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Polk Audio RM6700 Home Theater Speaker System Review

Big Sound, Small Package
Looking for a home theater speaker system that sounds good and doesn’t take up much space? The Polk system delivers big sound from 4 identical tiny satellite speakers the height of a personal checkbook, a small center speaker, and a cubed baby-sized subwoofer (PSW303).

Speakers Are Heard, Not Seen
The tiny satellite speakers almost disappear in your room. This type of system is certain to appeal to those who don’t like the look of big box speakers. The satellite speakers can be easily mounted on the wall or placed on stands. The subwoofer is small enough to be discretely hidden in a corner.

I Bet You Can’t Tell Them Apart
Here is a test I used to show how well these speakers performed for stereo music. I placed each satellite speaker on top a tall floor standing speaker. Then I placed the Polk sub in one corner, and another sub in the other corner. Of course I only hooked up the Polk equipment. I had multiple people try to guess which speakers were playing. On every occasion, each person was convinced sound was coming from the larger speakers. Nobody could believe the small Polk’s w/sub could produce such a soundstage. It demonstrates how the mind automatically equates bigger speakers with better sound.

Subwoofer Needs Help
So my friends were impressed with the sound, but I am a little harder to please. I was impressed with the richness and tonal quality these speakers were able to create. Imaging was also much better than expected. But the bass from the PSW303 subwoofer was boomy for my taste. The subwoofer definitely produced room-filling low-end sound, but it was nowhere near as accurate or tight as the three subwoofers I had just completed a review on. However, I was more pleased with the sub performance for music, than for movies.

Pass On The Action Movies
Now onto movie performance. While the RM6700 performed adequately while watching DVDs, it failed to add jaw-dropping realism to movies. Keep in mind, it’s a huge improvement over using your TV speakers. Again, it was really the bass response that was most problematic. The subwoofer was easy to distort if turned up too high, and under normal listening levels sounded more like a radiating hum, than a clean and tight pulsating rhythm.

Center Is Better
The center speaker did perform exceptionally well for it’s size. I had been skeptical of small center channel speakers from previous experiences, but voices and dialogue were very clear. Off axis listening was superb, as every seat location sounded good. Also tonal quality across the front stage (left, center, right speakers) was very transparent.

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Keep It Low
At moderate listening levels the system performed best when listening to music or watching TV. Start to crank up the volume, and the sound begins to degrade. At high levels the satellites became harsh and bright, but again it was the subwoofer that broke apart on heavy loads.

For Newbies
If you are on a budget and new to home theater, the Polk RM6700 will likely impress you. It is certainly a contender in the sub/sat speaker market. Unfortunately I was not able to test this system head-to-head with any of its competitors after repeatedly contacting other manufacturers. So most of my criticism may not be totally fair, since it is based from more expensive speakers and subwoofers.

Almost Forgot The Setup
Polk Audio recommends connecting the amp’s L&R front speaker outputs to the front speaker level inputs on the subwoofer. Connect the speaker level outputs on the subwoofer to the front L&R satellite speakers. If you find it more convenient, simply parallel wire the front L&R sats and subwoofer to the amp’s front L&R output (electrically it is the same thing as the first method). Connect the center and surround satellites directly to the receiver’s center and surround speaker outputs. The “Bass Management” or “Speaker Set-up” function of the Dolby Digital receiver or processor should be set as follows: Front = Large, Center = Small, Surrounds = Small, Subwoofer = No.

Why Pay More?
This system works best in smaller rooms for music or watching TV, as well as non-action type movies. There is no need to spend more if you are using the system more often to watch Sex in the City than Star Wars. However, you can greatly improve the system just by investing in a better subwoofer.

Still Worth a Listen
The RM6700 is worth an audition for it’s compact size, big sound, and budget value at $1,099 MSRP.

RM6700 Specifications
Overall frequency response: 28-24kHz
-3dB limits: 38Hz-20kHz
Recommended Amplification: 20-125 WRMS
Sensitivity: 90dB (2.83 Vrms drive level )
Nominal Impedance: compatible with 8 Ohm outputs
Power Output of Subwoofer (PSW303)
100 Watts Continuous Average
260 Watts Dynamic
Shipping Weight (2 cartons): 42 lbs.

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FRONT AND REAR SATELLITES
Midrange driver: 1-1/4″ Dynamic Balance driver, shielded
Tweeter: 1-.3/4″ Dynamic Balance Silk/Polymer composite dome, shielded
Crossover: 2.7kHz
Enclosure Type: Vented with rear-mounted Power Port
Dimensions: 4″w x 6.5″h x 5″d

CENTER CHANNEL
Midrange drivers: 2 each 1-1/4″ Dynamic Balance drivers, shielded
Tweeter: 1-.3/4″ Dynamic Balance Silk/Polymer composite dome, shielded
Crossover: 2.2kHz
Dimensions: 11-1/4″w x 4-5/16″h x 5-13/16″d

SUBWOOFER (PSW303)
Overall frequency response: 28-180Hz
-3dB limits: 38-160Hz
Crossover: Active 4th order low-pass
Amplifier Power Output: 100 Watts Continuous
Average Power RMS 260 Watts Dynamic
Driver: 1-8″ long throw, hi-roll surround
Enclosure Type: bass-reflex with slot-loaded port
Dimensions: 12-7/16″H x 11-7/16″W x 16-1/2″D

Remember I am just one man with one opinion. If you own this product, or have a comment or question feel free to add your thoughts below.

Brian Mitchell
Founder & CEO
eCoustics.com

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