The market for affordable audiophile loudspeakers is heating up. Lately it’s been dominated by Klipsch, Q Acoustics, and Elac among many others. That increased level of competition for a new generation of buyers has resulted in a massive increase in performance — but also more affordable pricing. There has never been a better time to buy a pair of high-end loudspeakers.
Polk Audio hopes to take a huge slice out of the market with the launch of the new Reserve Series affordable audiophile-grade loudspeakers. The new lineup includes 9 models that are all competitively priced and engineered to deliver high-end sound quality. The level of transducer technology in this affordable range of loudspeakers is most certainly not the industry norm. Polk Audio seems intent on raising the performance bar and not giving an inch of ground to its competitors.
There are two bookshelf speakers, three towers, three center channels, and a height speaker for Dolby Atmos. At first blush, the Reserve Series can be used for dedicated two-channel listening or for home theater surround sound. Although there’s no subwoofer in the line-up — at least just yet.
What makes the Reserve Series interesting is they use the same custom-made transducers originally developed for Polk’s top-of-the-line Legend Series loudspeakers, but for nearly half the price of the Legends.
“The Reserve Series use the same custom-made transducers originally developed for Polk’s award-winning Legend Series loudspeakers. Featuring the proprietary Pinnacle Tweeter, Turbine Cone midrange and Polk’s latest bass-management and resonance control technologies—PowerPort® and X-Port—the Reserve Series delivers against Polk Audio’s signature quality sound at an approachable price.” Frank Sterns, President of Polk Audio
“You’d be wrong to think the Reserve Series is just ‘Legend-lite’ though. While Reserve does use the same transducers as Legend, it also features multiple new developments of its own, including a new patent-pending X-Port filter and advanced cabinet construction to minimize undesirable resonances. In return, you get a classic Polk Audio loudspeaker that is amazingly balanced, offers an expansive sound stage, detailed imaging, smooth mid-range and deep effortless bass.”Scott Orth, Director of audio and acoustical systems at Polk Audio
Seeking to retain as much of the Polk Legend flagship performance as possible within a moderately priced package, Polk Audio engineers created rigid, internally braced cabinets while leveraging driver and port technologies from the Legend Series speakers to achieve breathtaking levels of balance and realism. With a focus on every aspect of performance from music playback and home theater systems, Polk used—and created—multiple advanced technologies for the Reserve Series:
Pinnacle Ring Radiator Tweeters
Decades of tweeter innovation, design and prototyping led to the development of the new 1-inch, high-definition Pinnacle ring radiator tweeter. Developed by Polk Audio, The Pinnacle tweeter features a finely tuned waveguide, which dramatically improves the dispersion of high frequency energy, ensuring a broad sweet spot, while the critically damped rear-chamber helps defeat unwanted resonances. This delivers ultra-clear, crisp highs without unwanted coloration or distortion. A Hi-Res certified driver, the Pinnacle Tweeter is designed for today’s two-channel music listening as well as multi-channel 3D audio found in music, movies, sports, and video games soundtracks.
Turbine Cone Midrange
The Turbine Cone cleverly combines Polk’s proprietary foam core driver design with molded Turbine geometry, which dramatically increases stiffness and damping without adding mass. This results in a smooth, detailed midrange across the entire bandwidth of the driver—the frequency range to which human ears are most sensitive.
The Reserve Series marks the debut of Polk Audio’s patent-pending X-Port technology, which uses a set of closed-pipe absorbers precisely tuned to eliminate unwanted cabinet and port resonances. X-Port is most beneficial to the lower mid-range, ensuring balanced, clean mid-bass for amazing detail and dynamics. X-Port is found on all vented models in the Reserve Series.
Power Port 2.0 Design
Power Port 2.0, found in the R600 and R700 floorstanding models, is a Polk-patented loudspeaker port application that enables bass frequencies to extend more deeply and at higher output levels than traditional ported speakers. The Power Port 2.0 combines the new X-Port and Enhanced Power
Port design into a unique loudspeaker application. The port tube base was redesigned in aluminum and sits closer to the floor than previous Power Port designs for added performance characteristics and aesthetics.
Advanced Cabinet Construction: The R700 tower speaker model features advanced point-to-point bracing with new Cabinet Resonance Control technology (CRC) that eliminates panel resonances for enhanced detail and clarity.
