Polk Audio f/x500i Surround Speakers

f/x500i

Bi-Directional Surround Sound Speakers - 6.5"(16.5cm) Woofer, 2 1"(2.5cm) Dome Tweeters

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
datarush   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 02, 2003]
Strength:

6.5" speakers allow you the option to set them as 'large' as they can handle lower frequencies. Bipole/Dipole switch. White looks cool on the wall, its presence is unmistakeable but not overwhelming

Weakness:

Quite heavy. You really need to mount to the framing, not the wallboard. It should come with a real wall bracket instead of a single screw.

I've been jockeying speakers and speaker groups around for years and these are definitely the best surrounds I've ever used. Barely used by the previous owner, I set them in bipole mode and movies like Blue Crush and Saving Private Ryan are outstanding, while 5 channel music is clearly better in bipole. I still have a Frankenstein monster of a setup with 3 brands but they're all 6.5" drivers now and a Polk Csi40 center is a good match for these. Believe it or not these surrounds determined that Polk will be my home theater brand, for now at least, as I think Polk has done it best. I suspect the current model FXi50 are similar but I couldn't find them in white. These in white look good on the wall; I didn't want big 'ol black speakers stuck up there. I tried that it was bad decor, and many surround speakers have a footprint that is too wide for the wall I put them on. Even so, the sound is terrific and I don't know why you would have to pay more to get great sound.

Similar Products Used: Phase Tech, NHT Super One, No Name
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
dfiler   AudioPhile [May 21, 2002]
Strength:

Clean crisp sound that matches the rest of my Polk home theater.

Weakness:

The wiring posts have been cripple so as not to accept bannana plugs. Also, with how close these things mount to the wall, using any sort of monster wiring plug is difficult. I ended up using the gold plated, braided, flex-tip variety on the end of origonal monster cable. This forces the wires to point up and out from the center of the speaker while still in the plane of the speaker's rear wall. The wires then curve around and meet before hanging straight down toward the floor. (makes a heart shape)

When I learned that Polk was discontinuing my current line of speakers, I had to complete my setup before it was too late. Main: Polk RT55 Center: Polk CS400 Sub: Polk PSW150 Now all of the drivers and tweeters are perfectly matched. 8 6.5" drivers and 7 1" tweeters, all exactly the same. It makes a world of difference. Before, I had my rear channels turned down pretty low because they didn't blend well with the rest of the channels. Using them much at all seemed to create two sound stages instead of one. In my auditorium the rear speakers are closer to the listener so it tended to dominate. Not only do the speakers match the timbre of the main speakers, but they also hold there own quite nicely. I could actually switch off the center, left, and right and still have excelent sound. I have yet to decide if the dipole or bipole setting is best for the current configuration. The Bipole mode is definately more localized, but slightly more detailed. With the rears mounted pretty high on the walls, they sound better in the dispersed dipole surround field for theater sound. For music, I tend to run in a 5-channel stereo mode for which bipole operation seems to balance the sound between the front and rear. Its kind of ironic that now my RT55 mains are the cheapest speakers in the setup. Ahhhh... I love my rear channels ;-)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
mustang50   AudioPhile [Mar 11, 2002]
Strength:

design, build quality, timbre matched with all polks.

Weakness:

none yet

These speakers live up to the polk audio name. I love the bipole/dipole switch. I use them in dipole. They match seamlessly with all my other polks especially since they all use the 6 1/2 inch mid/woofers. the sound is clean and clear and they handle a brosd range of power. Capable of getting really loud and work great in 5ch stereo and dts mode on the onkyo.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 11, 2000]
Strength:

Great match with the RT1000i's, good bass, great compromise to optimize both music and theater sound.

Weakness:

None

Theater sound is absolutly awesome. Very clear from the highs right down to the lows. I have them set up as "Large" so I can make use of frequencies below 80Hz. They also sound great with music but if your preference is music listening there may be a better choice. The bottom line is they offer an outstanding value for those that love to feel like they are part of a movie as well as sitting in a concert hall listening to there favorite band. I feel you can optimize sound for either theater or music but comming up with a compromise is what I was looking for, and these speakers deliver.

My System:
Fronts: Polk RT1000I’s
Center: Polk CS400I
Surround: Polk F/X500I’s
Surround Back: Polk F/X 500I’s
Subwoofer: Polk PSW650
Reciever: Dennon AVR3801
TV: Sony KP-43T70 Projection
Speaker Cabeles: Acoustic Research 12 gauge with monster connectors
AV Cables: Acoustic Research
DVD: JVC XV-511BK (Going to upgrade this soon)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lvis   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 13, 2000]
Strength:

sound. great bass

Weakness:

huge size

I originally had the polk 300i and was pleased with the sound, incredible detail from the rear. I got that from Circuit City for $398.98 for the pair. But i saw the 500i for the same price from an ebay user and i just had to upgrade. What really sold me to these speakers where the switchable dipole/bipole switch. They really match well with the B&W's 602/cc6 I have upfront. I have no complaints!

Similar Products Used: polk 300
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ron Martinsen   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 27, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent sound quality, esp. when matched with the RT2000i's & CS400i. Dipole/Bipole switch, keyhole wall mount.

Weakness:

Not available in cherry finish like the RT2000i's. Too heavy to mount into sheetrock.

These babies have some serious power, so don't be putting them up against some weak ass fronts or center because you'll be screwing up your surround sound system.

