Polk Audio RT16 Floorstanding Speakers

RT16

Ported w/ 2 7.5in woofers, 1in tweeter

User Reviews (20)

Showing 1-10 of 20  
Giss   AudioPhile [Apr 17, 2013]

I have had a set of Polk Audio Rt 16's for over 20 years. right now I have them connected to a Harman Kardon AV646 and bi wired with a Sonance 2120T amp. The sound goes through an excellent 6 pair Sima speaker switcher. The sound is awesome. The base is crisp and clear and deep. The midrange does hold back a little bit but it does not effect the soundstage, and the tweeters bring the high range sounds out clearly. It sounds like listening to live music, and has brought my old Pioneer turntable back to life. Friends text me all the time to host happy hour at my house so they can play vinyl and hang out! Be careful though, about the time Polk teamed up with Circuit city the product line went sour. But i got mine back when Definitive Technology was just breaking off from Polk to do powered woofers in their tower speakers. I can say I never contemplated needing powered woofers or a separate subwoofer. You WILl be happy if you can get an older pair of these RT16's. The other day I was looking at a set of Martin Logan motion 49's, retail at $1900 and told the salesman what I had and his eyebrows lifted as he said, "wow that's a good set of speakers." He never even tried to sell me the Martin Logans!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul   Casual Listener [Dec 24, 2008]
Strength:

Sound quality, longevity.

Weakness:

Weight, large size, my ability to spell correctly.

As I used to sell this equipment, I was able to purchase mine at a great discount from Polk Audio over a decade ago. The RT16 has been one of those "Wow, worth every penny." puchaces that most people rarely make during a lifetime. A bit pricey for the average listener however these are great sounding workhorse type speakers. They sound beautiful at the lowest volumes, and can really rock out if given the proper power. For those who have had trouble with the mids(Many people) the problem is not the speaker, it's what you're driving it with. Ok, these aren't the be all end all of speakers, however to put it simply they're like the Toyota Avalon of speakers....sure it's not the same as riding in a Lexus, but you probably wouldn't know the difference if you had your eyes closed=)

Customer Service

Service was always excellent(Please remember this was over ten years ago)

Similar Products Used: Just about everything under 4k a pair.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sblagg   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 11, 2007]
Strength:

Low end resolve, highs are very clear but non fatiguing, biwire capability

Weakness:

Could have a bit more midrange presentation, not that big of an issue

This is the first set of speakers in years that I have been so thoroughly impressed with that I felt the need to post a review here. The last set I felt about this way were a set of Paradigm Reference speakers, which the RT16's actually compare to quite favorably. I agree with the review below that these best any later versions of the RT series, Polks' quality did suffer as a result of their deal with Circuit City. I have lsitened to the RT800's as well and these just frankly sound better. The low end is fuller and deeper but more controlled and really the need for a subwoofer is voided. My first impression was that the upper mid's / highs would suffer as a result but to my extremely pleasant surprise the highs have a forward presentation and it is very easy to deduce musical elements in that range. Maybe not as analytical in their reproduction as say, M&K speakers, but non fatiguing either which can be a problem with the M&Ks and similar speakers. The mids are a tad bit laid back but not enough to be an issue. As a previous reviewer noted these really do sound very close to Paradigm Monitor series speakers, except that the low end is more controlled and a bit less bloated than the Monitors--they just go DEEP. Biwiring capability definitely helps these speakers as well-- be sure to use good cable (I use Tara Prism Biwire with Audioquest interconnects off an Adcom cd player and the setup just sounds wonderful.) I am sure there are other more musical higher quality speakers out there for good prices (Meadowlarks and Green Mountain Audio speakers come to mind) but the Polks they serve as a fantastic substitute, at least until I have the $$ to move up! I am rating these 5 stars for what I paid for them, probably would be 3.5 stars at full retail (over $1000) simply because there are other options in that price range that beat these for musicality. Overall very happy.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm Monitor and Studio Reference series, Castle Acoustics, B&W, Klipsch, Definitive Technology, Energy, other later Polk RT series (not nearly as good)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 15, 2002]
Strength:

very detailed tweeter, deep bass

Weakness:

upper midrange

I have had these speakers for about 3 years now and I was very happy with them but I decided to upgrade. I upgraded to the RT800I''s. You probably think I''m crazy because the 16''s have 7.5 in. cones and the 800''s have 6.5 but the overall speaker is much smoother. Sure the RT16''s produced deeper bass but I was willing to give that up for the advantages of the RT800I''s and I could always get a subwoofer. Im pretty sure that Polk did something with the tweeter on the RT800I''s because it really lost the harshness that I remember in the RT16''s. Anyway, my point is that these are good speakers and similar to the RT800I''s but if they are still available, get the RT800I''s, just got a great deal at Circuit City for $600 pair. To me, the RT800I''s just seem more like an audiophile speaker. my system mains: RT800I center: RT400I rears: FX500I reviever: Yamaha rx-v1000

