Polk Audio RTI A3 Bookshelf Speakers Reviews

by admin on July 24, 2015

Bookshelf speakers are well-sought after due to their compact size and their ability to deliver high-quality sound without breaking the bank. They can easily fit snuggly on a bookshelf (hence, the name), but you can put them virtually anywhere in the room . Polk’s RTI loudspeaker series falls in between its LSi and TSi series at the top of its product line, with its VM series lodged in between providing sleeker, more modern looks designed for home theater environments. On my speaker stands, Polk Audio RTI A3  looked surprisingly good. In fact, they seemed right at home, blending in perfectly with my furnishings and lending the entire room a mature, sophisticated look.



List Price: $399.95 USD
New From: $279.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $189.59 USD In Stock

Specifications:

  • Mid/Woofer: 1 – 6-1/2″ Diameter (16.51cm) Polymer Composite Tweeter: 1 – 1″ Diameter (2.54cm) Silk Polymer Composite Dome
  • Overall Frequency Response: 40Hz-27kHz
  • Lower -3dB Limit: 50Hz Upper -3dB Limit: 26kHz Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Recommended Amplifier Power: 20-125 w/channel
  • Efficiency: 89 dB
  • Crossover: 2.8kHz, 12dB/octave high and low pass
  • Inputs: 5-way binding posts
  • Finish: Brown Cherry or Black Oak veneer Dimensions: 14-3/4″ H x 8-7/16″ W x 14″ D (37.47cm H x 21.43cm W x 35.56cm D)
  • Enclosure Type: Vented with PowerPort and Arc Port
  • Product Weight: 16.00 lbs. (7.26kgs) Shipping unit: Pair
  • Total Shipping Weight: 35.00 lbs. (15.88kgs)
  • Warranty: 5 years parts and labor (original purchaser) Designed in USA, Manufactured in PRC
  • Price: $325

In addition, Polk boasts that the RTi A3’s drive-units—a 1″ silk-dome tweeter and a 6.5″ polymer-composite woofer—are Klippel Optimized and Dynamically Balanced. According to Polk, the former means that the speaker should perform well at both high and low levels, while the latter means that the drive-units have been designed to avoid deleterious colorations. Finally, the RTi A3 uses Polk’s Power Port, a system in which two ports—one at the front and one at the rear—work together to reduce noise and distortion for clean, powerful bass (footnote 1).

But would all this fancy-sounding stuff make sense in my room? I was beginning to worry. I knew the Polks were big—wheeling them along Newark Avenue and carrying them up the two flights of stairs to my apartment had been more of a challenge than I’m used to—but I didn’t fully appreciate their size until I placed them in my listening room.

SOUND PERFORMANCE:

High-quality sound delivery is equitable to this gem of an audio system. It features one 1” silk/polymer composite dome tweeter and dual 6.5” Dynamic Balance mid/woofer drivers that are fully capable of fantastic, full-range sounds. The mid/woofer drivers are housed in their own internal enclosures for a higher level of clarity.Polk-Audio-RTI-A3

It boasts of the patented Dynamic Balance technology that enables you to only hear immersive, first-rate sounds by weeding out distortions and resonances. The curved enclosed cabinet design offers a more rigid interior for a more, life-like sound rendering. This pair is well-equipped with the patented Acoustic Resonance Control (ARC) port technology which helps tune out any internal resonances for a more natural audio reproduction, as well as the PowerPort Plus bass venting technology which enables you to hear deeper, richer bass sounds with almost no distortions.

From the very start, I had expected more bass from Polk’s RTi A3, and it certainly gave it to me—but I noticed that increased bass only in direct comparisons with the smaller PSB Alpha B1. The Polk’s overall sound was just as tonally correct and well balanced as the PSB’s, with clean, clear mids and vibrant highs.

What most impressed me about the Polk, however, was its presence and physicality. The larger speaker offered a muscularity, weight, and solidity that made listening to well-recorded rock an absolute, fist-pumping joy. “Road Dog,” the second track of Dope Body’s outstanding new album, Natural History (CD, Drag City DC513), opens with gently brushed chimes, some well-placed snare hits, and a slowly building tom-tom beat. As that beat grows in speed and intensity, two electric guitars, panned hard left and right, enter with quick raking sounds. The Polks presented each of these elements with startling jump factor and precision, easily turning my small listening room into a hot, crowded basement in the suburbs, with 50 or so sweaty teenagers jostling for a space in the mosh pit. The effect was extremely physical and compelling. The PSB Alpha B1 lacked the Polk’s oomph and scale, and just couldn’t infuse “Road Dog” with the same frightening presence and power—a shame.

Summing Up
For years, I’d thought that a good minimonitor speaker with a 5.25″ woofer was all I’d ever need to fully enjoy music in my small listening room. In summary, the A3 can easily give you an in-depth, full-range listening environment. Affordable and easy to use, this high-class audio system is highly recommended.

 

Previous post:

Next post: