Polk Audio RTi6 Bookshelf Speakers

RTi6

  • video-shielded
  • bass-reflex
  • frequency response 50-26,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • sensitivity 89 dB
  • handles up to 125 watts
  • dual 5-way binding post terminals
  • keyhole slot for wall-mounting
  • real wood veneer

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Raymond Horvath   AudioPhile [Jul 15, 2012]

Pros:

Wall mountable
Terminal for dual wiring
Nice looks (although that is a question of taste)
Excellent center speaker solution
Mid/bass and treble drivers positioned close to each other

Cons:

Relatively low efficiency (89dB; needs quite a bit of amp power to drive)
Extreme sensitivity to placement (high directionality)
Not polished, but bright sound (improves the sound of cheap amplifiers)
Deep, but narrow and low sound stage
Sound image changes depending on the volume before drivers are burnt in

Experience:
The sound image still vibrates (in a range of about 5%) before the drivers are burnt-in. Although the frequency throughput is 50-27kHz within 3dB, the usual two-way speaker problem is present: there are holes in the midrange. You will probably like these if you have not heard any better. My Martin-Logan Motion 12s sound a whole lot better as fronts. Once the drivers are burnt in, the sound stage settles. The sound stage is deep, but it is low and narrow. There is a noticeable coloration in the midrange compared with the ML M12s or my Definitive 350s. Definitely not for music as long as you like to hear what is there on the recording.

Home theater use is another story. I am considering using six of these for 7.1 as centers (2 for the center), sides, and rears (keep the ML M12s for fronts; use the Definitive 350s on a small audiophile 2.1 system in a small room). After the Rti6s failed as front speakers, the surprise came when I installed them as centers; I have never heard anything better coming out of center speakers in any price range. They create a true theater ambiance with my HK AVR-240. There are at least four explanations; chances are at least two of them are present in my case. 1. Movie sound is colored no matter what, and the sound coloration of the Rti6 might happily compensate for that. 2. The membrane surface matches that of the MLs quite well. 3. Two of these provide plenty of membrane surface, moving considerable amount of air. 4. The AVR 240's lower mid-class sound (by audiophile standards; they beat most cheap home theater amps) matches the coloration on the Rti6.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jose Menendez   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 21, 2012]

It doesn't work for music. Make you a favour and buy any other, but not this if you want enjoy music.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
meir   AudioPhile [Feb 01, 2011]

no need to say too much/ the polkaudio rti6 is one of the best bookshelves speakers all over the world.
no need to say more/ just to listen to them.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
paradiddle   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 29, 2011]

Great speakers. I auditioned these side by side with a pair of Paradigm Mini Monitor V4s for more than a week in my living room - and hands down, I prefer these. Full mid range and high range. They are a little lacking at the low end - but that is expected with almost any bookshelf you get. I added a subwoofer and it has filled out the range perfectly. I enjoy an eclectic mix of music -- from hip hop to jazz to afro-cuban and these speakers can hold its weight in all departments.

These speakers sound like they cost 2-3x as much.

Highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kzaki   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 20, 2007]
Strength:

clear, smooth sound, excellent imagining,depth clarity...
i must say this is the best all rounder speaker i have ever heard

Weakness:

bass is not enuff but it cant be weakness

sounds too good, u cant even imagine these small bookshelves sounds excellent at all volume level.no matter either u r listening jazz, classical, rock , techno....
i have been driving with my yamaha amplifier and i have also tested on my luxman's tube amp .. amazing performance on both

Similar Products Used: martin logan, bose, b&w(very gudd too), klipsch, kef, jamo and many more
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Hunt   AudioPhile [Nov 09, 2007]
Strength:

Bass extension, natural timbres, overall smoothness, lack of stridency, big room-filling sound.

Weakness:

None at this price level

I needed inexpensive bookshelf speakers to replace a broken pair in a rental property, and the frequency response, sensitivity, and recommended amplifier power fit the bill. At this price, it was a no-brainer. I wasn't expecting them to sound this good - a little tinny on the top end the first few hours, but then they really opened up. Excellent bass, sweet, realistic, nuanced soprano voices, convincing piano. What really surprised me is that these little guys have a big, big sound for bookshelf speakers. I listened a few days with these placed on top of much more expensive floor-standing Triangle Antals, and decided the Polks would be fine for a main system - I was really enjoying listening to my CDs (jazz, blues, rock, classical). I switched back to the Antals today just to see what the difference was. The Antals have a richer, more complex, more balanced, subtler, more enveloping sound - not surprising, considering the price and size differences. The Polks are more in-your-face. In a way, the Polks can be more fun for certain kinds of music, if you're in the mood for less serious listening - vocals seem punchier.

