|Polk Audio LSi9 Bookshelf Speakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Bookshelf/Monitor Loudspeakers|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Tuesday, 01 June 2004|
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Large bookshelf speakers are not for everyone. Having to put them on stands in front of your room, or on the sides of your couch if you want to use them as large surround sound speakers, can be an awkward installation for some rooms. They are heavy, and while this can give them stability, you’ll really want to be careful that they don’t get knocked over. Mounting them on a wall could prove difficulty with their shape and weight, so the ideal location for them other than on well-anchored stands would be in or on a very deep entertainment center. You may want to consider floor-standing speakers such as the Polk LSi15 for a few hundred dollars more per speaker for the added stability and bass response. Although there are bookshelves that cost much more than the LSi9s, over $1,000 is a fairly substantial but not unreasonable investment. Again, I can’t stress enough that you are getting much higher build quality and technology in this bookshelf pair than most, but you’ll want to make sure that you have the right space and stands for these should you want to put them in your room.
Performance-wise, the biggest limitation of the LSi9 is it ability to reproduce deep, rich bass. Because of the size of the drivers and the cabinets, they simply can only go so low. The bass they do produce is clean and detailed, but a lot is lost below the bottom of their frequency range. The rear bass ports help a little, but there is almost no chance you could get away without a subwoofer in a modern multi-channel music or home theater system unless these speakers are used as side or rear channels..
I was pleasantly surprised with the level of build quality and smooth, well- rounded versatile sound of the LSi9s. They are well built and the level of value is substantial when you factor in the technology, build quality and five-year warranty. Polk may compete with companies like Bose, Klipsch and Boston Acoustics in the mass market, mega-chain electronics world, but they have a real value-priced high-end line with the LSi Series. The LSi9s and the rest of the LSi series are absolutely worth checking out at a Polk dealer near you.