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Polk Audio Blackstone TL1

Single satellite speaker (Black)

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  • Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1

    Black

  • Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1

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  • Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1

    Black with grille off

 

Our take on the Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1

by Kristen Schaub
Polk Audio

Why choose bookshelf speakers?

Bookshelf speakers may be small in size, but they can deliver surprisingly big sound. Some ultra-compact models even fit on a desktop. Most are right at home in tight spaces like shelves, so they're usually good choices for your home theater's rear channels. For the best performance, try placing bookshelf speakers on solid speaker stands to help the sound really "open up." If you want full bass impact, add a powered subwoofer and enjoy punchy sound that's as deeply satisfying as that of floor-standing speakers.

Polk's ultra-compact Blackstone TL1 proves that you don't need a big speaker to enjoy big sound. Thanks to Polk's decades of speaker-building expertise, along with some pretty advanced driver technology, you'll experience effortlessly clear sound. And if you own a flat-panel TV, the TL1's high-gloss finish will complement it perfectly.

Advanced technology produces astonishingly realistic sound
The "TL" refers to Polk's "Time Lens" technology, which aligns the drivers in such a way that all the sounds reach your ears at the same time. This improves the speaker's imaging and soundstaging, so that you'll start to forget you're watching a movie and really feel like you're part of it. An "acoustic lens" in the speaker grille disperses sound waves in a way that makes your movie and music soundtracks sound larger and more open.

The "aperiodic-tuned rear port" controls air flow in and out of the enclosure, much like a breathable membrane. It gives the TL1 the acoustic benefits of both a sealed and a ported enclosure, including better bass extension and a pleasing mid-bass boost. It also means you can place this speaker in the open or against a wall, and still get great sound.

Easy speaker placement
The TL1 has a keyhole slot in the back for easy mounting to your wall straight from the box. You can also use the threaded insert to attach it to an optional speaker bracket or stand. Create your own home theater system using a combination of black TL1s in the front of your room and white TL1 surrounds in the back. Or add a pair in either color to the TL1600 system to get even more engaging, seven-channel surround sound.

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Highlights:

  • Time Lens technology aligns the drivers for better soundstaging and imaging
  • frequency response 135-20,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • sensitivity 89 dB
  • handles up to 100 watts
  • 1/2" silk dome tweeter
  • 2-1/2" Dynamic Balance™ mid/woofer
  • aperiodic tuned rear port
  • 5-way binding posts
  • includes combination keyhole slot and threaded insert
  • curved enclosure with high-gloss finish to complement today's flat-panel TVs
  • weight: 1.85 lbs.
  • 3-3/4"W x 6-1/2"H x 4-7/8"D
  • weight: 1.85 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Features and Specs
Enclosure
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Bass Reflex
Video Shielded
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No
Tweeter Type
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Dome
Tweeter Size (inches)
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0.5
Midrange Size (inches)
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---
Woofer Size (inches)
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2.5
Woofer Composition
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Composite
Woofer Surround
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Rubber
Power Range
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10-100
Sensitivity
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89 dB
Impedance (Ohms)
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8
Frequency Response
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135-20k Hz
Connector Type
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5-way post
Bi-amp Inputs
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No
Height (inches)
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6-1/2
Width (inches)
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3-13/16
Depth (inches)
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4-7/8
Weight (pounds)
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1.85
Mounting Bracket Included
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Keyhole
Recommended Stand Height (inches)
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31-36
Parts Warranty
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5 Years
Labor Warranty
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5 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Gloss-black satellite two-way loudspeaker
  • Detachable black cloth grille (attached)
  • System Diagram/Warranty sheet
  • Template
  • Online Product Registration card

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.

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Connections
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

Dynamic Balance Driver Technology: Polk Audio's patented Dynamic Balance process allows Polk to design their drivers specifically for flatter frequency response, revealing the sharpest details and a more lifelike transparency, with absolutely no strain even at high volume. It's a bold, rich, warm, and lifelike sound.

Time Lens Technology: The sophisticated laser alignment of the "acoustic center" of the Blackstone TL tweeters with their accompanying drivers results in far superior imaging. The acoustic centers of the tweeter and mid-range woofer are aligned, creating a crisp accurate soundstage. The acoustic centers of the tweeter and mid-bass driver are located in the same plane for superior imaging, while the acoustic lens incorporated in the grille smoothes the tweeter's frequency response.

1/2" Silk Dome Tweeter: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL1 utilizes a 1/2" silk-polymer dome tweeter for crisp, clear imaging, and smooth response that's never tiring.

2-1/2" Long-Throw Woofer: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL1 employs a 2-1/2" composite long-throw cone woofer with Dynamic Balance driver technology (Polk's patented transducer design process) that produces a flat frequency response, with sharp detail, transparency, and the ability to play loud without strain.

Frequency Response: The overall frequency response is 120Hz to 22kHz and the -3dB frequency response is 135Hz to 20kHz.