Similar Products Used: Mission, Klipsch, PSB, Triangle
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
WasAFanOfPolk   Casual Listener [Jul 09, 2007]
Strength:

Nice high and upper mid. Look is not bad. If you want a budget one this is not bad for 200. You can find that on ebay. Also, you might want to consider going for RTi4 plus a woofer.

Weakness:

Poor bass.

I bought Polk RTI6, had it for over a month and then sold it. Polk RTI6 isn't a bad speakers, but for the price I paid 450 (tax included) is not worth the money. It would be a nice purchase if it was 150, 200 top. The bass of RTI6 is really weak. It could be my receiver (Kenwood KR-V5570). I also tried this product with Yamaha 5940 and 5920, they sound great in 5940 but not 5920, in 5920, you've to set the front speakers to Loud speakers to make them sound great. As to my Kenwood speakers, I had to enable loudspeakers to boost the bass to make them sound good. Otherwise, the high frequency is really bright and it makes your ears tired after listening for a while.

I kinda like the look of RTi6 with grills on. They look ugly with grilled removed. The tweeter is made of silk.. WTH..

I did a side by side comparison of this with PSB image b25, PSB speakers' mid bass and lower bass is a lot stronger. I didn't have to use any bass boost on my Kenwood receiver. The problem is that PSB speakers look ugly, although the psb speakers seem to have better built quality(aluminum cones for both drivers) and overall finish. They are huge too.

I finally spent more money on Paradigm Studio 20 v4. Cost me twice the amount of PSB but I like the look. Built quality is far better than the two speakers aforementioned. To be honst, I can't hear the difference between the Paradigm speakers and the PSB speakers with my Kenwood receiver. At the store they seem to sound better with better receivers. I'll need to save money to upgrade my receivers later.

Similar Products Used: PSB image b25, Paradigm Studio 20 V4...
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
1
mike_tee_vee   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 16, 2006]
Strength:

Smooth treble and mid range, decent bass for a bookshelf.

Weakness:

None

Awesome clarity, and smooth mid range. I'm upgrading from a pair of old RT 35's, and the treble is less harsh. This is a sweet sounding speaker!

Customer Service

Bought from Acoustic Sound Design, who services the product.

Similar Products Used: Polk RT 35
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rapture   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 08, 2006]
Strength:

Speakers shine on beautiful acoustic recordings like Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Allison Kraus' New Favorite, Bruce Cockburn's Dancing in the Dragon's Jaw--but they can also push modern rock recordings and classical works and scores. Visually stunning. Best bass I have heard in its class. (Polk states the bass extension to be down to 40Hz, rather than the 50Hz the specs state above). Speakers can be biwired or biamped, something not found on the more expensive Mini's. Speaker build also seems to be more refined than the Mini's. The silk tweeter is so smooth and the woofer resonates the bass strings on recordings instead of simply "thumping" it out.

Weakness:

As of yet, I haven't noticed any other than this Catch-22: To buy an overall better speaker that performs noticeably above the Rti6, you'd would have to spend 3x the amount that these speakers cost.

First off, these speakers do not get the respect they truly deserve. I have recently auditioned Paradigm Mini Monitors, B & W 700 series, and Infinity Primus 160s. Visually, these speakers are absolutely beautiful. The picture above does not do them justice. They are large bookshelf speakers that are superbly built. Ran through 16 gauge wire, powered by a Denon AVR 1507 receiver, these blow the 160s away. The primus is undoubtedly a good speaker, especially for how inexpensive it is, but it doesn't compete with the Rti6. The mini's are good as well, but I felt them to be less than stellar especially for a $100+ more dollars. It should be stated that both the Paradigm's and the BW's were both powered by a much more expensive and sophisticated setup than I have, but the Polk's don't show it. The highs are crisp, clear, and defined, but not piercing. The bass is quite extended, much more than the Primus, and more articulate than the Mini's. The Polks are efficient speakers that image greatly, and provide a nice smooth soundstage. For the price, I believe these speakers to be a tremendous deal.

Similar Products Used: Infinity Primus 160's, Polk R20s, auditioned Paradigm Mini Monitors, B & W 700 series, Klipsch, Cadence
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
r.call   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 26, 2006]
Strength:

attractive apppearence; great sound; strong base. For being a relatively inexpensive speaker, I was very surprised with quality of sound. I highly recommend and buy Polk in the future.

Weakness:

No real weaknesses

Excellent purchase; the Polk speakers have a very crisp yet robust sound. I am using them in a surround sound system as the main speakers and they sound better than the Klipsh spekers I replaced them with which were much more expensive.

Customer Service

Excellent support, quick delivery

Similar Products Used: Infinity, Klipsh
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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