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Polk Monitor XT speaker reviews (posted by Erin)

sweetchaos

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Thanks to @hardisj for reviewing Polk Audio XT speakers.

XT35 center:
US$300/ea
Preference Score (according to Erin) is 3.9
Preference Score (according to Pierre) is 3.8
CEA2034%20--%20Polk%20XT35.png

Polk%20XT35_Compression.png


XT30 center:
US$200/ea
Preference Score (according to Erin) is 3.6
Preference Score (according to Pierre) is 3.4
CEA2034%20--%20Polk%20XT30.png

Polk%20XT30_Compression.png


XT20 bookshelf:
US$300/pair
Preference Score (according to Erin) is 4.2
Preference Score (according to Pierre) is 4.4
CEA2034%20--%20Polk%20XT20.png

Polk%20XT20_Compression.png


XT15 bookshelf:
US$200/pair
Preference Score (according to Erin) is 4.2
Preference Score (according to Pierre) is 4.3
CEA2034%20--%20Polk%20XT15.png

Polk%20XT15_Compression.png


XT60 tower:
Preference Score (according to Erin) is 4.7
Preference Score (according to Pierre) is 4.9
CEA2034%20--%20Polk%20XT60.png

Polk%20XT60_Compression.png


XT70 tower:
Preference Score (according to Erin) is 4.7
Preference Score (according to Pierre) is 4.9
CEA2034%20--%20Polk%20XT70.png

Polk%20XT70_Compression.png


EDIT:
2022-01-09: Added XT60 and XT70 towers, since Erin posted the reviews today
2022-01-09: Added preference scores from Pierre

Discuss!
 
Last edited:

beaRA

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An improvement over the Monitor 40 series with pretty similar looking performance to the previous Signature series. Unfortunately, the price has raised to nearly that of the previous Signature Series as well. I don't know why you wouldn't go for the Emotiva B1+ instead.
 

napilopez

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An improvement over the Monitor 40 series with pretty similar looking performance to the previous Signature series. Unfortunately, the price has raised to nearly that of the previous Signature Series as well. I don't know why you wouldn't go for the Emotiva B1+ instead.

Note that the B1+($300) is a 5.25-inch woofer while the XT20 ($300) is a 6.5" woofer though. Then the XT15 is 5.25 for $200. So you're getting more for your money in theory with the polks. They all measure superbly for the price point imo anyway so even if they were priced the same you're kinda splitting hairs
 

adam2434

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Curious to also hear Erin's subjective impression of how these XT's sound. They all look to have elevated treble on-axis, but do they all sound bright?

For only $50-100 more a pair than the XT20 (depending on sale price), curious about how the Signature Elite ES20 measures and sounds.
 

beaRA

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Note that the B1+($300) is a 5.25-inch woofer while the XT20 ($300) is a 6.5" woofer though. Then the XT15 is 5.25 for $200. So you're getting more for your money in theory with the polks. They all measure superbly for the price point imo anyway so even if they were priced the same you're kinda splitting hairs
You get slightly more sensitivity in the XT20, but distortion and compression looks similar to the B1+ despite the larger woofer. Bummer that Emotiva has had to raise their prices across the board. That makes the value proposition quite comparable as you have noted.

BTW, @pierre it looks like there is an error in the sensitivity calculation for the B1+. 78.7dB is too low.
 

mightycicadalord

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Curious to also hear Erin's subjective impression of how these XT's sound. They all look to have elevated treble on-axis, but do they all sound bright?

For only $50-100 more a pair than the XT20 (depending on sale price), curious about how the Signature Elite ES20 measures and sounds.

I believe the same question was asked about the r200 to Erin and his reply was yes, the elevated treble shown in the measurements would probably come off as bright to most people. The XT do appear to retain the brightness off axis as well.
 

pierre

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You get slightly more sensitivity in the XT20, but distortion and compression looks similar to the B1+ despite the larger woofer. Bummer that Emotiva has had to raise their prices across the board. That makes the value proposition quite comparable as you have noted.

BTW, @pierre it looks like there is an error in the sensitivity calculation for the B1+. 78.7dB is too low.

fixed. Or at least the code. I will push a new version soonish. Thanks for the feedback.
 

TopperDude

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Also Curious to hear Erin's subjective thoughts on these new Monitor XTs.

And it would be great since he's already tested the entry-level XT15 and the higher-end Reserve R100, if he can test the new series inbetween - Polk Signature Elite ES15 - and let us know what does the extra moolah actually get us in improvements. Should make for an interesting video :).
 

smania

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Hi,

I'm looking for my first 5.1 system; I understand that a center channel is important but it usually has a narrow radiation (sorry if this is not the right wording).
I'm trying to make sense of the graphs for horizontal radiation for the 3 centers from Polk Audio (XT30, XT35, S30).

