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Polk Audio Signature S15 Speaker Review

ROOSKIE

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The 703 are very nice speakers that can be had almost as cheap as the S15 during various blowout sales. The S15, on the other hand, isn’t a good speaker, no matter the price. Better off with the BS22 if you want to go as cheap as possible.
I'd guess the Polk S15 plays louder than the BS22 with better bass. I know the S20 does and I would take that S20 over the BS22 any day.
Don't over estimate the Harman rating. It is fun but in no way is it a fact.
Many buyers will not like the BS22.
I owned the 703 for 2 years along with a dozen or so other monitor speakers to compare with. That speaker is superb. A very very nice speaker. The blowout is over though. Might find a pair for $800 or so new but the $400-500 blowout will never happen again. Still, they are worth $800. $10 bucks says Amir would love them as they have super bass.
 

ROOSKIE

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Maybe he has to make some extra dollars on some accessories ... like in restaurants were the mark up is 2-3x higher in beverage than the food ...
He might actually beleive they sound better. Confimation Bias is really strong sometimes and while he seems nice enough in the videos and articles he also seems slightly arrogant and those folks often are unwilling to let go of their form if ya know what I mean.
No doubt he still has a lot to offer and has designed some sick gear. Some artists are Looney and that is just a fact...
 

mhardy6647

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This will not change much for music listening but there may be dramatic changes on true scietific records like HD Mono Pink Noise vol. 2:)
Pink Noise -- that was Syd Barrett's band, right?

:cool:
 

typericey

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Had this pair before for a budget secondary system. Agree with @digicidal that the raised treble is likely a feature, not a flaw. It did give a false sense of detail and airiness. But that trick got old quick and I soon felt that the S15s were fatiguing to listen to. I ended up selling it and replacing it with something from the other side of the spectrum: the original Elac Debut 5.0. (Disclaimer: All this was before my ASR enlightenment)

Good to see the measurements here though. Thanks Amir. I was hoping to see a waterfall, always curious about how enclosures perform. Visually, the S15's cabinet does look well made for the price.

Looking at the response curve, seems the tweeter hotness can be cured easily, i.e. even by good ol' tone controls.
 

typericey

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Good video that shows it's actually quite well made. Crossover looks decent, there's a good amount of bracing, they didn't cheap out on the tweeter Magnet is huge! They didn't use compact tweeters from their car audio parts bin. Although the plastic front plate is non-functional and not sure why they still made the drivers shielded, no one uses CRT TVs anymore. They could've saved some removing these features and re-allocating the the funds to more useful stuff.
 

BYRTT

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.....There is some attempt to roll off the highs above 12 kHz or so. This means if they wanted, they could have brought the level down earlier so likely they want the accentuated highs (to sell better in a showroom).....

Many thanks another important and great review Amir, myself is not wiser than you but magine for another time conclude highs roll off above 12kHz for a passive speaker based on very close nearfield sweep that the probed impedance can be a friend that can hint no components sit there in that area to nuke highs, else impedance curve within below pink circle would have looked else caused by whatever RLC components used to nuke highs, in below have overlaid that nearfield tweeter analyze verse on axis and listening window that dont roll off in same way, so think conclusion must be or say i argue the roll off or error is caused by the very close nearfield position of a centered microphone having same distance to 360º around baffle objects create some interference errors as frequency increase and actual it looks start a steep deviate/roll off relative to on axis above 6kHz area..
Amir_tweeter_nearfield.png
 
Last edited:

Maiky76

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Hi,

Here is an EQ, although one would need to do it on the cheap to make sense for such an affordable speaker.

Code:
All PEQ:
Score no EQ 4.22
Score with the EQ: 5.91

     Freq        Gain     Q
     556.0,    -0.62,   4.50,...
     374.0,     1.00,   1.90,...
     992.0,    -2.65,   4.00,...
    1536.0,     1.78,   3.87,...
    2437.0,    -1.15,   6.00,...
    2764.0,     1.00,   4.47,...
   12236.0,    -2.50,   1.70,...
    4218.0,    -1.40,   2.70,...
    6410.0,    -1.33,   2.74,...

