Polk Audio RTi100 Floorstanding Speakers

RTi100

These RTi Series Powered Floorstanding Loudspeakers feature more real wood than ever before; backs, front & rear baffles as well as the top & sides are covered in luxurious real wood veneer, for high impact looks and value. All at a price the competition charges for... vinyl. Given the choice between vinyl and real wood, who wouldn''t choose wood?

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
myeremin   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 23, 2004]
Strength:

Sound quality of mids, highs especially. Very elegant look - try the black version. Decent and fairly deep bass.

Weakness:

Floor spikes mounting - what were you guys thinking?

I purchased these speakers because of the favorite reviews, including on this site, and because I heard of the Polk's great reputation in speaker-building. I am not an audiophile, just wanted a pair of decent speakers for the living room under 1000.00. In general, after about six months of using, I can say that RTi100 are great speakers indeed, and at a reasonable price too. There are a few "glitches", but about those - later in the review. Why I like them? First of all - great detailing and resolution at the whole sound spectrum. A few examples - on one particular record there is an interesting stereoeffect, so that the sound seems to be emanating from behind you. Imagine my surprise when I was listening to the record on these speakers just as I bought them, and I kept turning my head in reflex - the sound was actually coming from behind! Second example, now about movies - you've probably seen "Once upon a Time in America". There is a moment, in a very silent room Aaronson is mixing sugar in a cup of tea. Every smallest scratches of the spoon against the walls of the teacup that the soundengineers could capture the speakers reproduced, as if De Niro was sitting right in my room! Simply amazing. The powered sub is a plus too. Simply screw the jumpers to the sub, and connect the speakers to your amp as if they were normal unpowered speakers, then set the gain dial to about 1 or 2 O'clock. (Don't forget the power switch on each speaker too). The sub gives you that nice warm, controlled bass up to about 30-35 Hz. Really cool. Especially the idea that a fairly deep bass is coming out of these elegant and slim speakers. Now some fun facts, precautions, and warnings. As some here said, RTi's tend to sound "bright". This is true, and at first you may think it's OK (I like to listen on the bright side), but then (maybe after a break-in?) it hits you - too bright! So don't forget to adjust the treble properly for these speakers, preferrably at different sound levels. Secondly, these speakers, because of their great sound quality in the mids and highs will indeed reveal all weaknesses of your setup and your records. I have a bunch of CD's that sound OK in the car, but are unlistenable on these. What a pity! Fortunately, my Onkyo 8511 drives happily these speakers, too happily perhaps, so at least I don't have the whole "crappy amp issue". And third, the sub. The speakers employ a high-efficiency bandpass cabinet with a 6 1/2" driver. This allows for some deeper bass territories that would be unreachable otherwise in such a slim overall package. But as with most high-efficiency designs, they are very sensitive to their placement in the room, and more importantly - to the quality of the room itself. My pair stands in the basement (that's right - it is my "living room" :) ), and you know how basements are - bare walls, irregular room shapes, small room sizes, and staircases - all this resonates wery well at those nasty mid-bass frequencies. I am still frustrated with trying to eliminate the "boom" and the "woof" of my room. Add to that the lack of subwoofer crossover point on RTi100. So, for a more controllable bass response in a bad room you'll need a heavier, deeper subwoofer in conjuction with the built-in units. The only real weakness I spotted is the crappy carpet spike mounting - the floor base plate actually started to split when I was screwing them in. Clearly, a more sturdy mounting is required. I would recommend to the Polk engineers a metal base plate instead of the current wood one.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Matthew Schindel   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 26, 2003]
Strength:

Clarity/presence, clean highs, solid sound "experience" and good accuracy. Decent compromise of equalization if an outboard equalizer component will not be used. Powerful mains for action movies when also used with a separate sub.

Weakness:

Lack-lustre midrange response, lack of warmth, say goodbye to musical tonal "nuances", subs are not punchy. Better for movies than music.

These Polk towers are an inexpensive way to get decent room-filling performance for music and movies, from more affordable audio components, and in smaller venues. Clear and smooth. Unfortunately, the midrange is unsatisfactory for complex music and they lack warmth and tone. Certain instruments disappear into the mix and/or lose character or richness. And don't unplug that velodyne for these, the powered subs are not meant to "stand alone". Although full and smooth, they are not punchy or thunderous like a proper self-contained remote sub.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch, Boston Acoustics, B & W
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
kaworu187   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 02, 2003]
Strength:

Very impressive bass. Nice highs and mids. Overall well balanced speaker. Gives receiever more power to drive the mids + highs instead of using all the power for the bass. Small footprint.

Weakness:

More plugs for the surge haha. None really.

Very well designed speakers. Nice solid construction. I was very impressed when I heard these in the store. I was looking at a pair of JBL's for around the same price and these speakers blew the JBL's away. I recommend these speakers to anyone in the market for new ones.

Similar Products Used: Jbl Pioneer Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Larry L   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 15, 2002]
Strength:

imaging clarity price

Weakness:

line level in and no LFE input. polk's product literature is always too "bare bones."

