shaped.
But, it resonates a lot when energy is applied to it. Try hitting an aluminum tube with a hammer to hear the distortions it produces. A polymer, on the one hand, helps reduce distortion within the materials. By itself, it will still generate resonance when struck with another object.
If you combine polymer and aluminum and create a composite structure, you will have an almost non-resonant material. The two have different characteristics, and thus, they work against each other.
Each one controls the resonance in the other. They offset the resonance of the other material. As vibrations move through the materials at the interface between them, they turn the resonance energy into heat.
After testing a wide range of materials and analyzing their performance, the Polk engineers developed a composite material called “pistonic.” Pistonic showed a tremendous reduction in resonance when energy is applied to it.
Polk T15 is made from several of such high-grade composite materials. Hence, when it comes to producing clear sounds, it’s unrivaled despite its inexpensive price tag.
What Polk T15 Has to Offer
Improves your gaming experience
Do wearing headphones all day make your ear itch and hurt? It’s maybe time to upgrade your speakers in the living room or entertainment hub.
Real-time audio will make every virtual slam, slash, or tackle seem real. With Polk T15 ’s distortion-free surround sound, you can listen to the rustling of leaves and the chirping of the birds in your favorite virtual world.
Watch salmons race towards their breeding grounds, hear them splash into the water and breathe life on the virtual lake you’re cruising on.
Whether you’re enjoying your first space travel or you’re hunting a mammoth, plug the T15 speakers to hear the faintest sounds from the game. Make every moment count as you venture into a new world.
Watch in HD audio and video
You have a 3D flat-screen TV, but your home theatre speakers are that of the 90s. Are you missing something? You certainly are. You need the Polk T15 to upgrade your watching experience.
Use the T15 speakers as your mainstay setup. It supports DTS and Dolby, and is developed to work with many home theatre models. These powerful speakers expand the limitations of home entertainment.
Make your mixes come alive
Are you a recording artist? Do you love music? With Polk T15, you can even hear sounds at the lowest frequencies clearly without using a headphone. Set up the speakers in a recording room and you’ll see the difference it can make to your job and life.
The T15 speakers can generate deep bass, detailed mid-ranges, and crisp highs. With T15 ’s composite components and acoustically-inert enclosure, it can reduce resonance and produce music with clear details.
Its powerful bass is perfect for parties. You can set its volume to max and won’t hear any distortion. With its versatility, it can work well with the other speakers in a surround sound system.
Polk T15 Main Features
- Robust performance and body
- High-grade woofer and tweeter
- MDF cabinet
- Keyhole wall-mount slot
- Bookshelf-compatible dimensions
- 150-watt RMS
- Easy installation
- Broad area coverage
- Wide dispersion
- Easy load for cheap or low wattage amplifiers
- Perfect for budget surrounds
- Wide soundstage
- Flawed response on direct axis height level
Driver size: 1x ¾’’ Tweeter and 1x 5 ¼’’ Woofer
Peak power handling: 100 watts
Recommended watts: 20-100 Watts/Channel
Overall frequency: 60Hz-24kHz
Enclosure type: vented
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
Polk T15 Installation
Installing the Polk T15 in your library, bedroom, study, or living room is easy and straightforward. You could even use the loudspeakers as rear speakers in your home theater.
Its 5-way binding post allows you to bind the speakers in more than a handful of wire-hookup options.
Plus, the Polk T15 is compatible with most home theater stereos, receivers, and processors. Whether you want to watch an HD movie or listen to your mixes, the T15 can definitely enhance your listening experience.
For easy installation, follow the steps below:
- Place the T15 on your desired location. This could be your bookshelf, study table, or TV rack. The speakers should be positioned 10 feet apart.
- Second, cut a length of speaker wire for each speaker. It should be long enough to hook a speaker to the receiver or amplifier.
- Next, you should un-strip ½ inch of insulation from the 2 wires on each of their ends. Use a wire stripper or side-cutting pliers to do this.
- Attach the wires on one of the ends of a speaker cord. This is located at the back of the T15 speaker. Lift the spring clips attached to the back panel so that you can insert each wire. After that, press the red clip and push the red wire into the hole. Then, press the black clip and insert the black wire into the hole below it.
- Fifth, connect the wires on the opposite end of the cord and connect the cords to their matching terminals. The red wire should be hooked up to the red terminal and the black wire must be attached to the black terminal.
- Use steps 2 to 3 to set up speaker number 2. Connect the wires to the receiver or amplifier terminals labeled for each channel.
You can now use the Polk T15 speakers. Play a game or song in order to hear the wonderful sounds it can produce.
On Amazon, the Polk T15 has a 4.5-star rating. More than 1000 verified customers rated it on the selling platform.
According to most of them, the T15 speakers sound super clear and they can produce bass. The majority of the buyers hooked their speakers Polk in a 5.1 audio system. When T15 is combined with a Sony receiver, you can play surround sounds even though you’re in your home’s living area.
The quality of the generated sounds is excellent. The speakers also handle transitions well and are perfect for electronic and acoustic music.
Many buyers are also impressed with its versatility. Because of its front port and compactness, you can place it anywhere in your home or establishment. They say that it provides 90 percent performance for under 50 percent of the usual price of bookshelf speakers.
The Polk T15 is one of the cheapest bookshelf speakers on the market. Still, it’s made from high-grade composite materials.
Polk sound engineers have spent countless hours perfecting the design of the T15 speakers. With their intellect and perseverance, they have developed a durable, versatile, and almost distortion-free pair of speakers.
Whether you’re looking for a gaming speaker or a front speaker for your home theater, the Polk T15 can definitely change the way you entertain yourself at home or in the workplace.