Loudspeaker consumers and aficionados have done very well by Polk since the introduction of its new RTi line in early 2007. In addition to real-wood veneers, the line packs an incredible amount of design elements into its affordable models, many of which Polk uses in its most expensive offerings. The series offers three floorstanding models (RTi A9, RTi A7/reviewed here, RTi A5), two bookshelf models (RTi A3, RTi A1), two center models (CSi A6, CSi A4), and two surround models (FXi A6, FXi A4).
The RTi A7 presents a nominal 8 ohm load with an 89dB efficiency. It needed very good power to open up properly, and only got better as the amplifiers and receivers improved.
Very much like the A9, the RTi A7 delivers a forward, immediate sound quality that delivers a sharp attack and plenty of body. They threw a very deep and wide soundstage with plenty of imaging outside of the speakers, and crisp outlines. The treble sounded a little edgier than the A9, but retained just enough smoothness to keep it in stride. The midrange offered very good clarity and speed, with a natural character that lent itself to voices, in particular. The midrange port really impressed, as it did its job quietly and added good body to the lower mids and a pleasant bloom to the sound...one port down, two to go. Getting into the lower registers, the RTi A7 provided a good blend of punch and thump. Every now and then, things got a little sloppy in the midbass on rock and electronics tracks, but never at the expense of overall coherence. The RTi A7 excelled on acoustic and classical material throughout the sonic spectrum, but especially in the mids and bass. It offered a terrific balance of heft and focus, and scaled nicely with large scale classical material. The large, yawning front port exhibited very little noise, and rounded out the bottom very well. As for the smaller rear port, noise doesn't factor in at all and its refined, focused design probably contributes to the RTi A7's ability to draw such a good bass balance. It has just enough weight to round things out while retaining its terrific punch across all types of material. At high volumes, the RTi A7 sounded terrific, and almost improved on a couple of occasions. Closer to walls, despite the mostly front porting, the sound thickened and degraded in quality a bit. This design, like its big brother, needs room.
Competition and Comparison
To compare the Polk RTi A7 loudspeakers against their competition, read our reviews for the Boston Acoustics CS 226 loudspeakers and the Klipsch Synergy F-1 loudspeakers. You can find more information on different products available in out Floorstanding Speaker section.
Read more about the RTi A7 on Page 2.
• The RTi A7 provides an excellent overall level of performance, combining speed and neutrality with weight and punch in a musical package.
• The RTi A7, like its siblings, provides an impressive amount of design and technology, and looks fabulous in both of its finishes.
• The RTi A7 sounds even bigger than its size and sounds great at high volumes.
• The RTi A7 has a somewhat forward tonal balance and occasionally sounds a bit flabby in the deep bass.
• The RTi A7 needs very good quality power to perform optimally.
• The RTi A7 needs some space around it to sound its best.
The Polk RTi A7 offers a lot of value for its very affordable price. It sounds dynamic, crisp, and lively, utilizes lots of premium technology and looks great. Its few flaws never detract from the enjoyment of the whole, and the speaker stretches very well over all types of material. The Polk RTi A7 is an excellent performer that deserves serious consideration at its price point.