About the Polk Audio Legend L800
Polk's best ever floor-standing speakers
Polk's best ever floor-standing speakers
The early 1970s saw two fledgling audio companies spring up on the East Coast: Crutchfield, born in 1974, and Polk Audio, founded in '72. Over the decades we've worked together to help customers enjoy the best listening experiences possible. Well, what's "possible" has just been reimagined by Polk. Let's take a closer look at what makes these unique speakers so special.
Each L800 features a pair of angled baffles for a one-of-a-kind stereo listening experience.
Stereo playback the way it was intended
In 1985 Polk introduced a patented technology called SDA® (Stereo Dimensional Array) that aimed to preserve stereo separation from your speakers to your ears. In other words, your left ear heard the left speaker, and your right ear heard the right speaker.
Polk's SDA design uses an extra set of drivers on each speaker to produce an acoustically inverted “dimensional" signal that cancels "interaural crosstalk" — the phenomenon with conventional front-firing speakers where sounds from the left channel are heard by the listener's right ear, and vice versa.
SDA design advancements
All-new SDA-PRO™ technology improves on this unique design by angling each speaker's baffles by 15°. This enhancement allows the L800s to deliver an exceptionally wide soundstage with pinpoint stereo imaging. It also adds depth and realism to your listening experience that isn't possible with traditional forward-firing speakers.
There are two things to keep in mind when setting up these speakers. First, they connect together with a special cable that Polk includes, which allows the SDA channels to communicate with each other.
Second, you need to have a minimum of three feet of space between each speaker and its respective side wall for SDA to work as intended. If you don't have three feet of open space to the side of each speaker, you won't hear the ultra-wide soundstage that the L800s are capable of creating.
An array of high-tech drivers
Polk has rolled everything they've learned in their 45 years of speaker production into the Legend Series. Their new drivers reflect the company's passion for reproducing sound as naturally and as accurately as possible.
Take for instance their newly designed 1" Pinnacle ring radiator tweeter. It's a remake of a design that made Polk's LSi Series speakers beloved by our audiophile customers for years. Its carefully tuned waveguide helps create a wide listening "sweet spot," while also allowing you to hear instruments in space the way you would at an in-person performance.
Each L800 uses two of these high-performance tweeters. They're joined by a pair of the company's 5-1/4" Turbine Cone™ midrange drivers, whose innovative shape dramatically increases stiffness without adding mass.
But what about the bass?
Bass lovers, you're in for a treat. Each L800 uses a pair of 10" long-throw woofers to deliver deep, tight bass.
The L800's three-way design creates ultra-smooth, incredibly detailed sound throughout the tower speaker's wide frequency range.
Ideal for music and for movies
The L800s are exceptional stereo speakers. But they're also designed for use with matching Legend Series speakers as part of a high-end surround sound system. Whether you're enjoying your favorite album or the latest superhero movie, you'll appreciate the crystal-clear, vividly realistic sound these speakers produce.
Each L800 has a built-in space on top for the optional L900 height module, which re-creates immersive overhead sound effects.
Expand your system to Dolby Atmos® or DTS:X®
If you're using a pair of the L800s as part of your home theater, consider adding the L900 height modules. These recessed speakers mount inside the tops of the L800s and fire upward toward your ceiling, reflecting sound effects down from above to create a true theater-like listening experience.
Upscale fit and finish
The L800s feature heavily braced enclosures to reduce vibration and eliminate unwanted resonance. Each speaker is finished in a real-wood black ash or brown walnut veneer, and includes a removable magnetic grille.
It's worth mentioning that each speaker weighs 118 pounds! You might want to have a friend on hand to help with the unboxing of your new speakers.
