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Polk ES60 Tower Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 17 6.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 72 28.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 139 54.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 27 10.6%

  • Total voters
    255

Hipster Doofus

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Wow! Thank you to the generous member for donating this speaker.

What are you going to do with now though @amirm ?

Thanks for a great review!
So now we move on the the woke use of this speaker …2.5 speakers are better suited for cold weather plants bringing the harvest point closer to Thanksgiving
IMG_0128.png
 
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amirm

amirm

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Out of curiosity, based upon bang-for-the-buck or is there something about nearfield monitors that are weaker when doing far field listening?
I mean it in reverse. That is, I would not use the Polk in near-field listening. So if near field is the application, Neumann would be the right choice. It is accurate and its drivers integrate far better than a tall tower in that short distance.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Do you think that this speaker, as well as others reviewed, can begin to compete, in terms of sound quality and performance, with higher-end speakers?
Well, I certainly thought they were a "mini" version of my Salon 2 speaker.

or rather, are you starting to see the Topping effect in the loudspeaker category too?
I am not seeing that trend in speakers. Yes, they are becoming a lot more accurate almost regardless of price. But physical, mechanical things like speakers don't lend themselves to same optimization. Think of what it would take to have a flat response down to 20 Hz with 110+ SPL. That is not just not possible in a cheap and small speaker.
 
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amirm

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What are you going to do with now though @amirm ?
I was thinking about the same last night. I certainly have no use for a single tower. If someone wants to buy this sample and then get another one to go with it, please contact me. I will then consult with the owner to see if he wants his money back or donate it to the forum.
 

Mikig

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Well, I certainly thought they were a "mini" version of my Salon 2 speaker.


I am not seeing that trend in speakers. Yes, they are becoming a lot more accurate almost regardless of price. But physical, mechanical things like speakers don't lend themselves to same optimization. Think of what it would take to have a flat response down to 20 Hz with 110+ SPL. That is not just not possible in a cheap and small speaker.
Thanks for the reply Amirm!

but in your opinion, why is it still difficult to produce linear speakers nowadays?
Is it a problem of materials, shape, purely electrical?

I often see in your reviews the phrase “by adding a filter” or equalizing, I can make a given speaker sound appropriate!

In your opinion, is the flaw in the design or intrinsic in the passive typology of the speakers??
 
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amirm

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but in your opinion, why is it still difficult to produce linear speakers nowadays?
An exec at a speaker company once told me speaker business is 80% marketing, 20% technical. Many of us would agree that an active speaker is a better design but it is poor marketing decision for example. It is just a tough business building and shipping big and heavy boxes.

From purely technical point of view, I think near perfect speakers can be built as shown by both Genelec and Neumann. Monitors from them approach electronics in flatness of response and low distortion.
 

Mikig

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An exec at a speaker company once told me speaker business is 80% marketing, 20% technical. Many of us would agree that an active speaker is a better design but it is poor marketing decision for example. It is just a tough business building and shipping big and heavy boxes.

From purely technical point of view, I think near perfect speakers can be built as shown by both Genelec and Neumann. Monitors from them approach electronics in flatness of response and low distortion.
Thanks for the reply! so if I understand correctly, for passive speakers, the best thing could be to make them "fake active" from the outside:
multi-amplification and crossover to be able to have a finer adjustment of low, medium and high frequencies.
 

Hart

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I am assuming you never heard of the Polk Lsi or Lsim line up?

They are quite good speakers that were made over the last 20 some years (22 exact) and were well reviewed.
Exactly, twenty two years ago is a long time ago.
 

a2Thompson

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Thanks for the reply Amirm!

but in your opinion, why is it still difficult to produce linear speakers nowadays?
Is it a problem of materials, shape, purely electrical?

I often see in your reviews the phrase “by adding a filter” or equalizing, I can make a given speaker sound appropriate!

In your opinion, is the flaw in the design or intrinsic in the passive typology of the speakers??
For me I have always wondered why, as equalization becomes more available, don’t speakers come with eq optimizations such as those wonderfully supplied by @Maiky76 ? I suppose the answer is that there is no market for that and if a company goes that route they might as well do that with an active speaker. Still, it would be a nice touch that would be quite appreciated by some and then a low cost passive speaker could be designed to optimize directivity and let frequency response tweaks be done by accompanied eq filters.
 

AndreaT

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Nice review! As someone who enjoys daily a 2.2 system with a pair of old Paradigm Studio 100 v.3, I agree: tower speakers are throwing a larger soundstage. I wonder if these Polks are missing a midrange, as it would have made the woofers’ job easier.
 

Acerun

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Wouldn't high quality standmount bookshelf speakers and two high-end subwoofers produce a substantially better audio experience? Not sure cheap floor standers would hold a candle.
 

SPFC

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Nice review and surprising result.