Here is the output of the Matlab/Octave script I have published here:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-cea2034-from-the-nfs-data.14141/#post-483394

3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
20200821 Polk S15 EQed Spin.png
 

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  • Corrected Spininorama.png
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Bruce Morgen

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Maybe he has to make some extra dollars on some accessories ... like in restaurants were the mark up is 2-3x higher in beverage than the food ...

Yup, that's what he's doing -- although he swears that's not the case and tags doubters as "flat earthers."
 

LoyK

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Here in Europe there is another version, the signature e -> S15e which claims to have some improvements over the non e series.
Would be interesting to see if their claims are true:
The adjustments include meticulously refined linear drive units with improved performance in combination with a new crossover circuit and improved crossover components. The more precise bass reproduction of the carefully designed and stiffened housing rounds off the improved sound image.
(Source: google translator from Signature E series
 

Billy Budapest

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Danny's totally unfounded position is that Speakon connectors are fine for subwoofers, but his tube connectors are audibly superior for full-range applications. He's an accomplished speaker guy, but some of his beliefs are just plain nutty IMO.
In a perfect world, in regard to consumer equipment, all line level connections would be XLR and all speaker connections would be Speakon. However, that just isn’t the way it is right now.
 

jcebedo11

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Im now curious what the s20 would measure. It might be a good competition vs the infinity r162
 

digicidal

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The 703 are very nice speakers that can be had almost as cheap as the S15 during various blowout sales. The S15, on the other hand, isn’t a good speaker, no matter the price. Better off with the BS22 if you want to go as cheap as possible.

Agreed. I never even considered looking at anything farther toward the budget side of their product line. The nicest aspect of the 703's is the fact that lower than 10kHz or so they're quite flat... so while I might have found them too bright in my 20's... now they sound just about perfect. I've still got some hearing up to about 16kHz... but that's becoming more "naturally attenuated" by the day. :cool:

I'm pretty sure I'd have to wait at least another decade for these to start sounding as good without some heavy EQ. LOL!
 

typericey

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Here in Europe there is another version, the signature e -> S15e which claims to have some improvements over the non e series.
Would be interesting to see if their claims are true:

(Source: google translator from Signature E series

Interesting. I'm guessing it's merely tuned for British sound with aesthetics ("normal" dust caps) also adjusted to the market's taste.
 

blackjakal

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The 703 are very nice speakers that can be had almost as cheap as the S15 during various blowout sales. The S15, on the other hand, isn’t a good speaker, no matter the price. Better off with the BS22 if you want to go as cheap as possible.
I have never seen the 703’s even close to the same price bracket as the S15’s. The cheapest sale they have had on these (last year) was just under $400 and the S15’s are closer to half that price. Of course, if the 703’s go on sale again for that cheap, they are well worth the price over the S15’s if it can be afforded. For the price though, the S15’s are still pretty good, especially for desk use.
 

blackjakal

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Would they be a good choice for desktop use/nearfield?

Port cover is likely to allow mounting directly to the wall, neat.

In my experience, they are great on a desk. I can attest to the excellent bass they produce and are especially good sounding when listening to music like EDM. I have since replaced mine with the Infinity R152’s which are better in every category except bass. Since I mostly listen to EDM, I was longing for my S15’s back for a while after getting rid of them, but I have now grown to like the R152’s better.
 

HorizonsEdge

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I just got the S15's for my desktop system to replace bs22's serious improvement!
 

ROOSKIE

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If anyone in the USA is looking for this speaker (Polk S15), it is on sale at BestBuy for $115 a pair right now.
 

HorizonsEdge

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If anyone in the USA is looking for this speaker (Polk S15), it is on sale at BestBuy for $115 a pair right now.
and direct from Polk w/free shipping.
 
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