Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers Review

Last updated on: 11-4-18
Bottom Line: perfectly decent near-field bookshelf speakers that have been discounted from the original MSRP, but there are still better alternatives that are cheaper, better built, and more powerful.

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shown with and without the removable foam-grill cover

Important Specs Overview

Speaker type: passive, 2-way, back ported
Continuous power handling: 30 W*
Peak power handling: 100 W
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 89 dB/W/m
Frequency response range: 53 – 25k Hz
Woofer size: 5.25 in
Unit weight: 10 lbs
Unit dimensions: 7 x 10 x 11 inches (width x depth x height)
Warranty: 5 years

*When nominal/RMS power isn’t specified by manufacturer, we use an approximation of ~30% of the specified peak/dynamic power for comparison purposes.

Review And Discussion

The TSi series is one of several of Polk’s complete home theater lineups. It includes two different sized bookshelf speakers, the larger TSi200s (reviewed here), and the smaller TSi100, reviewed herein.

The power and range specs are on par with a near/mid-field desktop speaker, but they’ll likely fall short in a full sized room. The response floor is ok, but not spectacular, but this is a common concession for budget bookshelf speakers, which are generally designed to pair with a subwoofer to handle the lows. It’s better for 2-way bookshelf speakers to focus on the mids highs and divert the lows to an external subwoofer rather than try to be a jack of all trades speaker, so to speak.

If you really do want standalone speakers that sounds good and complete on their own then it’s best to opt for 3-way speakers with built in subwoofers, which are truly designed for that. See the links at the end for such alternative recommendations if that interests you.

The TSi’s design looks decent enough for a budget speaker (Polk usually does a pretty good job at this). Interestingly the tweeter resides below the woofer and is housed with a sheen bezel, and it looks OK, or you can put the cover on and it looks like a boilerplate wood washed MDF box-speaker. The unit comes in black or cherry color.

Both the TSi bookshelf speakers use a proprietary silk blend tweeter and paper blend woofer, which can generally perform better than commonly used metallic or polymer blends, but are both more prone to wear and tear. Though Polk does offer 5 years of warranty coverage on all it’s passive speakers, which is pretty top of the line coverage.

Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition

Both the TSi speakers have been discounted from the MSRP, yet even so there are still better alternatives that are either cheaper, more powerful, or both. They could become cheaper though, and at that point they may become real contenders. Sometimes the best choice will simply be what the best deal is at the time. See the links below for some of our overall recommendations.

Relevant Links and Resources

The best budget bookshelf speakers