Additional Speakers: The TL1 satellite speaker will require a powered subwoofer (107PSW111, sold separately) for full-range sound. You can also add addition TL1 series speakers for 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 channel home theater configurations.

Enclosure Design

Enclosure Type: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL1 features a non-resonant composite enclosure with time-aligned geometry and an aperiodic-tuned rear port.

Curved Enclosure Design: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL1 satellite speaker employs non-parallel surfaces that not only lead to a stronger, more rigid and acoustically inert enclosure, but they also result in less audible coloration from internal surface resonances.

Integrated Acoustic Lens: An innovative acoustic lens incorporated into the grille produces a high frequency response so smooth that it delivers a balanced, realistic performance. An acoustic lens is molded into the back of the speaker grille and helps create imaging frequency balance previously impossible in small high-performance satellite speakers.

Aperiodic-Tuned Rear Port: An aperiodic-tuned rear port enables better blending with a subwoofer. This design combines the bass extension of an acoustic suspension enclosure with the mid-bass boost of a ported enclosure by controlling airflow through the port for better extension without distortion.

High-Gloss Finish: The Polk Audio TL1 satellite speaker features a durable, deep automotive-strength high-gloss finish that matches today's most stylish flat-panel TVs. The TL1 is available in a high-gloss black or white finish.

Connections

5-Way Binding Posts: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL1 is equipped with one pair of 5-way binding posts to ensure a secure connection to many types of speaker cables and connectors. The binding post terminals will accept banana plugs (single or dual), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and bare wire (18-12 AGW).

Mounting Options

Rubber Feet: The Polk Audio TL1 features three integrated rubber feet so you can sit the speaker on a stand or shelf securely.

Wall Mountable: The TL1 satellite speaker feature a single keyhole slot on the back of the cabinet for wall-mounting the speaker without any additional wall-mount bracket (mounting screws not supplied). There is also a 1/4"-20 threaded insert on the back of the loudspeaker for mounting the speaker to the wall using an optional articulating bracket (sold separately).

 
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Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

17 people say:

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Fantastic Speakers!

Written By Fran, Toms River, NJ on Sunday, July 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased 2 of these speakers after receiving advice from Crutchfield rep (Dylan)....he was absolutely right, I an older stereo system that had HUGE speakers which finally broke. These bookshelf speakers are the best sounding and perfect fit for my stereo system. I would absolutely trust a Crutchfield Rep to recommend another system or unit to me in the future. The sound, quality everything made this purchase worth the price! I so recommend anyone thinking about purchasing these speakers to do so or if my recommendation isn't enough, speak with one of the Crutchfield people -they know their stuff.
Pros:
Excellent sound quality, can be placed anywhere and are small enough that they won't be noticed.
Cons:
None
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

A remarkable small speaker

Written By Smerdyakov, Virginia Beach on Friday, May 16, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
My experience with audio products goes back to the early '60s, when speakers were judged by size and weight - the bigger and heavier, the better. Time and technology have rendered that method of assessing performance irrelevant, as is demonstrated by this small speaker. When one takes one out of its box, one's feeling is that fine performance from such a small unit will be impossible, but that is wrong - it worms very well. I had been trying to improve the performance of the side surround channel in my system, and had tried several different speakers that I had on hand, without getting the effect that I wanted. I decided to try the TL1s, since they had received good reviews, and were modestly priced. I am very glad that I did, since I achieved exactly what I had not been able to do previously: the high frequency response and presence of my side channels has been considerably improved.
Pros:
Excellent presence and frequency high frequency reproduction
Cons:
Best used with a subwoofer
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

"Small but mighty!"

Written By Old School Producer, Sun City West, AZ on Thursday, March 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Clear, tight and crisp sound... beautiful finish...will cosmetically blend well with any systems' components and they can make excellent satellite additions for 5.1 to 7.1 systems...
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4 out of 5

Nice speakers

Written By Dalea, Round Rock, TX on Sunday, March 09, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Nice little speakers and good sound quality.
Pros:
1. Value for the money
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

TL 1

Written By G G, Anacortes. Wa on Saturday, March 01, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great Sound Using them a primary in a rv
Pros:
Good size I mounted them by bolting to wall instead of just hanging
Cons:
None that. I can see
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5 out of 5

Nice sound

Written By Bob, Fort Worth, TX. on Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Good sound for the money! I'm very inpressed with them.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1

Written By shockman, Bay City, MI on Monday, January 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently purchased a Polk 5.1 surround system, but wanted to upgrade to 7.1. These speakers matched the system I bought perfectly. They look great, very compact with great sound. I am very impressed with Polk sound.
Pros:
Great look, excellent sound, very compact
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1

Written By Anonymous, Arlington, TX on Sunday, November 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound, exactly what I was looking for
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good sound

Written By Nestor, Lititz PA on Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent speakers with good performance for surround sound. Definitively needs subw. for deeper sound
Pros:
Small, good price
Cons:
None
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Polk Audio BlackstoneT TL1

