Tech Model

August 28th, 2011

Speakers: Polk RTi A3’s Astonish For The Price

Polk Audio RTi A3 Bookshelf Speakers

Back when I was looking to buy my first real set of speakers, you can bet I was in over my head. I had to stay within a certain price range and I needed something primarily for Movies and Games, with a pinch of Music. So I started out on my journey and sampled the ever living hell out of some speakers. Klipsh had a hearty sound, but it’s titanium horn-loaded tweeter was too harsh and fatigued my ears. Brands like Paradigm (which has its own unique sound) and ADAM sounded magnificent, but were out of my price range and setup. Boston Acoustics were good, but lacked character. I wanted quality that would kick me off my feet ..or at least knock my socks off. So I went back and looked at an old favorite, Polk. Polk is a brand that I recommend to most of the people I talk to. Not only do they sound great on all fronts, they offer a value and price that is hard to beat by anyone. I wanted to see if they offered something more though, than what you would normally find in a typical brick and mortar store. That is when I found Pandora’s Box, which coincidentally comes in black or cherry.

For the price it is really difficult to beat what Polk offers in their RTi A Series. The sound is incredibly detailed, spacious, and has a huge dynamic range that is ready to impress. The silk dome tweeters are not only sweet to the ears, they do nothing in the way to fatigue them. They are also quite flexible handling movies, music, and games with high marks. The construction is equally remarkable with a real wood finish and premium connections housed in a beautiful teardrop design. That fact that a pair of RTi A3’s can be had for around $300 is a steal. It comes as no surprise then that many professional and costumer reviews share the same level of praise and enthusiasm.

These are not the best speakers to be had, some truly remarkable stuff is out there if you are willing to pay for it. A general rule of thumb is to invest more in your speakers than you do on a receiver. It is up to you to find that balance. You would, however, be hard-pressed to find a better line to start a Home Theater with or if your looking to upgrade over *gasp* a HTIB. Just kidding… but seriously… but just kidding.

As an added bonus here are a few tips to go by when choosing a speaker and why I went the RTi A3’s, along with the CSi A6.

Size Matters: The size of the speaker will determine the overall frequency response. Sound is a mechanical wave, so a smaller speaker won’t be able to put out the same range as a larger speaker and will try harder to do so. I generally suggest sticking with a 6.5″ woofer.

Bookshelf: For Home Theaters built primarily for watching movies and playing games, it is recommended to go with bookshelf speakers. You will save money and it’ll be easier to match your speakers. There will also be little difference in sound since the only thing different in a floorstanding speaker is the inclusion of a subwoofer; which you should plan on buying separately anyway to handle your lows.

Match Your Speakers: Try to keep your fronts, center, and surrounds the same woofer size. This will ensure a better and seamless surround sound experience. It’s easier and preferable to just stay with the same brand and line.

Placement: Give your speakers some space, don’t crowd them against a wall. Also do the best you can to keep tweeters at ear height. For more help, you can find plenty of good guides on this subject online.

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