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Polk Audio RTi12

Single tower speaker (Black)

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  • Polk Audio RTi12

    Front

  • Polk Audio RTi12

    Driver array

Item #: 107RTI12B
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Polk Audio RTi12

by Tom Mathew
Polk Audio

Floor-standing speakers — still standing tall

Sure, floor-standing tower speakers buck the industry trend toward smaller, visually inconspicuous speakers, but they're hard to beat if great sound is your primary goal. Tower speakers produce powerful sound with excellent bass, making them a great choice for serious music lovers and for folks who want high-impact home theater.

Tower speakers don't get much better than this. The RTi12, sold individually, features an impressive driver array using the latest generation in Dynamic Balance® drivers: a redesigned 1" silk/polymer dome tweeter for stellar treble extension, dual 5-1/4" drivers for rock-solid mids, and three 7" woofers providing the earth-shaking bass rumble. These speakers move a lot of air, and dish out smooth, wide-open sound with extremely low distortion. Just pop in your favorite CD or DVD movie — you won't believe your ears. And they don't just sound great; the handsome real wood veneer (available in cherry or black oak finish) will be a classy addition to your room decor.

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The RTi12 includes Power Port Plus, the latest enhancement to Polk's Power Port technology. One front and one rear port work together with internal plates to reduce noisy air turbulence and increase bass efficiency. Plus, Polk's ARC (Acoustic Resonance Control) port technology ensures rich, natural mids. Other cool features include two sets of gold-plated 5-way binding posts for biamping or biwiring and anti-diffraction grilles for a large, open, three-dimensional soundstage with pinpoint-accurate stereo imaging. Adjustable spikes provide stability on both carpeted and hardwood floors.

Pick up a pair of RTi12s for stereo music or for front left and right speakers in a home theater setup. Plus, you can add the RTi12 as surround speakers in a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 surround sound system.

Recommended center channel speaker: Polk CSi5.
Recommended surround speakers: Polk RTi6 or Polk FXi5.

Highlights:

  • sold individually
  • video-shielded
  • bass-reflex design
  • frequency response 30-26,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • sensitivity 90 dB
  • handles up to 500 watts
  • dual 5-way binding post terminals
  • real wood veneer
  • 11"W x 50"H x 21-1/4"D (with stabilizing base)
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Large Item Special Shipping: This item will be delivered to the door of your house or apartment. Available to physical addresses in 50 United States only. Limited delivery available to Alaska and Hawaii for $99 per item — call 1-888-955-6000 for more details. Sorry, we can't ship to P.O. Boxes or freight forwarders. Delivery takes 5-7 business days once your order has been processed. Extra charges may apply to items that must be carried up more than 5 flights of stairs. Allow extra time for delivery to remote addresses. Free return shipping not available with this model.

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Enclosure Bass Reflex
Finish Wood veneer
Color Black oak
Tweeter Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) 5.25
Woofer Size (inches) 7
Woofer Composition Polymer composite
Woofer Surround Butyl rubber
Built-in Powered Sub No
Video-Shielded Yes
Connector Type Dual 5-way post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years
Specifications
Power Range 50-500
Frequency Response 30-26k Hz
Sensitivity 90 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Amplifier Power ---
Height (inches) ---
Width (inches) ---
Depth (inches) ---
Weight ---
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 1 Black oak floor-standing speaker
  • 2 Stabilizer bars
  • 4 Spike feet
  • 4 Machine screws
  • Owner's Manual
  • Online registration sheet

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

Features
Notes

Features

Dynamic Balance: Dynamic Balance is a proprietary Polk Audio technology using laser imaging to determine what combination of speaker materials create the least amount of resonance. Eliminating resonance in speakers results in a wide, smooth response and low distortion.

Polymer Composite Woofers: The speaker features three 7" polymer composite woofers. Three 7" woofers have the surface area of a single large woofer with the low mass and acceleration of small woofers, resulting in tighter, more accurate bass response. Each woofer uses a butyl rubber surround.

