|Polk Audio Monitor Series 5.1 Speaker System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Monday, 01 August 2005|
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Although Polk did some thoughtful engineering when designing the spikes for the Monitor Series speakers, I feel they limit your options for best performance. These plastic feet are not removable and, although they seemed to perform well enough, they fell short of the benefits you would receive from metal spikes and were less friendly to hard surfaces than the screw-in optional rubber feet that many manufacturers provide.
The PSW10 is a great budget subwoofer, capable of supplying lots of low-frequency extension for this system, yet I found it to distort slightly at extremely high volumes. It also lacked some modern-day features for best performance. It provides only line level speaker inputs and has no LFE capabilities. Budget permitting, I would recommend you audition the bigger and more expensive Polk PSW12 at $400. It has better connectivity and will supply more air movement and better control for just a little more money.
Speakers have more effect on the sound of your system than other components in your system. When you walk into your local retail chain, you are never quite sure if the advice the salesman is giving is best for your needs. Like always, it would be best if you could try them in your home first, but this is highly impractical. My best advice is to stick with the best-known brands and there are few if any that are more known than Polk Audio. They have been doing this for a long time and this audition showed me why. Their longevity is undoubtedly due to customer loyalty developed over many years of quality products and value. The speakers in this package are solidly constructed, have a good look and perform above their price class. Their sound is one that I would characterize as clear and quite precise for their price point. The Monitor 30s and Monitor 60s don’t produce overwhelming bass, but they do produce controlled bass, which is always the desire over poor quality abundance. I would recommend the upgrade to the CS2 center channel speaker and PSW12 subwoofer for the best system balance. Although this raises the overall cost of the package by a few hundred dollars, it will be a speaker set-up that you will enjoy for many years to come. I highly recommend this speaker package to anyone who is looking for quality sound in this price range. It a set-up that will instantly transform your living room into a big time theater for a relatively small amount of money.