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Polk Audio Blackstone TL3
Center channel speaker
Our take on the Polk Audio Blackstone TL3 by Crutchfield's Kristen Schaub
Anchor your home theater system with high-performance sound
Polk's Blackstone TL3 packs big-speaker punch in a compact center channel design. Built using the same tweeter design found in their flagship full-sized loudspeakers, as well as exclusive state-of-the-art technologies, the TL3 overcomes some of the usual limitations of compact speakers. You'll hear the kind of accuracy and detail you expect from a much larger center channel speaker, including a wide soundstage, crisp dialogue, and realistic special effects. It's the perfect choice when space in your living area is limited, but your love of great sound is not.
Crisp, dynamic sound thanks to high-tech drivers
A big part of the TL3's incredible sound is the 3/4" Ring Radiator tweeter. Found in Polk's flagship speakers, this sophisticated tweeter reproduces transparent, natural highs. The dual 3-1/4" aerated polypropylene woofers are lightweight, but also stiff and strong, allowing the cones to move more freely in the baffle. It means you can play your music and movies loud without hearing any distortion. Polk's Extended Linear Motion voice coil helps make the cone movement even more efficient to further cut down on distortion and extend the speaker's dynamic range. This increased efficiency is the key to the TL3's big speaker sound.
Immersive home theater performance
The "TL" refers to Polk's "Time Lens" technology, which aligns the drivers in such a way that high- and low-frequency sounds all reach your ears at the same time. This improves the speaker's imaging and soundstaging, so that you'll feel less like you're watching a movie and more like you're part of it. An "acoustic lens" in the speaker grille disperses sound waves in a way that makes your music and movie soundtracks sound larger and more open. The TL3 also features Polk's acclaimed PowerPort® technology to help reinforce bass output. Plus, its sturdy cabinet is reinforced with a steel plate to help fight resonances that can muddy the sound.
Easy system building
The TL3 has keyhole slots in the back for easy mounting to your wall straight from the box. You can create your own compact home theater system by adding anywhere from five to seven TL3 satellite speakers to this center channel. And don't forget a Polk subwoofer to complete your system with rumbling bass.
Great sound and fits below the TV screen perfectly.
Anonymous, Bozeman, MT
What's in the Box:
- Gloss-black center-channel loudspeaker
- Detachable black cloth grille (attached)
- System Diagram/Warranty sheet
- Online Product Registration card
- Time Lens technology aligns the drivers for better soundstaging and imaging
- frequency response 115-28,000 Hz (-3dB)
- sensitivity 90 dB
- handles up to 125 watts
- 3/4" Ring Radiator tweeter
- dual 3-1/4" aerated polypropylene Dynamic Balance® mid/woofers
- Extended Linear Motion (ELM) voice coil helps reduce distortion and extend dynamic range
- PowerPort® technology for better bass response
- steel-plate reinforced cabinet fights internal resonances
- curved enclosure with high-gloss finish
- 5-way gold-plated binding posts
- includes combination keyhole slot and threaded insert
- 16-3/4"W x 4-1/4"H x 3-15/16"D
- weight: 4.7 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Polk Audio Blackstone TL3 Reviews
Average Customer Review(s):
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Features and Specs
|Midrange size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer size (inches)||3-1/4|
|Connector Type||5-way post|
|Frequency Response||115-28k Hz|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Overview: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL3 series center-channel speaker (TL3) features new innovations specifically designed to enhance the compact speaker's performance. The Black Stone TL3 is a two-way center-channel loudspeaker with a 3/4" Dynamic Balanced ring-radiator tweeter and dual 3-1/4" Dynamic Balance aerated polypropylene woofers inside a bass-reflex enclosure with a bottom-firing port. The TL3 is equipped with 5-way binding posts and offers various mounting options.
Note: The TL3 has an overall frequency response of 115 to 28,000 Hz and will require a powered subwoofer(107PSW111, sold separately) for full-range sound.
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.
3/4" Ring Radiator Tweeter: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL3 series center speaker features a 3/4" ring radiator tweeter that is normally found only on high-end loudspeakers. The 3/4" ring radiator tweeter offers incredible accuracy and detail, so you music sound likes the artist intended.