When matched with equivalent speakers, they are great. The sound quality is superb (once you've used a sound meter to balance them with the rest of your speakers).

I'm extremely satisfied with the sound quality and support for bannana plugs. However, the quality of the case is a bit lacking (esp. when compared to the cherry wood veneer on my RT2000i's), which is a problem since they are fairly large.

Should you buy these? Go to your local audio store and listen to private ryan with these and you'll come home with $500 more debt on your credit card.

My system also includes the following:
Sony DVP-CX850D 200 DVD Changer
Sony KP-53XBR300 Projection TV
Polk RT2000i
Polk CS400i
Polk f/x 500i

Purchased mine from the Good Guys for $499 (pair) because Polk Audio has fixed pricing, so prices don't vary much. Buying locally meant sales taxes, but it also meant immediate delivery and a place to return/exchange them if I was unhappy (which I'm not).

Similar Products Used: Sonance T3500's
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Klein   Audio Enthusiast [May 06, 2001]
Strength:

Clear, excellent sound. Switchable bipole/dipole. Dual Tri-laminate tweeter. Excellent for movie soundtracks as well as music. Clear instructions on optimal settings/placement given.

Weakness:

A bit on the heavy side for wall mounting, but I have seen it done. Other than that, not much comes to mind.

These were an excellent deal for me given that I work at an electronics chain so that I can get dealer cost, $240 for the pair. But they are definitely worth it at 250/ea as well. I can't say a whole lot about these speakers except if you're looking for excellent surround performance that won't break the bank, these are an excellent choice. Yeah, the f/x1000's rock, but they're friggin' huge. So if you've got some good fronts, esp. if they're Polk's, by all means get them.

To the earlier reviewer asking about the "old" tri-laminate in the CS300 vs. the "new." Answer: they are identical, no difference at all. However, if you are at all considering upgrading to the CS400i, do so...the dual 6 1/2" woofers make a world of difference over the 5 1/4" that you have now, esp with today's full range signals sent to the center speaker.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   Casual Listener [Dec 07, 2001]
Strength:

amazing sound!!,switchable bi-di pole.

Weakness:

a little big and heavy but thats all I can find!

Purchased these a couple of months ago and I am very pleased with the sound of these speakers. Although they are a little big I did manage to mount them to the sheetrock with some heavy duty hollow wall anchors.I researched the bipole/dipole speakers for about 2 wks before deciding on this model with the help of a writing by Tomlinson Holman called "DIPOLAR confusion". I stumbled onto this on the internet one day a it helped a lot! In my research the collective ideas were that bipole/dipole speakers were only good for use in systems where someone was still using dolby pro-logic. I find that not true at all!! I took a week or so moving the spkrs. around the room from the sides to the rear and finally decided to place them about 3 ft. from the back wall and about 6.5 ft. off floor. This set-up seems to provide the widest sound stage and not too localized that a direct firing spkr. would. I also purchased the new Sony dvp-nc650v cd/dvd/sacd player. Talk about fantastic sound!!
I can honestly say that these spkrs. are well worth the money. As far as what I paid, the 334.00 was for the pair in white but the place I bought them does'nt seem to sell Polk spkrs anymore. Polk is one of these manufacturers that PRICE FIX their products.The only way to be a distributor for them is to sell them at what they want even though some of these on-line guys are selling more units for them and the manufact. are still getting the same price for each unit no matter what the retailer gets. SEEMS LIKE SOMEONE SHOULD CALL the government and get them for price fixing!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Lou Balch   Audiophile [Dec 14, 2001]
Strength:

Excellent tonal balance. Good LF response w.o. sub. Quasi-dipole design.

Weakness:

None really, at this price.

Excellent value and performance. I'm using 4 as a complete surround in a 7-channel system. The quasi-dipole design works better than a true dipole (like the RTfx's or LSf/x's)for DD/DTS/Multi-channel music in my small (13x16) room. Speakers are large, but are easy to mount with a single screw into a wall stud. Earlier report that the trilaminate tweeter has not changed since CS-300 is incorrect. Polk reformulated the mix of vapor deposited aluminum and stainless steel on the new "i" series which provides a smoother, less peaky response up top.

Similar Products Used: Polk RTf/x, LSf/x, MS10i, MS20i.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
LAM NGUYEN   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 26, 2001]
Strength:

very good sound, perfect for DVD-audio, you can acutally hear bass sound come out from these speakers.

Weakness:

may be difficult to find the matching stands.

I bought a pair of the polk f/x 500i to match my front and center channel speaker's tweeter. The f/x 500i produce an excellent sound overall, if you own a DVD-audio player, you may want to try these speakers. When I listened to the new Foreigner DVD-audio track number 3 (Starrider), wow what a different from the advanced resolution soud to normal stereo sound and these speakers did their job well. I have to go to a well known funiture store to buy the stands for these speakers (matching my funiture).
My Systems
Polk RT 20P main power speakers
Polk CS1000P center power speakers
Polk PSW 1200 power subwoofer
Polk f/x 500i rear speakers
Polk PSW 150 power subwoofer for rear channel
Pioneer Elite VSX 39TX THX ultra 7.1 receiver
Pioneer Provison 55 inches projection TV
Pioneer Karaoke DVD player model 555
Panasonic DVD-audio player A-10
Pioneer LD player model 606

Similar Products Used: polk RT f/x
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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