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Polk Audio 500-LS
Our take on the Polk Audio 500-LS by Crutchfield's Marshall Chase
A real standout — but practically invisible
Polk's Vanishing® Series 500-LS in-ceiling speaker is designed to stay out of sight and out of mind...until you hear the rich, detailed sound it produces. This high-performance speaker is no more intrusive than a standard inset light fixture, which means you can enjoy great sound in rooms where regular free-standing speakers are an awkward fit.
Advanced 3-way design
The secret to the 500-LS's compact cutout size lies in Polk's innovative "Cassini Oval" driver design, which positions an oval-shaped woofer at an angle behind the midrange and tweeter array, in a built-in dual-ported bandpass enclosure. The woofer's increased surface area and rigid cast basket combine for deep musical bass. This speaker also features Polk's own advanced version of the classic "ring radiator" tweeter for smooth, detailed highs, along with a 2-1/2" Dynamic Balance midrange driver, for accurate response across a wide frequency range.
A wall distance toggle switch lets you compensate for boominess due to installation near a side wall. You also get a tweeter attenuation switch to help you get balanced sound in rooms with lots of reflective surfaces.
Mix and match with Polk's free-standing LSi M speakers
Use a pair of 500-LS in-ceiling speakers to listen to music in the den, or add more for a great sounding home theater. Vanishing Series LS speakers are voice-matched to Polk's renowned free-standing LSi M speakers, so you can combine these in-ceiling speakers with in-walls or free-standing speakers and get harmonious results.
An optional in-ceiling bracket is recommended for installing the 500- LS speaker in a home with new construction.
What's in the Box:
- In-ceiling speaker
- White metal grille
- Mounting template
- Owner's Manual
- "Fitting the Grille to the Wall" label (attached to bag)
- Online Registration Card
- Polk Audio product brochure
- frequency response 48-29,000 Hz (-3dB)
- three-way speaker design includes:
- 3/4" ring radiator tweeter
- 2-1/2" Dynamic Balance® midrange speaker
- 4" x 6" Dynamic Balance woofer with Cassini Oval driver design
- dual-port bandpass enclosure for better bass response
- handles up to 125 watts
- sensitivity 89 dB
- 8-ohm impedance
- paintable Sheer-Grille for stealth installation
- cutout: 6" diameter
- mounting depth: 9-3/8"
- warranty: limited lifetime
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Polk Audio 500-LS Reviews
Features and Specs
|Woofer Size||4 x 6|
|Woofer Composition||Mineral-filled polypropylene|
|Power Range (Watts)||10-125|
|Connector Type||Spring post|
Vanishing Series In-ceiling Speakers: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-ceiling loudspeakers feature a precision-engineered, minimally flanged design and Polk's exclusive Sheer-Grille, which protrudes only 7mm from its surroundings. Installing virtually flush in your ceiling, the Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-ceiling loudspeakers offer a one-cut, drop-in installation and rotating cam stabilizing system. The Vanishing LS series in-ceiling speakers are timbre-matched to Polk Audio's flagship LSi and LSiM series loudspeakers for seamless blending from speaker to speaker when you're building a speaker system.
Cassini-Oval Woofer: This Polk Audio Vanishing Series 500-LS in-ceiling surround loudspeaker employs a rear-mounted 4" x 6" Dynamic Balance mineral-filled polypropylene Cassini-Oval cone woofer, with rubber surround, for a smooth, consistent frequency response. The oval woofer is mounted at an angle in the enclosure, behind the midrange and tweeter, and ported out the front.
2-1/2" Midrange: The 500-LS has a 2-1/2" Dynamic Balance aerated polypropylene cone midrange. The aerated polypropylene cone is 20% lighter than conventional polypropylene, and 35% lighter than aluminum, to give you clear midrange and high efficiency. Polk Audio's patented Dynamic Balance technology eliminates unwanted resonances.
Ring Radiator Tweeter: The 500-LS employs a 3/4" Dynamic Balance ring radiator tweeter for detailed highs and superb imaging.
Wall Distance Toggle Switch: If you mount your in-ceiling loudspeakers closer than 2 feet from a side wall, the proximity of the surface can elevate the midbass response between 50 and 200Hz, causing a boomy sound. To compensate, the 500-LS is equipped with the Vanishing Wall Distance Toggle switch, located on the front panel. The filter adjusts the crossover to flatten the response, and tune out the boominess, without sacrificing the deep bass response of the speaker. The switch is labeled "Wall Dist." with two positions: in (<2') and out (>2')."
Reflective Room Compensation Control: The Reflective Room Compensation Switch, conveniently located on the front panel, allows you to digitally compensate for harsh reflective surfaces, such as smooth walls, glass windows, and hardwood floors. The filter doesn't merely reduce high frequencies, it simply cuts the level only in the 4-5kHz range where room acoustics most often interfere with performance. The switch is labeled "Room" with two positions: out (normal) and in (reflective).
Frequency Response: The overall frequency response of the in-ceiling loudspeaker is 35Hz to 33kHz, and the -3dB frequency response is 48 to 29kHz.
Sheer-Grille: The 500-LS features Polk Audio's exclusive wafer-thin Sheer-Grille, a magnetically-secured metal grille that protrudes only 7mm from its surroundings. The Sheer-Grille can be painted to match your décor, making it virtually indistinguishable from its surroundings. The Sheer-Grille has nearly transparent, ultra-small perforations, and is acoustically inert, for dynamic, unimpeded sound and more uniform coverage, even in larger rooms. The grille diameter is 7-3/4".
Gold-Plated Spring-Loaded Posts: The in-ceiling loudspeaker has a gold-plated pair of spring-loaded binding posts that can accept up to 12-gauge wire, single- or dual-banana plugs, or pin connectors.
Applications: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series 500-LS in-ceiling loudspeaker is designed to be used as part of a hidden two-channel stereo pair or in a 5.1- or 7.1-channel home theater configuration. At only 7-3/4" in diameter, the speaker is no larger, and no more intrusive, than an inset lighting fixture.
Note: The speaker isn't recommended for installation in high-moisture locations.
Security Eyebolt: The speaker has an eyebolt attached to the speaker magnet. This eyebolt is designed to be used as an extra measure of installation security. The majority of the speaker weight should be supported from behind by attaching a wire or hook to the eyebolt and to the ceiling joists.
Rotating Cam System: The Polk Audio in-ceiling loudspeakers utilize a rotating cam system to ensure a secure, vibration-free installation. Each 500-LS has 4 rotating cams to hold the speaker in place. The cams can be tightened from the front panel with a Phillips-head screwdriver.
Installation: The 500-LS can be installed in new or existing construction:
- Existing Construction: In existing ceilings, use the included cardboard template for one-cut, drop-in simplicity. Achieve secure, vibration-free efficiency with a simple turn of Polk's Rotating Cam system (4 rotating cams).
- New Construction: The optional PB 450 pre-construction brackets should be used for new-build or open-wall retro-fitting.
|Overall Dimensions (with grille)||Diameter = 7-3/4"
|Cutout Dimensions||Diameter = 6"|
|Mounting Depth (behind 1/2" drywall)||Depth = 8-7/8"|
Our Product Research Team
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.