Polymer Composite Midranges: The speaker has two 5-1/4" polymer composite midranges for smooth wide-range response with low distortion. For high performance durability, each midrange uses a butyl rubber surround.

Silk/Polymer Tweeter: The speaker has a 1" silk/polymer dome tweeter that provides clear, detailed highs. The tweeter uses a heat sink on the Neodymium magnet for superior heat dissipation, power handling and reliability.

Acoustically Inert Cabinet: The speaker cabinet features all-MDF construction with extensive internal bracings that virtually eliminate sound-muddying resonance.

Power Port Plus System: Power Port Plus works with two ports (front & rear) and a series of internal "plates". Power Port Plus further reduces air turbulence at the mouth of the bass port, and increases bass efficiency. Power Port Plus allows even lower frequency tuning and lower turbulence for less noise and distortion.

Anti-Diffraction Grille: The floating anti-diffraction grille minimizes grille diffraction for spacious, 3-dimensional imaging.

Dual 5-Way Binding Posts: The speaker has two sets of gold-plated 5-way binding posts connected by gold-plated jumpers. Using the dual 5-way binding posts, you can bi-amp or bi-wire the speaker.

Magnetically Shielded: The speaker is magnetically shielded, allowing you to place it near your television without distorting the picture.

Adjustable Leveling Spike Feet: The adjustable leveling spike feet mounted on the stabilizer bars provide stability on any type of flooring.

Notes

Frequency Response Note: The overall frequency response is 18Hz-27kHz and the -3dB frequency response is 30-26kHz.

Dimension Note: The main body of the speaker is 7.769" wide. The stabilizer bars extend beyond each side of the speaker, giving the speaker an overall width of 10.959".

 
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Polk Audio RTi12 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Redone Home Theater/Stereo Speakers

Written By Martin, Panama City, Florida on Thursday, January 31, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These speakers were part of a package I bought (RTi12 fronts, RTi8 rears, CSi5 center, and PSW125 sub) to replace Bose 701s, Bookshelves (don't remember the model number,) Bose VCS-10, and 8" sub. I suppose since I don't have all of the specifics of my former system I don't qualify as an aficionado, audiophile, or enthusiast. I do however like to listen to music - mostly classic rock and '80s and earlier country & western - and like to hear the whole soundtrack when playing a DVD.


I was never satisfied with the 701s, for 11 years; I bought them because they were on sale in the Naples, Italy Navy Exchange at a fantastic price. The bookshelf speakers were good but they were limited in power handling capability as I discovered when my recent collge graduate son managed to blow one of them ... anyway ... time for something new.


I drive the sysytem with a Technics SA-DX1050. The best way I can describe the first listening experience was when I asked my wife "Please come listen to this," because all of a sudden there was music I did not hear before. The reproduction is crystal clear, the bass pervasive, and the ability to play at high volume exceptional. In surround rather than stereo the sound effects put you in a theater seat now.


Don't misunderstand, my system was okay before, but this is a quantum advance, particularly on the very high and low end, plus the sound definition. It is nice to hear the clear ring of a high pitched bell from "Pink Floyd" that I didn't hear before or the thumb drag on the deepest bass string.


I read the reviews that said I had to feed these massive amounts of high current power. It can get even better? I'd better start saving the coins for a pre-amp, multiple amplifier set-up. I feel from the enjoyment I've received for the speakers, the money was well spent.


As always, the service and responsiveness of Crutchfield was exceptional. It is worth the sometimes nickels and dimes extra over the no service vendors.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Polk Audio Rti 12's are simply awesome

Written By larry, Tazewell, Tn on Sunday, December 16, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I must begin by saying i have always wanted a set of Polk Rti 12's. But the price had kept me from doing so until 2 weeks ago. I got online and seen they had been marked down, with free shipping. I spoke to Matthew who assured me i would be very impressed by the sound quality and looks of these speakers, so i ordered a set in black. Taking them out of the box and setting them up u see first hand what a beautiful and well crafted set of speakers Polk audio makes. The pictures just dont do them justice. I have a Sony STR DE935 av reciever running them and i was completely blown away by the sound quality. It is absolutely crystal clear and they play so much louder than my others had. I was also truly surprised at the bass output and how low they will play. If you have ever thought about getting a set of these. DO IT !! You will not be disappointed !! They are simply an awesome set of speakers.

