Today, we will be dive into the minute details of Polk Audio T15 review so that you get the best value for your money.
This is because bookshelf speakers are an integral part of your home audio system and getting a quality pair of them can literally add stars to your stereo sound experience.
And Polk Audio is one of the premium speaker brands. So, let’s get started with:
Polk Audio T15: Features At A Glance
Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf SpeakersKey Features
Why Only Polka Audio?
Like every other individual ,you might also be looking for quality based products.
The very motto of this Polka audio says itself: “Why anything else? We’ve always made the best speakers at the best price”
Let me take you in the flashback story of these speakers.
On a cold chilly winter nights ,a group of friends ,engineers and music lovers got up together with an ambition to establish a good affordable speaker.
It didn’t take much time to establish a company with such a clear and down to earth vision towards the costumer.
This is how the Polka audio bookshelf speakers come into play.
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Polk Audio T15 Review: Personal Experience
This is an ultra budget under 100$ bookshelf speaker. Polka audio is the only real major brand here.
I know Dayton audio is a big company and they do some stuff here and there but as far as it goes for notoriety and how well known a brand is like, Polka audio is the real serious company in this.
So, here I chose Polka audio because T15 is typically 99$.Most people know Polka audio stuff goes on sale somewhat frequently.
Apparently when they go on sale ,they go down to 69$ which is pretty darn reasonable and puts very much in the ultra budget bookshelf category.
We are now going to get into about its specs ,what it sound like, some pros and cons. I’ll probably try not to compare it with any other top brands.
- Here, we’ve got a 0.75 inch silk tweeter ,the height is about 11 inches, the width , and depth are both between 6 and 7 inches.
- Its an 8 ohm speaker and its got a frequency response of 65 Hz to 20,000 Hz and plus or minus 3 dB approximately.
- The sensitivity is 89 dB.
How Do They Sound?
This was a really interesting one honestly because I plugged in and then my brain went off.These didn’t sound that great initially and the Polka audio house sound is not something ,I’m super into.
Anyway ,but still I was able to configure main reason for my dislikeness towards its sound system.
I used to hear it mostly lying on my bed.So one morning ,while brushing my teeth in the washroom and listening to my everyday morning mania,I was basically in the corner and it sounded really good.
Then ,I noticed my speakers stand are set up to be at a good height .While I am laying in bed, speakers being at air level,the mid range disappeared.The treble was like crazy bright but when I stood up everything was cool.
I researched on internet about this similar experience and got to know many audioholics faced same.
So, these are actually designed to be listened to off vertical axis.That’s a really important thing to keep in mind ,if you want to mount these speakers up high ,or keep them down low on a console or use them as surrounds and rear. This way they are kind of marketed as a bookshelf speaker also.
Moving On To The Bass
It is interesting cause’ Polka audio ,I got to say its marketing team especially ,I got a bone to pick with them.I went on their website and found that they describe this thing as having deep and punchy bass.I really do understand ,to some degree it is advertising.
Deep and punchy ,I’m pretty sure the website says incredibly deep .You could really clank it with tone controls ,it gets muddy though.The amount of bass that you do have is enough for the the speaker to sound tonally correct.
The bass itself sounds very tonally accurate .It was enjoyable quick and snappy.
I like to put items I buy ,through a torture test ,so I decided to run a low freuency bass tone.Just to see ,where they were bottomed out and of course the bass tones are generated from the bass part of frame.
Let’s Talk About Their Uses
They are not really advertised as you know home theatre only speakers or that they should be listened to off vertical axis.
I think if you’re in the under 100 category looking for speakers,there’s a good chance that a lot of you are going to come across these and consider them as good option .
So I’ll probably enlighten you with their actual intentions overall.
Though the sound from top to bottom is one of those things.There’s a lot of people that will like the sound of this speaker .
Although the top end is not goung to be sharp neither smooth .Its kind of right in the middle.
Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
The very motto of this Polka audio says itself: “Why anything else? We’ve always made the best speakers at the best price”
Click here to buy now
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Getting into Pros and Cons
- Sleek and sophisticated design
- 0.75 inch tweeters
- Large 5.25 dynamic balance driver
- Magnetic shielded enclosures reduce resonance
- Sometimes produces blurry sound
- Low bass often
- This actually have a good finish on it.It’s like ,there’s a good texture to this like vinyl wrap black wood ash finish.It feels good when you touch it .Its spaced out about a quarter of an inch that gives it a high end appearance.