I just took advantage of the "upgrading your speakers" at circuit city. I have wanted these speakers for 5 months now. I listen to many kinds of music. I am a violinist, a classical violinist. I know what it sounds like and feels like to play in a huge symphony orchestra. That being said, my tastes are more than my wallet can afford. I went to Polk's site and read what I could in addition to coming here. But the lack of reviews of this product would suggest it's not a big seller. No problem. At first (before I bought it) I was turned on to the fact that it has a powered sub. But then I went down to hear it from time to time and determined that the powered sub, though it probably can, was not meant to be used in place of a powered sub in a home theater system but was instead meant to intensify the lower frequencies as we are want to do when listening to Cd's. I listen to all my music flat. I want to hear what the engineers and conductors decided what was important. When we "feel and hear the bass" we are satisfied. It is a trick that no speaker can ever be free of. The fact is that real live performances are not that boomy or bassy. But what speakers can't give you in depth, that of a concert hall, they compensate with bass and the sensation of "fullness". So in this context I decided to place all my desire on the powered sub of the RTI100. It is important, and a bit of a quirk, that Polk desires in many of the speakers an "unfiltered" bass-out port. If you use an LfE-out port from your receiver and plug it into the line-level inputs of your RTI100's then you could lose out on bass and accuracy. I have played all the genres that I own and have been satisfied with the imaging. These speakers feel like they can handle more that I can give to them, but if I play them too loudly I will get the cops called on me. I decided to get this over the RTI70 so that I could have a true 3-way speaker. The mid and hi drivers are kept seperate and sealed from the ported bass driver. The clarity of these speakers is great. They sounded like crap in the show room because, with so many speakers there, who can really demonstrate them in a real setting. The tweeter sounds great, and the bass driver sounds tight. Many complain about Polk's midrange drivers, but I have no such problem. And in fact if you want to test for that, nothing reveals midrange blaring or blurring like classical music: try and get an old recording that has been remastered and maybe in "add" or something and not the current crop of recordings where they sound like they are in a restroom. You need a dead and flat recording. If you had to choose one piece, I would choose Horowitz playing the rachmaninof piano concerto #3 with the new york philharmonic. It is the best test recording I have ever come by.

Similar Products Used: infinity other polk jbl
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
moccy   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 03, 2002]
Strength:

Design, highs sound excellent

Weakness:

Deep low bass-- but won't hit hard hitting bass for rp or r&b as well

Awesome. The highs fill the room, while the bass is smooth and deep. I wish i could play it more often but the darn neighbors whine too much!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Bart Johnson   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 23, 2002]
Strength:

all the above

Weakness:

nada

These speakers ROCK. They only have a small built in amp for the 6.5 inch subwoofers, but they sound incredible. Not too much bass, but just enough to fill the room with glorious sound. I heard these replaced the RT1000i's. I have been looking for some speakers for about 5 months now. I tested the rt1000's a couple of months back. I loved the sound, but didn't have the cash flow to purchase them. Now I can't find any rt1000's for sale, so I ended up getting these. They sound exactly the same....awesome. the highs, mids, and lows are perfectly detailed and life like. There have only been a couple of speakers that I think are better than these in sound quality, but I dont't expect to pay an upwards of $5000-$10,000 on speakers. These will satisfy the audio enthusiasts/audiophiles. The build quality is excellent too. Very sturdy. I am glad my hunt is finally over and happy I made the right choice.

Similar Products Used: have tested many speakers in past 5 months. These are the best in the $1000 to $2000 price range. That includes all the big names, such as mission, NHT, paradigm, infinity, energy, klipsh, and jbl.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rgb   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 10, 2002]
Strength:

Well-balanced sound. Cabinets are attractive and well built. No need for a subwoofer.

Weakness:

The sound fills the room so well my wife doesn''t see the need to get the surround speakers.

I spent about a month researching speakers on the web and listening to various brands at local stores. The speakers I was looking for needed to handle a wide variety of sounds, gracefully, from home theater explosions to soothing music. Since most of the stores I visited had their systems set up for home theater and tuned for this environment I spent most of my time listening to various CD’s that I brought with me to the store. I adjusted their environment by using the direct output mode on the receiver. This bypasses all of the receiver’s circuitry and allows a direct output from CD player to the two front speakers. The Polk RTi100’s stood out from the crowd and the choice became obvious after I spent several hours at a high-end audio store listening to their best speakers and these speakers still impressed me. Now that I have them in my house I am overwhelmed at their ability to bring out elements of my recordings that I didn’t hear before. Since I read this statement on other reviews but didn’t quite understand it I’ll explain my experience: In the room where this system plays I have an acoustic piano. The sound I can get out of the piano is richer than anything my entertainment center can produce. One reason is the sympathetic vibrations that occur on an acoustic piano (although you only play one note, the air waves from the one vibrating note will cause the surrounding strings to vibrate and produce sound). With the Polk RTi100’s I can hear the sympathetic vibrations that occur during the recording of the music. Awesome! As far as home theater, I listened to the beginning of the Mummy Returns without a subwoofer and the ability for these speakers to produce deep bass was evident. The bass is there for those that seek it. Do yourself a favor: listen to these speakers.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch, Marantz, Infinity, NHT, Pioneer, various floor models.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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