Reserve Series are both IMAX® Enhanced and Hi-Res Audio Certified. Each loudspeaker in the lineup offers listeners flexibility in terms of configuration by incorporating matching transducers and consistent voicing. The center channel speakers are available in three sizes. The R300 center channel is designed to fit in most AV cabinets, while the R350 is only 5.5-inches tall, and is wall mountable so it can be used as left, right or center channel. For the first time, Polk is introducing a height module (R900), which can be placed on the floorstanding speakers or wall mounted. The height module features a toggle switch, which tunes the speaker for the application, whether that be on-speaker or wall mounted.
Price & Availability
All Polk Audio Reserve Series loudspeakers are currently available for purchase at PolkAudio.com and Crutchfield.com in matte black, matte white and walnut woodgrain finish. Each speaker includes a 5-year warranty period.
- R100 Bookshelf – $599/pair
- R200 Bookshelf – $699/pair
- R300 Center Channel – $399
- R350 Center Channel (slim) – $549
- R400 Center Channel – $599
- R500 Tower – $599 each
- R600 Tower – $799 each
- R700 Tower – $999 each
- R900 Height Module – $599/pair
|Speaker Type||Stand-mount||Stand-mount||Center||Center (LCR)||Center||Tower||Tower||Tower||Height|
|5¼”||6½”||2x 5¼”||4x 4”||2x 6½”||2x 5¼”||2x 6½”||6½”||4”|
|Overall Frequency Response||44Hz – 50kHz||39Hz – 50kHz||45Hz – 50kHz||50Hz – 50kHz||36Hz – 50kHz||32Hz – 50kHz||30Hz – 50kHz||30Hz – 50kHz||50Hz – 50kHz |
(when wall mounted)
|Frequency Response |
|58Hz – 39kHz||51Hz – 38kHz||65Hz – 38kHz||75Hz – 35kHz||48Hz – 39kHz||49Hz – 36kHz||38Hz – 38kHz||38Hz – 37kHz||70 – 32kHz |
(when wall mounted)
|Recommended Amplifier Power||30 – 150W||30 – 200W||30 – 200W||25 – 200W||20 – 200W||25 – 200W||25 – 200W||20 – 300W||45 – 100W|
|8Ω / 6Ω / 4Ω|
|Sensitivity (2.83V/1m)||86dB||86dB||86.5dB||87dB||89dB||87dB||87.5dB SPL||88dB SPL||85.5dB SPL |
(when wall mounted)
|Tweeter Crossover Frequency||2700||3000||2200||2700||2500||2500||2700||2700||2100|
|Mid-range/Mid-bass Crossover Frequency||–||–||–||1400||–||–||–||350||–|
|WxHxD (mm)||166 x 324 x 259.5||190 x 359 x 353.8||482.6 x 172 x 226.5||762 x 141 x 187.5||615 x 196.6 x 350||255.4 x 1044.5 x 348.8||280.7 x 1063.8 x 381.6||320.7 x 1143.8 x 428.3||166 x 158.3 x 320|
|WxHxD (inches)||6.5 x 12.8 x 10.2||7.5 x 14.1 x 13.9||19 x 6.8 x 8.9||30 x 5.5 x 7.4||24.2 x 7.8 x 13.8||10.1 x 41.1 x 13.7||11 x 41.9 x 15||12.6 x 45 x 16.9||6.5 x 6.2 x 12.6|
|Weight (each)||12.2 lbs /5.5 kg||19.1 lbs /8.7 kg||16.8 lbs /7.6 kg||20 lbs /9 kg||32.8 lbs /14.9 kg||39 lbs /17.7 kg||47.3 lbs /21.5||79.1 lbs /35.9 kg||6.6 lbs /3 kg|
|Shipping Weight||28.4 lbs /12.9 kg||43.4 lbs /19.7 kg||19.8 lbs /9 kg||23.7 lbs /10.8 kg||39.5 lbs /17.9 kg||49.6 lbs /22.5 kg||58.2 lbs /26.4 kg||94.4 lbs /42.8 kg||16 lbs /7.3 kg|
|Mid-Range Enclosure Type||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||Sealed||–|
|Mid-Bass / Woofer Enclosure Type||Rear ETF Port||Rear ETF Port||Sealed||Sealed||Dual Rear ETF Ports||Rear ETF Port||Floor Firing Power Port with ETF||Floor Firing Power Port with ETF||Sealed|
|Feet||Rubber pads||Rubber pads||Rubber pads||Rubber pads||Rubber pads||Spike and Pad||Spike and Pad||Spike and Pad||Wall-mountable|
|Nickel-plated 5-way binding posts||Single||Single||Single||Single||Single||Single||Single||Dual||Single|
|Designed for R900 Height Speaker||No||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A|