Polk Audio R15 Bookshelf Speakers

R15

Here's an economical answer for anyone who's been asking "How can I afford great Polk speakers?" The compact R15 bookshelf will fit in almost any room, and the price is definitely right. But even more attractive is the sound you get from this versatile bookshelf speaker. The 3/4" Dynamic Balance® dome tweeter teams with a 5-1/4" Dynamic Balance woofer, for clean highs and satisfyingly full mids and lows. The keyhole slot on the back of the cabinet makes for easy wall-mounting.

Key Features :

  • video-shielded
  • bass-reflex
  • frequency response 65-20,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • sensitivity 89 dB
  • handles up to 100 watts
  • black vinyl finish
  • 5-way binding posts
  • 6-1/2"W x 10-5/8"H x 7-1/4"D
  • warranty: 5 years

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
thesurfer   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 16, 2009]

Ive owend a pair of these for about 7-8 years,,,, they are small,,, But the sound is incredibale,,,, !st,, they have to be broken in,,, it took me about 30- 40 hours,,,, of playing them at modest levels,,,, After that,, all hell broke loose,,, Im using them as mains in my liveing room, hooked up to a HK, reciever,,, Once i tweaked the controls a bit, and activated my loudness control,,,, These things were smoking the room,,,, I couldnt believe what i was hearing,,,, I played Led zeppelins debut cd,,, under half volume,,, and not only was there no distortion, but the sound stage, imageing and tightness, was unreal,,for a speaker this size,,, People say they have little bass responce,,,, Not with my HK,,, Sure, if your into booming thick, almost distorting bass,,, these arent for you,,,,But if your looking for a book shelf that delivers everything over the entire sounstage,, you cant go wrong,,,,You will need a high end reciever,,, they feed on power,,,, also,, need to be brokin in, Ive compared these with other polks that cost a lot more,,,, no comparison,,,, and ive Had the titans,, jbl, cerwin vega,,, advent,, and a few others over the years,,,, these little polks smoked them all in different ways,, No distortion, at higher levels,, no exagerated high end, or bass, like the titans, and cerwin vegas, and no dead flat sound,,, like the jbls,,, which, like the advents,, distorted quickly,,,, Basicly,,, for the money,, these are the best bookshelfs out there,,,, I tried the moniter 30s,,, and they simply sonded much more airy,, not as tight in the bass, and somewhat harsh, on the high end,,,, of course they have a slightly bigger twetter,,,, The trick is quickness,, and tightnes, which combines for a better sound stage,,,,At the end of the day,, its each to there own,, as every one hears things differantly,,,, Ive got a friend, who just bought a piar of tsi,s200s, He says he still envys the sound im getting out of these cheap speakers,,,,,,,,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
aargonaut   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 19, 2006]
Strength:

Very good sound for the price. Nice soft dome tweeter which is better than found in most speakers which retail under $90.

Weakness:

Needs stuffing. Short on power handling capacity.

These are an inexpensive speaker made in China. I purchased them on sale for half price as a replacement for some Acoustic Research AR 215PS speakers which I had been using on one of my computers. (I have been really unhappy with the ARs.) Between the computer and the speakers is a 25 year old 40 watt/channel Harman Kardon HK495i stereo receiver. Since the Polks are being used as a computer speaker, I didn't want to spend lots of money.

The cost, size and weight of the Polk and the AR speakers are almost identical; however, in my opinion, the Polks sound much better. The ARs are harsh and brittle. The Polk uses a 1" soft dome tweeter which is much smoother. The use of a good tweeter improves the midrange as well.

They do sound a bit hollow, which I guess is due to the lack of any baffeling material inside the box. This can be fixed easily: I went to the local sewing shop and picked up a $2 bag of fiber fill used to make stuffed toys, took off the woofers, shoved a fair amount of the fill inside, replaced the woofer, and the speakers no longer sound hollow, and are moderately warm sounding and easy to listen to.

There is not much at the bottom end, which is not surprising given their size. (The literature says they are -3db at 65Hz.) They also do not have great power handling capacity. They would also benefit from an inexpensive subwoofer. Since they cost almost nothing, they are well worth the price in an inexpensive system.

Similar Products Used: AR PS214
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
mariahholt   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 29, 2006]
Strength:

Small, fit nicely on the backside of my computer table. Thinking about hanging them up on the wall. For the money I’ve got invented in this setup. I would say to blows away any 2.1 multi-media speaker setup for anyone.

Weakness:

Not a lot of base, but that’s what I expected from them. I’ve got a 12” Dayton Sub parked under the desk, makes up for it.

The speakers from my multi-media computer setup died on me one day, the amp for the speakers was still good. So I ordered these online after reading good reviews on them. Ive had them for about 6 months now.

Similar Products Used: Altec multi-media speakers 3 different setups, and they all suck compared to this.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sal30   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 14, 2006]
Strength:

Price
Warm Mids
Silky Smooth Slightly Bright Treble

Weakness:

Doesn't have the deep bass that the Jensen CJRs had, but no other speaker this size can compare with those Jensens in the Bass department anyway, and if you have a Sub the lack of deep bass is not important.

I purchased these when they were on sale. At first I wasn't that impressed with them, but once I broke them in, they sounded incredible. I still think that the Jensens were a better deal because I got them new for $21.18, but the Polks were one step above. I actually bought the legendary Athena Point 5 MKII system later, and I didn't think the sound was as good as the Polks so I sold the Athena system on Ebay and bought one Polk Csi25 Center and another pair of Polk R15s, and I will buy another pair of Polk R15s the next time they go on sale to complete my 7.1 channel system. I love my Athena AS-P4000 Sub, but the Athena Point 5 was just outclassed by the Polks in my opinon. I love how you can set an 80hz crossover with no problem with the Polks, but the Athenas had trouble and they sounded much tinier than the Polks.