I wonder how these compare to the JBL Studio 698. Even though the JBLs have a higher price, they are still pretty reasonable for relatively large tower speakers.

Thank you Amir for all your reviews!
 

GXAlan

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Many of us would agree that an active speaker is a better design but it is poor marketing decision for example. It is just a tough business building and shipping big and heavy boxes.

From purely technical point of view, I think near perfect speakers can be built as shown by both Genelec and Neumann. Monitors from them approach electronics in flatness of response and low distortion.

The Klipsch Nines shows that active speakers can go mainstream (along with any soundbar).

I think the even though I have appreciated all that active speakers can do for a while, in a home theater environment it gets pretty tricky. I bought my JBL 708P from @Dj7675 because he wanted to switch to the 708i from the wiring convenience.

Many homes are older and aren’t built to modern NEC code where you have a super high number of AC outlets. Then, even if you have enough AC outlets to go around, one would prefer to have the AV processor powering everything on, so you end up having super long and thick AC cords running to your “line conditioner” with 12V outlets. The 708P’s are setup with 15 feet AC cords…

With Meyer Sound’s in the picture, I have come to appreciate how the pro audio world addresses this

1) Neutrik Powercon 20A connectors.

Their speakers have power input and output. That lets you have one cord to the power center, triggered by 12V which goes to the L, which daisy chains to the C which daisy chains to the R which then goes to the subwoofer.

You still have the problem of running long analog XLR cables but maybe this is the future of IP-based audio, where the same topology works.

2) 48V power
Power over Ethernet uses 48V but it maxes out at 60W.

Meyer has a whole line of 48V products which use a phoenix connector or a 5 pin switchcraft connector, so you have a relatively straightforward although the pin-outs are proprietary. It seems like it’s rated for as much as 4.5 amps.

It seems like there is an opportunity for someone like the HDMI consortium or even CEDIA to create a standard cable or interface for audio active speakers that carries power and data
 

beagleman

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Exactly, twenty two years ago is a long time ago.
Those two lines of speakers were made from 2002, till a few years ago....when they released the Reserve and Legend series.

I am not sure where you are going with your comment, but over the last 20 some years Polk has had some truly good speakers.
They did not just start making good speakers in the last couple years.


Online speaker reviewing was not a big thing till recently and we were mostly at the whim of Stereophile and a handful of other big audio/video magazine online reviews, hence why Polks earlier lines are not as well known.
 

Matias

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Extremely poor... Among the poorest ever...:facepalm:
Agreed. I am surprised this was voted as high as it did.

For comparison below, the best in class: Ascend Sierra 1 v2, for 950 usd a pair.

It runs circles around the Polk ES60 and has similar bass extension yet on a bookshelf speaker.


polk es60 x ascend 1 v2.jpg
 

uwotm8

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It runs circles around the Polk ES60 and has similar bass extension yet on a bookshelf speaker
Well, that's the point where "graph listening" can't give you the whole real picture.
Personally I don't like neither graph or look of these Polks (kinda okayish on catalogue images but really poor on Amir's real photo), BUT!
These are big speakers and they sound like a big speakers. And that's what Amir noted.
Neumann 120s will run circles around both Polks and Ascend but what will bring you joyful experience in a room, especaill for non-critical listening is not that simple. Size -> authority and scale matters much in that case.
 

beagleman

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Wouldn't high quality standmount bookshelf speakers and two high-end subwoofers produce a substantially better audio experience? Not sure cheap floor standers would hold a candle.

It runs circles around the Polk ES60 and has similar bass extension yet on a bookshelf speaker.

View attachment 348449
You are forgetting one thing, that can be a big factor to many.

The Sierra, as measured by Erin was found to be at only 81.5 db averaged sensitivity. The Polk model here, is several db higher. The Sierra makes its deep bass at the expense of sensitivity.

The Polk would run circles around the Sierra as far as actual output level, and low distortion at decent bass outputs levels.

The Sierra is great, I TOTALLY agree with you, but they are simply NOT all that comparable in real world usage.
 

testp

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For me I have always wondered why, as equalization becomes more available, don’t speakers come with eq optimizations such as those wonderfully supplied by @Maiky76 ? I suppose the answer is that there is no market for that and if a company goes that route they might as well do that with an active speaker. Still, it would be a nice touch that would be quite appreciated by some and then a low cost passive speaker could be designed to optimize directivity and let frequency response tweaks be done by accompanied eq filters.
let's also not forget: perfect freq.response in-not-so perfect speaker == lower sensibility (dB).
Perhaps doing EQ upstream is a better option for (user), than doing it passively in analog domain (speakers).
 

Matias

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I would much rather have a balanced and linear speaker that may not play as loud, then a roller coaster of a speaker that I could listen to loudly. With the Ascend I could later add a sub and high-pass it and get the best of both worlds anyway.
 
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