- 3-way design with SDA-PRO (Stereo Dimensional Array) technology
- each speaker's baffles are angled at 15° for a wide soundstage and pinpoint stereo imaging
- important note: you'll need a minimum of three feet of space between each speaker and its respective side wall for SDA to work as intended
- dual 1" ring radiator tweeters with integrated waveguide for focused high frequencies
- dual 5-1/4" Turbine Cone midrange drivers
- dual 10" long-throw woofers for tight, punchy bass
- frequency response: 32-38,000 Hz (-3dB)
- impedance: 4 ohms
- sensitivity: 87 dB
- recommended amplifier power: 25-300 watts
- bass-reflex (ported) enclosure with down-firing Enhanced Power Port
- reduces noise and increases bass output compared to traditional round or slot-firing ports
- dual sets of binding post speaker terminals for main channel allow bi-amping or bi-wiring
- input terminals for optional L900 height module
- SDA interconnect terminals for connecting the left and right speakers
- each speaker includes 15-foot SDA-PRO interconnect cable; the two can be combined for a total of 30 feet
- removable magnetic grille
- real-wood veneer finish
- outrigger feet for a sturdy foundation
- 18"W x 48-5/8"H x 17-7/16"D (with outrigger feet)
- weight: 118 lbs. each
- warranty: 5 years (10 years non-transferable with registration)
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the box:
- 2 Floorstanding loudspeakers
- 2 Large Grilles
- 2 Small grilles
- Two 15' SDA interconnect cables
- 8 Rubber feet
- 8 Spike feet
- 2 Jumper-wires (pre-installed)
- 2 Cleaning cloths
- 2 Hex-keys
- Owner's Manual
- Online Registration
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Features & specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||5.25|
|Woofer Size (inches)||10|
|Built-in Powered Sub||No|
|Dolby Atmos Drivers||Optional|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Frequency Response||32-38k Hz|
|Subwoofer Amp Power||---|
L800 Floorstanding Loudspeaker: The Legend Series L800 floorstanding speaker features new patents that build on Polk's original SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) mission of maintaining full stereo separation all the way from the source to your ears. As a result, the L800 renders the most lifelike detailed, stereo imaging you have ever heard from Polk. The speakers seem to disappear as the sonic images fill your listening room with startling realism. It does this by minimizing the inherent distortion found in most stereo speakers known as interaural crosstalk (IAC) by utilizing a second column of transducers called a dimensional array. Conventional loudspeakers restrict what you hear due to their failure to maintain complete stereo separation from the source to the speaker to your ears.
- SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array): Polk SDA speakers were the first true stereo speakers because they were able to maintain stereo separation all the way from the source to your ears. By acoustically isolating the two stereo channels, each ear hears only the correct stereo channel. The left ear hears left channel, and the right ear hears right channel. Recordings literally come alive in your listening room. Musical images are reproduced with clarity and pinpoint accuracy. You are immersed in an awe-inspiring three-dimensional sound stage that extends from wall-to-wall (width), floor to ceiling (height) and extends both in-front and behind the speakers (depth). With Polk's SDA speakers your can you hear all the spaciousness and life-like imaging of the original performance. More importantly, the image is neither smeared nor torn by excessively wide speaker positioning.
- SDA PRO: SDA PRO, the next evolution of SDA, creates an expansive soundstage and detailed stereo image, while delivering a natural multi-dimensional sound experience. A wide, detailed soundstage is accomplished by revealing the original recorded signal. By positioning additional drivers to deliver a precisely derived interaural crosstalk cancellation signal to your ears, SDA PRO enables you to hear the sonic image just as the recording captured it. Individual instruments appear across a wide stage, as if the performance were in front of you at that very moment. In addition to processing two channel audio, it also integrates with 5.1 surround sound and is compatible with modern decoding technologies.
- Enhanced Dimensional Array: To further improve interaural crosstalk (IAC) cancellation, Polk's new SDA PRO technology has enhanced the bandwidth of the dimensional array to more completely match the relevant frequencies of the IAC through the use of a pair of tweeters and a pair of midrange drivers.
- Angled Baffles: SDA-PRO utilizes a 15-degree baffle that angles both the stereo and dimensional arrays. By angling the baffle, Polk Audio has enhanced the quality of the stereo arrays by aiming them more precisely towards the listener (similar to toeing a pair of speakers). It also allows for a narrower speaker (reduces the width by 25%) while still maintaining the correct width and positioning of the dimensional array. The Angled baffles allow the main stereo speaker arrays to point directly at the primary listening area, providing the best natural dispersion of the stereo signal.