Customer Service

Excellent
Fast Shipment

Similar Products Used: Jensen CJR Bookshelves

Athena S.5 Bookshelves
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
calegrant   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 12, 2005]
Strength:

Value Sound quality

Weakness:

Poor mounting system, keyhole slot in wood for speakers this size is not practicle. I had to drill into them.

I was planning on continuing my use of Athena and went in to look at a set of athena bookshelves when I saw these. $100cnd is a hell of deal for these guys, they have great clarity for the price and I've heard no distortion. They match my floors nicely, and with the addtion of a sub next month my starter system will be complete

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
gcook67   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 03, 2005]
Strength:

Very tight base and very good imaging.

Weakness:

None at all!!

These are amazing speakers! I am using these as my rear surrounds in place of my Wimpy Bose cubes and what a huge difference. These have completed my Polk home theatre system. I am currently using a Kenwood VR8050 receiver, Polk CS1 center, Polk R30 fronts, Polk PSW10 subwoofer and Polk R15 as my rear speakers and this system kicks butt.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JohnMichael   Audio Enthusiast [May 12, 2005]
Strength:

Price, Tonal balance, Ease of wall mounting.

Weakness:

None for $100 a pair

A pair of decent speakers for $100 a pair. I bought them without much expectations. I had an extra integrated amp and cd player so I thought I would hang these speakers on the wall and have a nice bedroom system. The first thing I noticed is that they were revealing enough that I had to try them with different speaker cables and interconnects. After a few days of breakin I was impressed with the sound. Great midrange and high frequency detail. Since the speaker was so cheap and I was not worried about warranty I opened them up to see the quality of the drivers, cabinet, and crossover. I have no idea how they can be made and sold for $100. One thing I did notice is a lack of acoustic dampening in the speaker. I bought some Acousta Stuf and loosely filled the cabinet. Bass became tighter, deeper and a little more detailed. Midrange is a little warmer but still detailed. With the dampening it seems like less midrange is coming through the port. The sound is cleaner and less congested. Imaging has improved. They now sound better than before.

Similar Products Used: NHT Super Ones, ADS L570, Bose 201
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
monsdomain   Audio Enthusiast [May 04, 2005]
Strength:

Nice finish. Crisp and clear sound after break-in period

Weakness:

none so far

I was looking for a decent and affordable pair of bookshelf speakers for the family den. After reading all the positive reviews on the R15’s, I decided to give them a try. I own(ed) several speaker brands including Advent, JBL, Infinity, Klipsch and Athena but never a Polk Audio, although I have heard good things about their products. If you are reading this review, you must be considering of purchasing these speakers so read on. Right out of the box impression: • Good and secure packaging • Smooth Cherry wood finish • Solid build quality • Easy hook up with decent grade binding post • Convenient keyhole for wall mount option The receiver I am using is the Denon AVR 3300. I listen mostly to contemporary jazz and R&B. The speakers did not produce the clean sound other reviewers talked about at first. The sound was mudded and a bit distorted. I was at the point of having a buyer’s remorse but I continued to play it and the sound progressively got better, much better even in high volume. I’ve never owned a pair of speakers that had a huge difference in sound quality from pre to post break-in. Now, the highs blend perfectly with the amount of bass the speakers can produce which easily fills a 15x18 room. The bass could be better but good enough for its size and price. Nothing a mid grade subwoofer can’t fix. In my case, I hooked it up to a Yamaha YST215 ($99) and it instantly completed the package. I’m really glad I gave these speakers a shot. Needless to say, Polk Audio will be on top of my shopping list the next time I’m in the market for speakers. Verdict: The R15’s are above average bookshelf speakers with a break-in period of approximately 5-8 hours. They are excellent in small to mid size rooms and great for casual listening. If you are an audiophile or a music enthusiast, you might want to consider a sub. People get excited with good deals and these will definitely give you the run for your money.

Similar Products Used: Infinity
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
DMDMD   Casual Listener [Oct 29, 2004]
Strength:

Great sound, dynamic range, compact size, PRICE

Weakness:

Won't rattle your windows.

Great speakers as satelites in my wife's office. No window shattering lows but very good for all but extreme volumes. Last used '70's vintage Klipsch Heresys but my wife made me move them out because they were too big. These $80 speakers (Circuit City sale) stack up very well against the Heresys and considering they were almost $800 less they stack up unbelievably well.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch Heresy Polk home theater RM 6600 with PSW 350 sub
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rommel   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 24, 2004]
Strength:

Solidly built, wide sound dispersion, clear crisp mids and highs. 39.00 each

Weakness:

Almost paid 80.00 each at Circuit City

After listening to these speakers without the subwoofer hooked up, I can safely say they qualify as a steal at 40.00 each. They are almost as clear as my Klipsch SB-2's and not as directional. I'm sure they will sound even better after a week or so of steady play. I bought them for the bedroom to be the alternate stereo. Hooked them into the DVD and VCR. Instant Home theater with attitude. The subwoofer is still in the box. I hate(well, not really)to think what they will sound like with real base. My wife is impressed and she has ears that can hear like a dog. No audio imperfection can go unoticed.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch, Pioneer, Kenwood, RCA
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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