3-1/4" Aerated Polypropylene Woofer: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL3 series center speaker employs a 3-1/4" aerated polypropylene 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. The aerated polypropylene cone is lightweight, yet stiff and strong, with longer linear excursion capabilities in a limited compact enclosure space, so it plays louder with less distortion.
Optimized Linear Motor Structure: Engineered for better compact speaker performance, Polk's OLM Motor Structure flattens the BL Curve, making cone movement more efficient than previously possible, reducing distortion and extending the small speaker's dynamic range right up into big speaker territory
Frequency Response: The speaker's overall frequency response is 90-31,000Hz, and the -3dB frequency response is 115-28,000Hz.
Additional Speakers: The TL3 center-channel speaker will require a powered subwoofer (107PSW111, sold separately) for full-range sound.
Enclosure Type: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL3 center-channel speaker features a non-resonant composite enclosure with time-aligned geometry, and PowerPort technology.
Curved Enclosure Design: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL3 center-channel 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.
Steel Reinforced: Extra-rigid steel plates reinforce the curved enclosures of the TL3 center-channel speaker, resulting in an acoustically inert enclosure free from internal resonances and any audible coloration, for more lifelike audio detail.
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 loudspeakers.
PowerPort: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL3 center-channel speaker utilizes Polk Audio's patented bass venting technology, for added midbass response and increased efficiency. PowerPort technology decreases port turbulence and virtually eliminates "port noise," for a massive 3dB boost in bass response.
High-Gloss Finish: The Polk Audio TL3 center-channel loudspeaker features a durable, deep automotive-strength high-gloss finish that matches today's most stylish flat-panel TVs. The TL3 center-channel is available in a high-gloss black finish.
5-Way Binding Posts: The Polk Audio Black Stone TL3 center-channel 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).
Rubber Feet: The Polk Audio TL3 center-channel features three integrated rubber feet so you can sit the speaker on a stand or shelf securely.
Wall Mountable: The TL3 center-channel speaker features dual single keyhole slots 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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Why did you buy this?
Not real happy with this unit should of got a larger speaker, having some problems with noise (Pops and Clicks) [ charles Jun 17, 2017 ]
Smaller size needed to fit the space requirments [ Christopher Jan 18, 2017 ]
it will go with my polk sub woofer [ scott Jan 16, 2017 ]
The size fits well in location under the TV set . I have another POLK center speaker which is to large and takes away from the affect. Our home system also includes POLK sub. & right /left self speakers. The surround speakers are BOSE in wall units. [ RONALD Dec 28, 2016 ]
tech advice from crutchfield sold me. [ Francois Saint Nov 26, 2016 ]
Size, specifically height, a 65 in Sony 4k is tall already placing the center into a base then the tv on top will cut down on a "Towering TV" and allow a clear center for voice. [ KEVIN ANDREW Aug 24, 2016 ]
Advisor suggested based on my size and price restraints [ Andrew Aug 23, 2016 ]
The guy I talked with at Crutchfield and reading the reviews SOLD me on this center speaker. The POLK Center Speaker I have is from a set I bought in 2007, which was on the low end with Center Speaker, 2 front speakers, 2 back speakers. My old Polk Center Speaker is scratchy, with low voices you can't hear with the background music. Can't wait to try our the TL3.. [ SAVANNAH C Aug 10, 2016 ]
size... existing speakers all Polk too.. reviews [ niall Jul 10, 2016 ]
It had good reviews and I needed a speaker that was not very deep [ Kyle Peter Jul 06, 2016 ]
Needed a smaller speaker due to space. Good reviews. [ TIM Jun 26, 2016 ]
Polk Audio makes great speakers! [ R Jun 05, 2016 ]
slim profile for flat panel TV [ Jeffrey May 17, 2016 ]
Excellent sound! [ James May 15, 2016 ]
One of the few center channel speakers that can fit my space, constrained by 4 feet of fireplace and mantel under the TV's position on its pivoting wall mount. [ Frederick May 13, 2016 ]
