Polk Revamps Signature Elite Series of Loudspeakers for 2021
- Product Name: ES10 Surround/Height Module, ES15 Compact Bookshelf, ES20 Bookshelf, ES30 Center Channel, ES35 Center Channel (slim), ES50 Tower, ES55 Tower, ES60 Tower
- Manufacturer: Polk Audio
- Review Date: August 27, 2021 01:00
- MSRP: $250/pair - ES10 Surround/Height Module, $300/pair - ES15 Compact Bookshelf, $400/pair - ES20 Bookshelf, $300/each - ES30 Center Channel, $400/each - ES35 Center Channel (slim), $350/each - ES50 Tower, $450/each - ES55 Tower, $550/each - ES60 Tower
- First Impression: Gotta Have It!
We've already seen some impressive new product launches from Polk Audio this year including the release of their Reserve Series which took innovations from their Legend Series but at a lower price point. Now Polk Audio has introduced their Signature Elite Series, a collection of Hi-Res Audio Certified and Dolby Atmos compatible loudspeakers. Leveraging the advances in loudspeaker design developed by Polk Audio over the last fifty years, the Signature Elite Series is based on the award-winning Signature Series introduced in 2016.
The new Signature Elite loudspeakers deliver enhanced articulation, excellent dynamics and low distortion at high output levels, ideal for music, gaming, movies and TV.
The Polk Audio Signature Elite lineup includes three floor-standing tower speakers, two center channel speakers (slim, and full-sized), two bookshelf models and a wall-mountable surround speaker that should be well suited for height channels in an immersive surround system. The Signature Elite models come with a modern industrial design and are available in black, white-washed, or contemporary walnut finish.
We set out to take a great speaker line and make it even better. Signature Elite builds on the incredibly strong Signature platform and meticulously re-engineers it to maximize high-resolution audio capabilities as well as cinematic experiences for music and movie lovers alike.
--Frank Sterns, President of Polk Audio
Each Signature Elite model will come with mica-fortified, polypropylene woofers and Terylene dome tweeters alongside newly developed precision crossover networks. Additionally, the entire cabinet bracing has been redesigned to reduce unwanted resonances. The new stronger, more rigid and acoustically inert Medite MDF enclosures was refined through numerous revisions, subjected to extensive laser vibrometer testing, and then carefully reinforced to ensure optimal bracing and critical damping.
All Signature Elite models feature Polk’s patented Power Port technology, which helps smooth air flow from the speaker’s down-firing bass port into the listening area. As a result, port noise is reduced, providing more detailed and extended bass response and a more open airy midrange. According to Polk, Power Port typically provides 3dB louder bass output than conventional ported loudspeakers. Polk Audio also says that the new Signature Elite design is also more sensitive than the previous Signature Series that will work well with both 4 or 8 ohm amplifier or receivers..
All Signature Elite models are timbre-matched, Hi-Res Audio Certified, accessibly priced and built to exceed Polk’s rigorous quality-testing process. This ensures clear, enveloping presentation of audiophile recordings, gaming content or the latest Dolby Atmos or DTS:X surround soundtracks.
The ES10, ES15, and ES20 are bookshelf speakers, with the ES10 specifically designed to also be used as a wall-mountable surround speaker that should be well suited for height channels in an immersive surround system. The ES10 comes with a 1" Terylene High-Res Dome Tweeter and a 4" Dynamic Balance Mica Reinforced Polypropylene Driver. If you don't have the ability to mount speakers in your ceiling, the $250/pair ES10 would be an easy, affordable way to deliver height channels into your system which would be a better approach to purchasing a speaker that comes with upfiring Atmos speakers.
The ES15 comes with the same 1" Terylene High-Res Dome Tweeter as the ES10, but has a 5.25" Polypropylene Driver. and the ES20 upgrades to a 6.5" driver.
Polk's new center channels from the Signature Elite Series include the ES30 and ES35. The ES30 comes with a 1" tweeter and a pair of 5.25" drivers. For $299 this is an extremely affordable Hi-Res center channel and I wouldn't be surprised if we see this and several other Signature Elite speakers in a recommended immersive sound setup in the future. The ES35 comes with a 1" tweeter and six 3" drivers. At 24" wide, the "slim" ES35 is an interesting design that we don't often see in center channel speakers.
Rounding out the Signature Elite lineup are three floorstanding models the S50, S55, and S60 ranging in price from $700/pair to $1,100/pair. All models come with a 1" tweeter, but the S50 comes with two 5.25" drivers. The S55 bumps up to two 6.5" drivers, and the S60 includes three 6.5" drivers.
What We Think
The new Signature Elite lineup from Polk Audio brings even more affordable Polk speakers to consumers, which is never a bad thing. Polk Audio's Reserve series were running about HALF the price of their Legend series which are amazing speakers, so we expect big things from the budget Signature Elite line. The Polk Audio Signature Elite Series is currently available for purchase at PolkAudio.com and at authorized Polk dealers worldwide.
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