Similar Products Used: RT800I, RT12, and products from infinity, boston acoustics, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Sandy Rand   Audiophile [Feb 20, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent tightness throughout the entire range. Great value!

Weakness:

Placement can be a problem, to obtain an flat response.

Not too bad for a moderately priced speaker but I recently upgraded to Paradigm 90p's and they are a lot less tempermental about placement!

Similar Products Used: Onkyo 777 Receiver, Yamaha CDC-845, Panasonic AG-1980 vtr, Full array of Polk center and surround speakers, DVD player, Laser Disc player, Teac V8030s cassette deck, Nagra reel-to-reel deck.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 12, 2001]
Strength:

Excellent Build Quality, Excellent Sound, Warranty

Weakness:

None

I have owned these speakers for about 5 years. I still like them as much as the day I bought them. Very good sound and quality (will play extremely loud)

Similar Products Used: Various Polk, Energy, and Atlantic Technology
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Todd Newman   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 26, 2001]
Strength:

Full rich sound - incredible, accurate bass for a passive speaker, thorough full mid's and precise highs

Weakness:

None of consequence

When I first came into contact with the RT16's, I was selling them. Well, they sold themselves. At $500 a piece, I thought they thoroughly outperformed their more expensive big brother, the RT20's - the RT16s actually provided a more accurate, fuller bass sound out of a passive speaker than the RT20s did from a dual 8" powered sub. At the time, I couldn't afford a pair, but auditioned many other speakers over the years. There were several brands which produced a comparable all-around sound, and a few true audiophile speakers which I felt sounded better - but none could touch the price. Most, if not all, were more than twice as much. I was reminded of the article I read in Home Theater magazine which described the Polk RT16 as the finest all-around speaker available for under $1000 a piece. Period. A couple of years ago, I found a nearly-new pair and built my home theater set-up around them. I am currently running a pair of RT16s with a CS400 and a pair of RT/fx surrounds off of a Yamaha RX-V992 receiver. Every person who's heard this set-up looks for the subwoofer or compliments the system's capability (even girls I know, who I generally can't get interested enough to even look at the speakers ). I have been very pleased with these speakers, and feel they were the last truly quality RT's put out by Polk (the RT800's and later don't even compare - sorry Matthew, but your stuff has degraded since you got in bed with Circuit City). I recommend to anyone that if they encounter a pair of RT16s or RT7 (their bookshelf counterpart) in good condition for around $500 (or $350 for the 7s) they should not hesitate to snatch them up.

Similar Products Used: Formerly sold audio equipment - compared most frequently with BOSE and Infinity
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Minh   an Audiophile [Dec 27, 1997]

I first hooked up these speakers using a Pioneer Elite VSX 49, a couple of months ago, boy did these speakers sound great! Then when I upgraded my system to a Carver THX Amp, using a Yamaha RXV 2090 as a preamp, these speakers sounded great in musical passages and in AC3 sound. The only downdound to these speakers are there really heavy! These speakers sound much better if you use a subwoofer, which I have two place on each corner, or you could step up to the RT20 which have subs already built in

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Kostas Vlagopoulos   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 06, 1998]

Polk Audio proves that you don't have to spend alot when wanting a well-balanced pair of speakers. Excellent soundstaging. Mid-bass is tight, the highs to bright, though. Positioning is very important, so take the time to adjust for a favorable sound. They also play well, musically and for movies. I do recommend that you get a subwoofer to maximize the overall sound. Overall, you will find to be very satisfied with it's flexibility in home theater and music.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
David Lee   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 1998]

These are typical mid fi speakers. The bass is exagerated and poorly defined.The mids are too recessed and lack detail. The highs are strident and recessed. Soundstage deph is very limited. Poor value for the money. In this price range, only small speakers will give really good sound. It cost a great deal more money to produce speakers of this size to a high level of quality.

Try to audition sonus faber conciertos or totem staffs. In this relative price range, these are much more musical than the polks.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 20  

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