Fantastic speaker!! great sound quality and performance. [ Adam Apr 02, 2016 ]
The center speaker That I have is too large. I wasm impressed by the reviews of the people who bought it because of its smaller size. [ DARREL Feb 18, 2016 ]
Small speaker cabinet with good reviews. Also the return policy. [ Michael Jan 02, 2016 ]
2 questions already asked
With the Onkyo receiver this will be a good match. The Audyssey set-up on the receiver will help to better match the center channel to your other speakers. [ Jeff Apr 16, 2015 ] Staff
8 answers I just got my surround sound hooked up and am using the TL3 as my center channel. I have only watched 2 movies thus far and it seemed like on 1 movie I had to play the volume louder than the other to hear the dialogue but then when music played I had to lower it. I am wondering if this is an issue with others as well or maybe the way some movies are produced. When watching TV or listening to music it is fine. I am pairing the center with MC80 in ceiling speakers and a Yamaha RXV475 receiver. Let me know if anyone else has this issue or if I need to have a different setting on my receiver? [ Dave Dec 15, 2013 ]
My first thought is that left-center-right speakers should all be on the same plane. Either all on the ceiling or all at ear level. Otherwise they would be very difficult to balance. [ MICHAEL Jan 28, 2014 ]
With the fact that there is no problem when playing music or the TV means to me there is no problem with the speaker, it's just playing the signal it is given. I believe it's how those particular movies are produced. A couple of things that may help 1) Did you set up the speakers using YPAO, if not I would try that. 2) My Marantz receiver has different sound modes for movies, if yours does I would try a different sound mode. Lastly, if you decide to manually adjust the speakers it's best to leave the center speaker flat and back the others off, that way you will not get distortion. I hope this helps. [ BILL Dec 18, 2013 ]
I don't have that problem with my center speaker. I have the Denon AVR-1913 receiver. I turned up the center speaker to have more volume. The only problem that I have with my center speaker is that when I am watching TV the center speaker is on then when it switches to a commercial it doesn't work like it and the voice is coming from my two front speakers. I think is just how they broadcast , weather it is 5.1 or not. Hopefully I answered your question [ STEPHEN Dec 17, 2013 ]
Hello Dave, I have had my TL3 for 5 months and have not experienced any problem. I have noticed a considerable difference in the sound quality of the TL3 after about a month of break in. Getting ready to add a pair of the TL3 bookshelf speakers to my system next month. Take care. [ LARRY Dec 16, 2013 ]
I replaced my older Bose speakers, including a center channel speaker, with the Polks and dialogue is much clearer than it was previously. Sound quality in general is better as well due to better midrange and bass from the Polks. Still, I occasionally have a little trouble with dialogue, especially with Dolby TrueHD sources since I only have a 5.1 system. But that's not a problem with the speakers but with the number of speakers, and may be your problem as well. [ JEFF D Dec 16, 2013 ]
I have close to the same set up as Dave with a Yahama RX475 receiver and the Polk Audio Blackstone TL3 center speaker, and have only experienced the same problem on occasion, so I believe it must have something to do with the way the movies are produced. Other than that, this has been a great speaker. [ LAWRENCE M Dec 16, 2013 ]
I purchased a new Polk center TL3 speaker a few months ago and I just moved to a different house and hooked up my surround. I have in ceiling speakers too but I had a set of Polk spekers that I hooked up as my front speakers on the built in entertainment center. I also use a Yamaha receiver and a Polk subwoofer. I haven't had any issues like you mention. Have you used the devise that Yamaha provides to test the level of output from each of the speakers? [ CHARLES Dec 16, 2013 ]
I have not experienced the problem you are describing. I am using the Blackstone TL3 satellites for my left and right fronts along with the center. Not knowing anything the Yamaha receiver I can't say if a diffferent setting might help. Or maybe your TL3 canter and the MC80 in ceiling speakers just don't work well together. In any event I don't think the problem is with the TL3 center channel. Good luck in getting it figured out. [ JAMES Dec 16, 2013 ]