S30 (taken from https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/polk-s30-center-speaker-review.24728/ ) then XT30 and XT35 by Erin.
The scales are different so I don't understand; based on this parameter alone, is one "really" better than the others?



index.php

xt30.png


xt35.png
 

Steve Dallas

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What you are seeing is +/-15 vs. +/- 20 degrees, which translates to 30 and 40 degrees. The one speaker is 5 degrees better per side or 10 degrees total. That is not much difference, but as to whether it is helpful depends on the angles involved in your listening area.

If you have room, it is much better to stand up a TM bookshelf speaker than to lay an MTM on its side.
 
OP
sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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ROOSKIE

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Curious to also hear Erin's subjective impression of how these XT's sound. They all look to have elevated treble on-axis, but do they all sound bright?

For only $50-100 more a pair than the XT20 (depending on sale price), curious about how the Signature Elite ES20 measures and sounds.
I have the XT60's here now for testing.
They are going back to Bestbuy ASAP as no more need to wonder.
I got stuck with the T50's last time as the return windows closed, not this time. (anyone looking for t50's? J.K.)

Wow these are bad.
I'm serious.

The XT20's and Xt15's are pretty decent when HP'ed to a couple subs with a fairly high X-over. (Xt15's are better than the 20's in this use case in my opinion)

The XT60's sound just awful. Very uneven, very bright and thin sounding, sounding stressed at all louder volumes in a medium room (11.5x23x8.5" ceilings)
No way these are a "4.7" compared with many other speakers. None.
They are so out classed by any number of other speakers I have here with similar or even significantly lower ratings. No way.
They are so not worth it I am not even interested in try to EQ them into shape. Buy the monitors and a sub or just wait and look at other options in the $ range. (or spend more)

The benefit of the slightly deeper bass ability of the XT60 is not worth it, the speaker just can't play on the louder side of things well.
I will say the bass does go fairly deep if near a wall.
I understand that a 2-way with the extra passive radiators likely sells well but for performance in an ideal world they would have just use a port and spent some extra $ on the midrange-bass driver.
There is no port chuffing though(obviously) and driver/radiator package handles bass passages fairly well at medium volumes.
The mids are very unclean sounding. Other speakers that have weird frequency response variations don't necessarily bother me but these do, they just sound like cheap ass speakers.
I don't believe I am dealing with great bias here as I like the XT20's and XT15's enough(with subs). They are also a bit bright so plan to find a way to deal with that a little bit.

I have a pair of the Polk T50's here and slightly prefer them, they are also not very good though and wouldn't recommend them unless you really want inexpensive towers 2-way towers for some reason. Maybe if you have a small room(especially if higher SPL is not required)and are planning to really investigate taming both the brightness that when removed leaves a dull sounding speaker and the dirty midrange quality.
 

stupidvillager

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I have the XT60's here now for testing.
They are going back to Bestbuy ASAP as no more need to wonder.
I got stuck with the T50's last time as the return windows closed, not this time. (anyone looking for t50's? J.K.)

Wow these are bad.
I'm serious.

The XT20's and Xt15's are pretty decent when HP'ed to a couple subs with a fairly high X-over. (Xt15's are better than the 20's in this use case in my opinion)

The XT60's sound just awful. Very uneven, very bright and thin sounding, sounding stressed at all louder volumes in a medium room (11.5x23x8.5" ceilings)
No way these are a "4.7" compared with many other speakers. None.
They are so out classed by any number of other speakers I have here with similar or even significantly lower ratings. No way.
They are so not worth it I am not even interested in try to EQ them into shape. Buy the monitors and a sub or just wait and look at other options in the $ range. (or spend more)

The benefit of the slightly deeper bass ability of the XT60 is not worth it, the speaker just can't play on the louder side of things well.
I will say the bass does go fairly deep if near a wall.
I understand that a 2-way with the extra passive radiators likely sells well but for performance in an ideal world they would have just use a port and spent some extra $ on the midrange-bass driver.
There is no port chuffing though(obviously) and driver/radiator package handles bass passages fairly well at medium volumes.
The mids are very unclean sounding. Other speakers that have weird frequency response variations don't necessarily bother me but these do, they just sound like cheap ass speakers.
I don't believe I am dealing with great bias here as I like the XT20's and XT15's enough(with subs). They are also a bit bright so plan to find a way to deal with that a little bit.

I have a pair of the Polk T50's here and slightly prefer them, they are also not very good though and wouldn't recommend them unless you really want inexpensive towers 2-way towers for some reason. Maybe if you have a small room(especially if higher SPL is not required)and are planning to really investigate taming both the brightness that when removed leaves a dull sounding speaker and the dirty midrange quality.
I have the XT60s and XT35 and while they definitely are not world beaters, I don't agree that they sound just awful. I mean, I got all three for just over 500 and I think they sound pretty good. I don't get any of the uneven or bright sound and they get plenty loud in my room (11x15 open living room). Are there better speakers, yeah, but I feel these do a pretty good job for what they are. Entry level and inexpensive .
 
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