Polk RTi A1 Bookshelf Loudspeakers Reviewed

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All speakers - even the best of the best - have limitations. The key is how does the designer fold them into the whole to retain and enhance the overall coherence of the presentation. Do they stick out, or merely blend in? The RTi A1 uses its size limitations to its advantage, creating lemonade out of the tricky lower frequencies that doom lesser bookshelf models. It presents a wonderfully detailed, coherent, warm, and punchy sound that works well over all types of music. And it provides enough cosmetics and sound quality to appeal even to the most discerning of buyers with much higher budgets. Balanced, engaging, easy to drive, and great looking - with the RTi A1, Polk has put its foot firmly down into the bookshelf speaker category and raised the bar in its price category.

High Points
• The RTi A1 provides an incredible level of sound quality for its price.
• The RTi A1 offers a very balanced, engaging presentation that's easy to drive.
• The RTi A1 offers many of Polk's most advanced technologies and ergonomic features, and a very attractive cosmetic profile befitting speakers costing much more.
• The RTi A1's relative light weight and small size make placement easier than does other high performance smaller speakers.

Low Points
• The RTi A1 presented a slightly warm tonal character in the low frequencies.
• The RTi A1 lost some performance when wall-mounted or on a bookshelf.
• The RTi A1 is not available in a gloss black finish.

Conclusion
I loved the Polk RTi A1. Right out of the box, it delivered a huge impression of quality, value, and performance way beyond its price point. It's put together wonderfully and delivers very attractive, engaging, and dynamic sonic performance. It even will likely appeal to buyers with higher budgets, and who doesn't need to save a few bucks these days. This is one of Polk's best offerings in many years and comes with an enthusiastic endorsement from HomeTheaterReview.com.

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HTR Product Rating for Polk RTi A1 Bookshelf Loudspeakers

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

4

Overall

4

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