- The proper fine five way bending posts,I’m a very big fan of that.
- It does have a keyhole mount to be wall mounted.There is actually heft to them when you pick them up ,they do not feel sturdy.
- As I would expect from a major brand like Polk audio ,It doesn’t look like skimped anywhere.
- This doesn’t look like a product that they cheaped out anywhere right and that’s I guess one of the pros that comes with buying from a brand that has a big name to protect.
- One more pro,I want to talk about ,they freaking nailed it with the grill logo.
- The grill logo is somehting I’m very particular about .It migt be a little difficult to see but there’s a black gray metallic above the Polka lettering .You can call it gunmetal or a dark silver.
- Its brushed in like horizontal way and its recessed into the grill.It is so classy looking and I love it. I have speakers that are eight times the price that don’t have a grill logo this nice.Most of them are plastic.
- This is how higher end companies step your game up.Those plastic chrome looking like grill emblems ,you’re using.Stop it,its embarrassing. Learn from Polka audio.
So the cons, there are not many cons except;
- The vertical off access Vs on axis performance being so wildly different.
I think its cool that they did that. I think a lot of people will actully use them vertically off access.
If I’m being completely honest in my living room, I use Dynaudio m10 speakers and they are shoved into my media console and I listen to them off access vertically.
So, you know, if I were to be redoing my living room upstairs over again. I’d probably go with something like these because these are designed for that and that’s pretty cool.
A lot of people you know their living room can’t accommodate a big complex theatre setup or maybe there might be wife acceptance factor or children running around,and they are just like “I just want to shove some speakers in a media console or tuck them away out of sight”.
They are definitely not going to be at ear height . I want them to sound good.These are designed for you.
So ,its a super cool thing but you have to know that because listening to them on access can be fatiguing and the mid range will be missing.So, thats the con but are arguably a pro,if its right for you.
- The only other con is ,they put a thicker sidewise from the factory ,it says something like marketing jargon.So, if you take it off there’ll be like bunch of leftover glue still there.
These vinyl wrapped speakers ,they are not super durable and I’m not sure if I’d feel like comfortable taking the glue gone or rubbing really hard to get it off, so it leaves a sticky finish.
It has an impedence of about 8 ohm and a power of 100 watts magnetically shielded and their passive speakers.They have a really nice black wood finish to it and a base port up front.
Around back they have the standard black and red speaker wire connections.
I decided to go with the black speaker stands just to compliment the nice finish that the speakers have on them.
I definitely have to say ,I like how the speakers look in my room setup.A very nice professional look but they also fit with the decor very well.
They can easily fill up a medium sized room with a nice amount of sound,very good highs and mid range.
It does may be like a little bit in bass but for the size of what the speakers are and the price point of only about 70$,you can’t beat it.
Overall I was very impressed by these speakers ,the T15s from Polk very good bookshelf speakers and especially for the price point of only about 70$ for a pair thats hard to be.
I listen to these speakers with the wide variety of music and movies .You can’t go wrong buying these.
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Alternative Product Choices
1. Mica Mb42X Bookshelf Speakers
- At around same price, it is a good alternative. They have a slightly small stature and a low end sound system.
- They need not be mounted on the wall ,so this should be kept in mind while purchasing. At any rate, they are great to be bought reasonably.
2. Polk Audio TSi10
- So, if you didn’t get to buy the Polk T15s ,and still you want something from the Polk series itself, this is the one ,you can go for it.
- They have much better refined sound flexibility.
- The look is almost same with an even more amazing finish.
3. Dayton B652
- This six and half woofer produces rich punchy bass.
- Their midrange vocals gives an amazing performance.
- A complete 5 yr warranty speaker.
- Although it has the worst finish but all over stature and price is worth buying.
Polk Audio T15: Comparison
First I Want To Touch On Warranties
The mica mb42x,you get a one year warranty,the Dayton b652 air and the Polk audio T15, you get a 5 year warranty .
Outside of that ,the major difference is the Polk T15 and the mb42x,they are gonna have 5 weight binding posts.The Dayton b652 air have spring terminals unfortunately.
The mica mb42x is the only one with magnetic grills.The only two have the other two traditional style grills.The dayton b652 have six and half mid woofer, the Polk audio T15 have a five and quarter while mica has smallest mid woofer at 4 inches.
All three of them have slight size differences,same depth but different height and width but obviously mica being the smallest.
Now, Let’s Talk About The Finishes
This is kind of important in my opinion .So, the dayton b652 air ,it has the worst finish out of the box.
The same spot you will find on both Polk audio T15 and Mica as well.
That was a little bit of a bummer.
However,the Polk audio T15 actually have the best finish by a long shot .This is going to be one of the benefits of buying from a major brand.
Polk audio is the biggest company in this trio here. Mica is definitely smallest ,Dayton is probably somewhere in the middle.
Polk audio has definitely been doing this for the longest and has the most notoriety.They have the brand to protect .They definitely have more of a budget on these things and they probably buy these kinds of sheets of vinyl in bulk.
I’m just guessing so they can afford to slap them on anything.The finish on Polk is actually,you can feel it by just touching.It feels somewhat real.There’s a texture to it.It seems much thicker and much more heavy.
In fact,I will say as far as build quality goes,the Polk audio T15 probably take the cake.
Let’s Get Into The Sound
So, starting with the high end frequencies ,the mica mb42x have that sharp top end sound,its going to be the most brightest and have largest sound stage .You know that the brighter speaker is going to image better.
Typically the daytonb652 air on the other hand going to be smoothest sounding .It has a little bit of a smaller sound stage where its going to stay between the speakers.
Mb42x extends out beyond the speakers. While the Polk audio T15 is going to be somewhere in the middle, neither sharp nor smooth.Its top end is kind of just right in the middle but it is on the forward side of neutral.
It’ll be more bright , pushed into the room a bit more.In fact,all three of them will push out into the room.
Let’s Talk About The Mid-Range
The mid range on the mica mb42x have some peaks almost to give artificial sense of loudness.The mid range on the dayton b652 air also have some peaks but in a way that boosts vocal performance and lets the vocals to be separated from the music.
That’s the good thing and the bad thing.Good because vocals really pop,bad because it does kind of show you in contrast that the music itself is not gonna be as good because the vocal has a good shot like a light shining on it and the rest of the music can sound a little bit congested.
In comparison the mb42x never sounds congested on the other hand ,the Polk T15 is a bit of an interesting one here .
Movies And Television Watching
I watched few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy.If you’re into medical dramas ,then this is the best you could ever watch.The dialogues intelligibility and perfect set of music backgrounds makes up the whole mood.
I watched it in stereo ,so only Polk audio T15 speakers and their subwoofers could generate sound with good dialogue intelligibility.
One reason for this is that there is no centre line speaker in the Polk audio series.,this makes the whole sound to come equally unlike up and down.
Dialogues and lyrics come through without creating any glitch.The cupping effect was too slight to be noticeable.Music and effects all went fine,so apparantly whatever the shortcomings I heard about these speakers ,those were so small to be noticed while watching.
It didn’t become a matter of distraction or obstacle to my enjoyment .I was almost lost in the show to care about the world around,such a mesmerizing experience.It simply means that the speakers are doing their job well.
So, people out there who are looking for an inexpensive TV speakers will find this Polk audio T15 suitable enough to be bought on the first sight.It will add an essence and a major improvement to their TV speakers.
Once, I watched a movie using this Polk audio T15 speakers,You are well known to that movie though.It was “Conjuring”.You can imagine the thrill now.
How it could have been, all those horror scenes with the mind baffling sounds in the background diffusing throughout the whole room.I could say ,I couldn’t sleep that night.
Again ,they exhibit the exceptional dynamic range for their price and size.
Overall, I was very impressed by these speakers, the T15s from Polk very good bookshelf speakers and especially for the price point of only about 70$ for a pair that’s hard to be.
The summary of the review goes here;
It has passed all the tests from listening to the build quality.They can effortlessly fit in any living space. So,if you’re looking for one such, go for it.