You have to believe me, Polk TSi100 is one of the best bookshelf speakers I’ve tried. I was in love with it at first glance because of its beautiful design. And if you don’t believe in love at first sight, it will make you fall in love at its first sound. a little bit higher than the money people usually spend on a bookshelf speaker.
Although Polk has discontinued manufacturing TSi100 since they decided to replace it with the TSx110. Many people complained that TSx110 makes more mistakes than TSi100 has, so I don’t know why they made that decision. The good thing is you still can buy Polk TSi100 through Amazon and the seller is World Wide Stereo which is highly rated by many buyers.
Design – Polk TSi100
The word that came from my mouth when I saw TSi100s was ‘classic’. When you see them, I bet that you will think that this pair of speakers should be more expensive. The design is simple and nice.
They have a wood grain design cabinet which is made from MDF and there are two color versions: black and cherry. These nice 3/4-inch baffles help the speakers eliminate internal resonances and damp energy-stealing vibrations for more efficient operation and more transparent sound.
You can see a high gloss piano-finish black plate on their top. There’s a removable black cloth grille to protect the drivers on the front and if you remove it, you can see their amazing drivers inside. There’s no problem with sound quality when the grille is removed but you must make sure that it’s safe from harm.
Dimensions and Weight
About the specs, its dimensions are 10.2 x 7 x 11 inches and each speaker weighs only 10 pounds (shipping weight for a pair of Polk TSi100 is 22 pounds). They are small so you can place them anywhere in your home. Many people may worry about its size because large-size drivers can deliver better sound than small-size ones do. But the sound quality of this pair won’t let you down, we’ll get closer to details in the next part of this review.
At the back, we have gold-plated, professional-style 5-way binding posts, for the most secure connection options. There’s also a hole to mount the speaker on the wall and a bass port to enhance the reproduction of the lowest frequencies generated by the woofer. This means you can’t put these speakers up against the wall because it will affect their performance.
Woofer and tweeter
These speakers have 1-inch silk/polymer composite dynamic balance dome tweeters and 5.25-inch dynamic balance composite woofer. Size of these drivers isn’t different from other bookshelf speakers at this price point. The woofer of Polk TSi100 is even smaller than Dayton B652’s one but we’ll see what these speakers can do with them.
To be clear, TSi100s are passive speakers (not self-powered models). That means you must have an amplifier to use them. There are many options for a good amplifier but if you don’t want to spend much money on them, I recommend $25 Lepai LP-2020A+ stereo integrated amplifier. In spite of its cheap price, it’s good when being paired with most speakers.
Performance of Polk TSi100
I decided to put these small speakers in large-size room to test from the first time which means that TSi100 had to play the hardest mode in my game. AC/DC’s ‘It’s long way to the top’ (If you wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) was my first song to test the treble of the speakers.
If the tweeter doesn’t have a good build, the pipes can sound ‘wrong’ and it is very noticeable with this song. However, Polk TSi100s did a nice job of handling most parts of it, the high merged into the mid-range seamlessly.
Although there were some mistakes made it sounded better than many bookshelf speakers at this price point. The show was going, this pair of speakers made many songs in my favorite list become more enjoyable than ever. When playing at high volume levels, the sound was still clear, crisp and absolutely no distortion was made.
I chose ‘Brass Monkey’ by Beastie Boys to test the bass. Most people don’t realize how much boom this song produces but it isn’t an easy test for any speakers or even subwoofers. Not surprisingly, TSi100 made mistakes but not much.
Then, I tried it with some songs (used to test bass) like ‘Kinetic’ by Golden Girls, ‘Laid To Rest’ by Lamb of God, or ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ by Arctic Monkeys. These songs are still not easy challenges to many speakers but at high volume levels, Polk TSi100s rocked my room. It produced a good amount of bass and the deft control of the bass was nice.
TSi100s’ bass quality is less impressive than their treble but they were still good at producing both. To picky audiophiles, they may need a subwoofer to pair with these speakers to get better bass quality. However, they’re still an impressive pair of speakers at this price point.
Filling my large room with sound at high volume levels with less distortion, giving me enjoyable sound of Jazz music in my bedtime, producing good quality of movies’ sound (I’m a hardcore fan of action movies), I know I can’t expect more in a small bookshelf speaker in this price range.
Polk TSi100 is considered as the best bookshelf speaker at its price point. When it comes to sound quality, it may be equal to $300 or $400 speakers. I know some of the bookshelf speakers in this price range can do the same thing but getting people’s heart at first glance is one big advantage of this pair.
Many people will be under its charm as fast as I do. Its original cost is a little bit expensive to many people but don’t worry, you can purchase it through Amazon.