Thanks again Matthew.
11 out of 11 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Polk Audio RTi12

Written By Nick, Destin, FL on Saturday, October 27, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These are very good speakers for the money. They have a very bright sound and tight low end. The design of these speakers are geared toward low/mid range audiophile equipment and top of the line consumer grade.

These speakers are difficult to drive and require alot of power to get them singing. I recommend a bi-amp setup with around 140-200watts per set of binding posts (280-400watts per cabinet). The additional wattage is need more for dynamic headroom than volume.

For 2 channel music listening, these provide a good sound stage and plenty of detail at a moderately loud volume. You can hear every instrument loud and clear.
The low end is tight and responsive. For home theater use, the speakers provide a seamless soundstage with used with thier, voice match, partners. For HT use, the low end is a bit lacking and will require the use of a subwoofer to really optimize your theater experience.

I believe these speakers are a great deal and shine well above other speakers in the same price range. I am very pleased with their preformance and output levels. Anyone into serious audio should consider these as part of their setup.
26 out of 27 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Speaker at the Sale Price

Written By Jeffrey, League City, TX on Saturday, October 06, 2007
 
These are great speakers at the retail price, but at the new sales price they are the best in the price range. The mid-range clarity of these are excellent and the highs are refined and clear. Standards Jazz and Contemporary Jazz sounds great and is crystal clear. The Bass response is great. My receiver powers these speakers just fine and the use of my home theater sub is optional when listening to music in 2-channel mode.

I've listened to the smaller systems with the cube speakers and other bookshelf size systems with sub-woofer and they all sound good. But the large sound of these real wood cabinets just sounds much fuller in my opinion.

A word of caution; These are large, heavy speakers. Almost 90lbs each they are not easy to move around and have no place to grab. Also, the peg feet outriggers dig into carpet making sliding on carpet impossible. The only way to move them is to lift straight up, which puts the fabric/plastic grill at risk. Hence the loss of a star on the rating. Also, the magnets on the three woofers overcome the shielding material of the cabinets. If I place one of them within 8 inches of my TV I get some discoloration in the corners. However, given the size and weight of the magnets this is not surprising.

Overall, these speakers are well worth the investment and sound incredible. While these speakers would work well for home theater only use, they would out perform most home theater receivers. They are better suited for the audiophile with a large diverse music collection that requires a flexible high performance speaker matched to a high power receiver.
118 out of 143 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

WOW

Written By Robert, Helena Mt. on Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
RTi-12's in the front and RTi-8's in the back. 300 watts a side in the front and 150 in the back PWS 505 sub WOW! Polk is the best. listen to R&R loud and often.
18 out of 21 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

RTi12's Rock

Written By Kevin, League City, TX on Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These are very nice sounding, and good-looking, too. The sound is very clean throughout. Because these speakers go down pretty low into the bass range (and the fact they're much more expensive than the RTi10 or RTi8), I don't have the heart to set them up as "small". Fortunately, my receiver lets me send sound out the sub with "large" speakers, so I get to have my cake and eat it, too. For most content, you might not need to use a sub with these.

I compared these speakers to other brands, and there are cheaper speakers that you can get that will pump out the volume, but I found these to be cleaner than those. I also compared these with other big names, but I felt these outperformed them at less cost. Add in the attractive cherry finish, and you have a beautiful piece of furniture that sounds wonderful.
159 out of 186 people found this helpful
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Add accessories for the Polk Audio RTi12

You'll need speaker wire to connect your speakers to your amp or receiver. No wire is included with this speaker. See all categories & accessories

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Polk Audio RTi12, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_107RTI12B/Polk-Audio-RTi12-Black.html ).