- Head Shadow: SDA-Pro employs special "Head Shadow" filters in the Dimensional Array to more exactly match (and hence cancel) the IAC (interaural crosstalk). When the IAC passes across the listeners face, it is modified in the same manner as light trying to go around an obstacle. This is known as the "head shadow". The Polk L800 speaker features sophisticated dimensional HS (head shadow) crossover to more precisely match and cancel out IAC noise, creating precise, immersive and expansive imaging.
Note: The original recorded left and right stereo signals are intended for the left and right ears, respectively. With conventional stereo speakers, sound from the left and right channel cross paths and are heard by the opposite ear. This is called Interaural Crosstalk (IAC). IAC distorts the imaging process, causing a narrow, shallow sound field. SDA Pro technology employs an acoustically inverted "dimensional" signal to cancel IAC, without impacting the original recorded signal. The result is that only the correct, original recorded signal reaches each ear, and the full width and depth of the sound stage is accurately reproduced.
Two 1" Pinnacle Ring Radiator Tweeters: The Polk Legend Series L800 floorstanding loudspeaker features two new 1" high definition Pinnacle ring radiator tweeters. Developed by Polk Audio, it delivers ultra-clear, crisp highs without unwanted coloration or distortions. The Pinnacle tweeter features a finely tuned waveguide that dramatically improves the dispersion of high frequency energy ensuring a broad "sweet spot" and while the critically damped rear-chamber helps to defeat any unwanted resonances. Hi-Res certified, the Pinnacle Tweeter is designed for today's two-channel music listening as well as multichannel 3D audio found in music, movies, sports, and video games soundtracks.
Dual 5.25" Turbine Cone Midrange Drivers: The L800 floorstanding loudspeaker uses two 5.25" Turbine cone midrange drivers to handle the midrange frequencies. Polk developed the new Turbine cone specifically for the Legend series to ensure the natural reproduction of the mid-range, the frequencies our ears are most sensitive to. The Turbine cone combines Polk's proprietary foam core and the molded Turbine geometry which dramatically increases stiffness and damping, without adding mass - resulting in smooth, detailed midrange.
Dual 10" Long-Throw Bass Woofers: The L800 floorstanding loudspeaker houses two 10" long-throw woofers to handle midbass and bass frequencies. The two 10" woofers extend the performance of the floorstanding loudspeaker, delivering rich midbass and deep bass for impactful sound.
Enhanced Power Port: Traditional bass ports make noise (chuff) and mask the low frequency bass notes you want to hear. The new enhanced Power Port design smoothly transitions air flow from the speaker into your listening area for louder, cleaner bass while minimizing turbulence, distortion, and port noise. Polk engineers worked tirelessly, fine-tuning the Enhanced Power Port to smoothly transition airflow from the speaker. You get what your music and soundtracks demand - tighter, louder and cleaner bass that can be heard and felt. The L800 floorstanding utilizes a large down-firing Enhanced Power Port.
Real Wood Cabinet: The Polk Legend Series utilizes real wood speaker cabinets that are internally braced and carefully engineered to minimize unwanted internal standing waves and eliminate unwanted resonances. The result is a cabinet that rigidly holds the drivers while faithfully reproducing movie and music soundtracks. The real wood cabinet is available in a black or walnut finish.
Magnetic Grille: The Polk L800 includes an anti-diffraction magnetic grille for unaltered sound. The integrated magnets make it easy to attach and remove the grille from the floorstanding loudspeaker.
Speaker Terminals: The Polk L800 is equipped with dual binding post terminals for the high, mid, and low frequency drivers. It also features a set of dedicated binding post terminals for integrating Polk's L900 height speaker module (sold separately) on top of the floorstanding loudspeaker. In addition, there is a proprietary connector on back of the speaker and an included 15' interconnect cable that links a pair of L800 floorstanding loudspeakers together.
- Dual Binding Posts: The Polk L800 is equipped with two sets of sturdy binding posts allowing to bi-amp or bi-wire the floorstanding loudspeaker. These binding posts ensure a secure connection to many types of cable and connectors. The binding post terminals will accept banana plugs (single only), pin-connectors, spade-lugs and bare wire (16-10AWG). If you decide to bi-wire or bi-amp, you must remove the jumpers between the terminal posts (failure to do this could result in damage to your amplifier and loudspeakers).
- Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
- Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
- Height Speaker Terminals: There are height speaker terminals on the back of the L800 for connecting the Height/Elevation channels of a Dolby Atmos/DTS:X enabled AV receiver when integrating the Polk L900 height speaker module (sold separately) on top of the L800 speaker. The high speaker terminals consist of binding posts that will accept banana plugs (single only), pin-connectors, spade-lugs and bare wire (16-10AWG). There is also an internal speaker cable terminated by a two-pin Phoenix connector for connecting the Polk L900 height speaker module with the L800 floorstanding speaker. The Height Speaker Terminals will not be used, unless you are integrating the Polk L900 height speaker module.
- Proprietary SDA Connectors: There is a proprietary SDA connector on the back of each L800 speaker and each speaker comes with a 15' interconnect cable. This proprietary SDA connector and the included cables connect a pair of left and right L800 speakers together, so that both SDA drivers can cancel out unwanted signals from the opposite speaker. You can use only one of the 15' cables to connect both speakers together, or you can use both cables for a total length of 30'.
Rubber or Spike Feet: The Polk L800 comes with rubber and spike feet for a variety of flooring. The spike feet should be used on carpet floors, while the rubber feet are designed for hardwood, vinyl, laminate, and tile floors. The feet will need to be screwed into the bottom of the speaker cabinet. The rubber feet come installed on the spikes. In order to expose the spikes, simply pull the rubber feet off. The feet are adjustable so you can level or angle the speaker to your preference. The feet can be adjusted from the top of the floorstanding loudspeaker's integrated plinth (base) using the included hex-key.
Note: Make sure to always utilize either the spike or rubber feet for optimum sound quality and maximum stability.
Placement Options: Place a pair of L800 speakers along the same wall facing straight forward. No "toe-in" of the loudspeakers is required. They should be parallel to the plane of the wall and listener's ears. Experimentation with speaker-to-speaker and listener-to-speaker distance is necessary to find the best combination for a listener and the listening space. A recommended 6-8' speaker-to-speaker placement and 10'-12' speaker-to-listener placement is a good place to start. Find the combination where apparent stage width, timbral accuracy and direct-to-reflected ratio is the best. Keep side wall reflections as far away as possible, or absorbed if necessary, for maximum performance.
- By decreasing the distance from the speaker to the rear wall you will increase bass response. By increasing that distance you will experience less bass. The speakers will generally sound best when placed close to the back wall. Also, the front baffles should be at least 2" forward of any obstructions, such as cabinets.
- The speaker distance from each other should be at least 4', while 6’ to 8’ is optimum in most listening rooms. In a "live" room (lots of hard surfaces, not too many curtains, cushions or sound absorbing materials), the SDA speakers often sound best placed closer together.
- The listener distance from the speaker should be greater than or equal to the distance between the pair of speakers.
- Speaker distance from the side wall should be at least 3'. Placement closer to side walls will interfere with three-dimensional imaging. If you can absorb the sidewall reflection, closer placement to the wall may be possible.
Applications: The L800 can be used in a dedicated 2ch stereo setup, as well as the front stage and/or side and rear surrounds in a home theater setup. Add Polk's L900 height speaker module (sold separately) to elevate your sound and create an immersive 3D surround sound for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and IMAX Enhanced soundtracks. You can also add one of Polk's powered subwoofers (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) for bigger, deeper, and more impactful bass when listening to your favorite movie and music soundtracks.
Legend Series: The Legend Series is a cumulation of more than 45 years of speaker innovation and research by Polk. The Legend Series by Polk delivers exceptional imaging, incredible detail, and impactful bass response for stereo and home theater applications. The Legend Series features Polk's new Pinnacle tweeter, Turbine cone, Enhanced Power Port design, and SDA-PRO technology (L800 model only). Polk's Legend Series consists of two floorstanding loudspeakers (L600 / L800), two bookshelf loudspeakers (L100 / L200), a center-channel loudspeaker (L400), and a height speaker module (L900) - all sold separately.