Polk built its reputation upon HiFi quality loudspeakers at affordable homeowner friendly prices, and the TSi series released circa 2005 is yet another full fledged home theater lineup of high quality speakers at competitive prices. It includes three floorstanding tower speakers that vary in size, power, and certain design details.
|Speaker Type||passive, 2 way||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
|Nominal Power*||45 W||60 W||83 W|
|Peak Power||150 W||200 W||275 W|
|Impedance||8 ohms||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
|Sensitivity||90 dB/W/m||91 dB/W/m||91 dB/W/m|
|Frequency response range||38Hz - 25kHz||34Hz -25kHz||28Hz - 25kHz|
|Unit weight||26 lbs||32 lbs||45 lbs|
(width x depth x height)
|7.0 x 11.5 x 36.3 inches||7 x 14.25 x 38.88 inches||8.25 x 14.75 x 44.38 inches|
(does include Amazon.com purchase)
|5 years||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
|Product Manual||click here||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
*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
Polk has many different tower speakers in the budget-tier category, most of the variation between which are build and aesthetic design differences. While the newer but similarly priced Signature tower speakers (reviewed here) feature a very distinct retro futuristic design, the TSi speakers maintain a traditional look in line with Polk’s longstanding flagship Monitor speakers.
An interesting design choice of the TSis are a port on the bottom, which explains the elevated corner props since the port obviously has to be able to breathe. Beyond that the higher 400 and 500 models have 1 and 2 extra midrange drivers for a total of 3 and 4, respectively. Each comes with a standard front covering foam grill that makes all three look essentially the same.
So how do the comparative power specs stack up? Pretty solidly. The 400 and 500 will fill up most non-large rooms handily and have very decent response floors, ensuring a full bass. The 300s aren’t quite as loud and might benefit from a subwoofer, but, that seems to be a commonality in the tower speaker series that we’ve looked at and reviewed.
Placing these speakers might be a little trickier than most floorstanding speakers due to the port on the bottom – chances are they’ll need to rest on a hard surface. Polk’s 5 year warranty is top of the line – it’s often that you’ll only get 1-2 years of coverage with cheaper speakers.
What About The Competition
Vs the Polk Monitor 70 (reviewed here) – specs are comparable to the TSi500, but the Monitor 70s have a 3 way design that includes a subwoofer. If you’re looking for good standalone tower speakers and can get the 70s for a similar price, they’re probably the better choice.
Polk’s Monitor 70s (reviewed here) have comparable specs to the TSi500s but also have the advantage of a 3 way design that includes a built in subwoofer. They don’t look quite as slick, but as long as they’re both available for the same price we’d say the Monitor 70 is a better choice. Check out our review here.
Polk’s lower tier Monitor 60s (reviewed here) are more or less the same as the lowest priced TSi300s
These are perfectly good speakers, and it’s hard to go wrong with a Polk home theater loudspeaker, but this series seems a little redundant. Why not just get the long standing Monitor speakers? Not to mention you won’t need to deal with accommodating a bottom port.
It’s really going to honestly come down to design preference and, of course, what’s going for the best price at the time. The Signature speakers have almost identical specs and look a little cooler, for example. Or, you might opt for a Klipsch Reference tower speaker (reviewed here) which are significantly more powerful and look cool in their own right. At the end of the day a Whopper and Big Mac are the same thing – some people just like one or the other.