Polk Monitor 60 Floor Standing Speakers Reviews
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Polk Monitor 60 Floor Standing Speakers

3 ratings (2 Epinions reviews)
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Solid buy for home theatre

Jul 11, 2010 (Updated Aug 8, 2010)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

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Pros:Detailed and accurate, beautiful cherry finish, well-matched woofers and tweeters

Cons:Tacky silver trim, non-adjustable legs, may lack extreme bass you like

The Bottom Line: Pair these with a good subwoofer for a killer home theatre setup. Very clean and accurate sound for a reasonable price.

I recently bought a set of Monitor 60s on close-out to replacing my Polk R50 floorstanding speakers. I use them for the front left and right channels of my home theatre setup, with their predominant (95%) use being TV and movies.

I made the upgrade because of the supposedly cleaner and crisper sound from the Monitor 60s compared to my previous pair of R50s. The Monitor 60 uses three (3) 5 1/4" drivers and a single 1" tweeter. Although the main drivers are not the more popular Polk 6 1/2" units, I feel they're better suited to my setup. The bass produced by my R50's 6 1/2" drivers was good but their low-end was rarely utilized since I have a very strong subwoofer. I felt it was smarter to find a set of speakers that were more accurate in the midrange and high-frequency sound. But for a person without a subwoofer, the Monitor 70 (or something with bigger cones) is a smarter choice.

The drivers are enclosed in a medium-sized floorstanding cabinet made of MDF in a nice matte cherry finish. It's an orangey-brown that looks very rich and a bit less sterile than the black ones that are also available. I am not crazy about the silver trim that peeks out from behind the grilles. The silver paint is also used for the feet. It really cheapens up the look of the speaker in my opinion. Perhaps on the black cabinets it looks better.

The feet themselves are not adjustable and may not suit everyone's room arrangements. I was surprised to see Polk opt for this design given the more simple but better setup on my old R50s. The back of the cabinet contains dual 5-way binding posts that take straight wire or banana plugs (recommended). There's a removable plate if you are bi-amping them. The grille is standard fare and is nothing to write home about. I saw some complaints that they're very fragile and this does appear to be the case compared to my R50s. I can't really vouch for it though.

Cabinet measurements are about 37x7x14, making them tall but narrow due to the smaller drivers. They're about 31lbs.

The Monitor 60s have impressive specs: 38-25000Hz response with lower 3dB limit of 4Hz and upper 3dB limit of 24000Hz. This means the response is extremely linear and does not fall off much at the lower-limits of the speakers. My R50s, for comparison, had falloff significantly earlier despite being using larger cones. They're rated for 200W which is more than enough for a typical home theatre amp/receiver, and run at 8 ohms. The 3 drivers are spaced out along the top 2/3rds of the cabinet with the tweeter seated just off the very top. This should produce a very wide soundfield with a big sweet-spot. The specs really are drool-worthy at this price and it was an easy sell after reading them.

Performance is impressive at this price point. Coupled with a good subwoofer, they're great home theatre speakers. They truly do live up to the specifications and provide a very clean sound with wide response, especially when bi-amped.

The 1" tweeter is exceptionally crisp and clear without being harsh and painful. I was pleasantly surprised given that there's only a single tweeter and not 2 or 3 like you see on other models. A word of caution about the tweeter: resist the urge to bump up the treble on your amplifier or it will really sound scratchy. I used to do this on my R50s since they ran a smaller and cheaper tweeter; I'm not sure if the Monitor 60s are truly monitor-quality speakers, but the tweeter does perform well if you leave the EQ settings alone.

The three woofers fill in the mids very well. I question if they really are good down to 38Hz, but with my LPF set to 120 it's not going to matter much to me. I find them to be very crisp and clear, matching the tweeters well. My old R50s seemed to lack the accuracy in the midrange since the woofers were a bit larger and flimsier. There's a marked difference with the Monitor 60s -- they are definitely matched to the tweeter. And the placement in the cabinet makes for some nice panning effects in movies. No longer do I get that weird sweetspot at eye-level; there's full sound almost everywhere you sit.

Monitor 60s are home theatre speakers. I cannot recommend them for heavy music listening since the cones are too small to hit the deep bass. The sound is full but it's just lacking that punch you've come to expect from 6 1/2" or 8" cones. Although vocal quality is excellent from the woofer/tweeter combo, you will be missing out on certain drum hits and very low organ noises. Pairing these up with an accurate subwoofer will give a very enjoyable sound; set your LPF to 120Hz (per THX and Audyssey spec) and set the receiver crossover for these channels to 80 or 100Hz. Although they're rated to 38Hz and have only -3dB loss at 48, I've found that an 80 or 100Hz crossover will keep these producing clean sound.

Placement is actually up to you. The cones and tweeter are spaced well enough that you get a big sound field. If you have an unusual room space or a spouse that doesn't want equipment spread all over, these will still fill the room well.

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 300

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