Written By jlaw, Adrian, MI on Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great value. I'm using these as surround speakers; however when they arrived I auditioned them as main speakers (with Dyna Audio Sub). Fantastic sound right out of the box. They opened up even more after a couple days of break in. the sound stage is open and wide, liquid midrange and non-fatiguing trebble. Clear open sound. Unfortunately, there is ZERO useful bass. Even though there was a sub, there was a noticeable gap in the midbass. I didn't play around with the low pass x-over on the sub; that probably would have helped. Forget about using these alone though. They remind me of NHT Super Zero's from the 90's...only better!
Pros:
Excellent sound quality, Fantastic value, attractive
Cons:
No bass
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Exactly what I needed

Written By Douglas, Yorba Linda, CA on Saturday, April 13, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I already had a 5.1 Polk Blackstone 1600 speaker setup but wanted to add two more speakers for "height" in my 7.1 configuration. I could not find these speakers at any local store and one place wanted $20 more each than Crutchfield. The speakers are great, I already knew that. The ease of ordering from Crutchfield was amazing. They arrived exactly when promised, well protected in their original boxes and placed into a larger box with plenty of packing peanuts to prevent any shipping damage. I'm sold on Crutchfield.
Pros:
Small speaker / BIG sound. Great product. Have not been disappointed
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Amazed

Written By SteveM, Atlanta, GA on Monday, October 22, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I'm amazed at how much rich sound comes out of these little speakers. It's like i've been missing out on everything I was listening to prior to this purchase. i'm on a budget, but was in serious need of a new system for my small house in the city. I paired these up with an Onkyo TX-8255 receiver, and a Polk PSW-108 powered sub. I've barely watched television since the purchase. If you're on a budget, or don't have a ton of space but want great quality sound, these would be a smart purchase.
Pros:
quality, size, appearance
Cons:
No low frequency (but these are bookshelf speakers).
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

TL1

Written By Smooth, Seattle WA on Saturday, October 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Used as surround speakers on a 5.1 system @ 100w/ch crossed over at 120hz. These TL1s are smooth on the highs. When I read reviews I look for someone to mention whether a speaker is harsh on the highs or not and these are very comfortable on the ears. For what it's worth, i think these are better voice matched to my monitor 70s than were the monitor 30s they replaced. I'm extremely pleased with these as surrounds- 5 stars for the class they're in. Beautiful white finish and are clean looking on a white wall. Bottom line: they sound great for being 2.5" drivers.
Pros:
Size, fit and finish, sound quality, mounting options, made by PolkAudio!
Cons:
For my preference you would definitely need to match this with a subwoofer.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

great looks

Written By robert, red river, nm on Friday, September 21, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
i havent had them long but i do like the size, real compact. the sound is great for my rear channel. easy to handel great looks
Pros:
sound is great size looks
Cons:
none as yet
1 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Polk Surroud Speakers

Written By Dave W, Conowingo, MD on Thursday, March 01, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great speakers! Exactly what I needed. Buck the Crutchfield support tech was professional and knew his stuff.
4 out of 7 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Big Sound

Written By Andrew S, Mount Pleasant, MI on Friday, February 10, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Purchased these to a Polk TL1600 to complete a 7.1 system. Very impressive construction/finish, and the sound is spectacular. Its amazing how much full spectrum sound can come from such a compact speaker. Also look great mounted on the wall!
Pros:
Size, quality of sound
2 out of 4 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Polk never let me down!

Written By tRu, Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, March 05, 2011
 
Bought these when i ordered my TV for two reasons 1. Ive been looking for new
surround speakers since the ones i have now are huge (polk R150) 2. Because if
bought together with my TV i save $$. Wow these things are really crisp, great
sound at all volumes. Not much mid bass but its cool because im using them as
surround speakers. Highly recommended o_O
8 out of 9 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 

1 question already asked

Is this speaker magnetically shielded? [ Ralk12524  Mar 16, 2014 ]
3 answers
  • My front speakers are only a foot and a half left and right of my 55' TV and I never experience any issues. [ EDMUNDO   Mar 16, 2014 ]
  • Technically...I am not sure. But then I didn't care since performance is AWESOME. I ripped out my old system which cost 3x than this system and the TL1 Backstone has performed 3x better!!! I got it hooked up to a Sony STR DH710. and a Klipsch KW100. If you want more bass you may get a bigger subwoofer. My family room is 12X17 which opens to the kitchen. Stick one of the "Transformer" DVDs (my test DVD) and you got the plates, pots and pans rattling!!! [ EDMUNDO   Mar 16, 2014 ]
  • Yes, it has also performed really well. Yet to have an issue with this speaker. [ EDECIO   Mar 16, 2014 ]

Add accessories for the Polk Audio Blackstone™ TL1

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 Blackstone™ TL1, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_107TL1B/Polk-Audio-Blackstone-TL1-Black.html ).

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Compare with other Polk Audio models

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