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Polk Audio XRt12

XM reference home tuner

15 Reviews

Item # 107XRT12

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Overview

Our take on the Polk Audio XRt12

With the XRt12, Polk has set the standard for XM home tuners. Not only do its sleek lines and clean design integrate with the other components in your home rack, its unbeatable sound quality lets you experience XM in all its expansive digital glory. One listen, and you'll agree that this is the finest way to enjoy XM at home.

With the XRt12, Polk has set the standard for XM home tuners. Not only do its sleek lines and clean design integrate with the other components in your home rack, its unbeatable sound quality lets you experience XM in all its expansive digital glory. One listen, and you'll agree that this is the finest way to enjoy XM at home.

The key to the XRt12's sound quality is its top-of-the-line Burr-Brown converter, regarded as the best in the business — it translates the digital XM signal into analog sound with unerring accuracy. Another performance advantage is the premium preamp circuit board, which provides a cleaner, lower-distortion signal than the circuitry used in plug-and-play tuners. And you can even adjust the XRt12's output level to match the other components in your system.

The XRt12 is packed with advanced features. A video output sends channel, song, and artist names to your TV screen for easy reading from across the room, and the information is also displayed on the tuner's front panel. In addition to a stereo analog audio output, you get optical and coaxial digital outputs, so you can make a digital connection to a compatible home theater receiver (and you'll be covered when XM offers multichannel sound).

Access your favorite channels easily with 20 presets; you can also save the names of up to ten of your favorite songs (handy when you're shopping for music). You can search by channel or category, and preview all XM content before you change channels. A wireless remote control and home XM antenna are also included. A subscription to XM is required — learn about XM's programming. (Satellite radio service is available only in the lower 48 states — not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. Territories.)

What's in the Box:

  • XM Satellite Radio Reference Tuner
  • Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • XM antenna with attached 23' cable (terminated with a single SMB connector)
  • 43" Optical digital cable (with Toslink connectors on each end)
  • 81" A/V cable (with composite video and stereo RCA audio plugs on each end)
  • Owner's Manual
  • On-line registration card
  • "Congratulations! You have XM." card
  • XM Satellite Radio channel list

Product Highlights:

  • dedicated home XM tuner
  • Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converter
  • video output (composite) sends channel, artist, and song info to your television for easy visibility
  • optical and coaxial digital outputs
  • analog audio output (stereo RCA jacks)
  • 4-line blue LCD
  • 10-song memory
  • 20 channel presets
  • search by channel or category
  • antenna with 23-foot cord
  • full-function remote control
  • subscription to XM required (service available anywhere in the lower 48 states — not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. Territories)
  • 17"W x 2-3/8"H x 12"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

Polk Audio XRt12 Reviews

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(15 Reviews)
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Product Research

Features
Inputs And Outputs Notes

Features

Overview: The Polk Audio XRt12 Reference tuner is a component-sized XM Satellite Radio tuner that fits into your audio rack along with your receiver and other A/V components. The XRt12 is equipped with audiophile-grade components which will insure you will hear all of satellite radio's potential sound quality.

XM Satellite Radio: XM Satellite Radio programming offers 170 digital radio channels including 69 channels of commercial free music, plus news, sports, talk, comedy, and other entertainment programming from coast to coast. XM also offers instant traffic and weather alerts for 21 major US cities, as well as live sports broadcasts from Major League Baseball, NHL, the PGA tour, Indy car racing and several major college conferences. In addition to the XRt12, you will need an XM Satellite Radio subscription in order to enjoy XM programming.

High Gain XM Antenna: The XRt12 is equipped with a premium high-gain XM antenna with a 20-foot cable. If additional cable is needed, you can connect up to two 50-foot extension cables, for a total of 120 feet. The antenna must be mounted in a position that allows it to best receive the XM signal, either via satellite or, depending upon where you live, the XM Terrestrial Repeater system. A signal strength indicator is available on the display to allow you to optimally aim the antenna.

Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC): The XRt12 has a built-in high quality Burr Brown Digital-to-Analog converter for superior sound quality. Burr Brown DACs are widely regarded as the best sounding, and are frequently used in high-end digital surround processors.

Preamp Section: Typical plug and play satellite radio receivers use headphone amplifiers which introduce noise and distortion into the system. This unit's premium high-gain audio preamp section is extremely quiet, low in distortion, and its wide response matches the output of typical CD or DVD players. You can adjust the XRt12's analog output to match other components in your audio system.

Internal Layout: To minimize noise and interference, the major sections of the unit (power supply, display, audio, XM module, preamp) are configured on separate circuit boards.

Display: The XRt12 features a 4-line blue XM display, which shows the channel name, channel number, artist name, song title and signal strength. For best visibility from a distance, you can switch to a larger-sized text. The brightness and contrast of the display can be set to a level between 1 and 10.

Presets: You can store up to 20 channels in preset memory. They are organized into two groups of 10 channels.

Channel Skip/Add: You can skip channels in the XRt12 channel list to prevent them from being accessible in search mode. "Deleted" channels can still be accessed by direct entry or preset.

Preview Channels: While listening to a channel, you can scan through the XM channel lineup, see what channels are available, and what is currently playing, and then decide if you want to leave your current channel. You can switch the display information from channel name to artist name or song title.

Memory: The memory function saves whatever information is on the display screen for later recall. If you wish to remember the name of a particular song or artist name, pressing the memory button on the front panel stores the information until you need it.

Auto Shutdown: You can set the tuner to automatically shut itself off after a preset amount of time. The Auto Shutdown feature can be set to 60, 120, or 180 minutes.

Front Panel Controls: You can control the main functions of the XRt12 from the front panel. In addition to the power button, the front panel also features display, memory, menu, and enter buttons, and select up/down and category up/down rocker switches. Direct tuning is not possible from the front panel due to the lack of a numeric keypad.

Remote Control: The XRt12 can be controlled by the supplied wireless remote control. Although the remote does not control volume (the receiver/amp does), you can increase or decrease the analog audio output level if it is too low or too high. The remote features a 10-button numeric keypad, plus power, mute, preset/direct, jump, display, and menu buttons. You can navigate through menus or channel lists using the arrow keys and the XM "select" button. Dimensions: W=2.247", L=5.383", D=0.921".

Specifications:

  • Signal to Noise Ratio: >80dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD + N): <0.1%
  • Channel Separation: >50dB

Inputs And Outputs Notes

Direct Digital Outputs: In addition to the analog outputs, the XRt12 offers two direct digital outputs (one coaxial, one optical). A 43" optical digital cable is supplied. These digital outputs let you take advantage of the ultra low noise and distortion benefits of pure digital sound, and be able to take advantage of the Digital Signal Processing features of your surround receiver or processor. If and when XM starts broadcasting in surround format (technically feasable), the unit will be ready to send digital surround signals to your multi-channel system.

Video Output: You can display channel information as well as artist and song title information on your TV screen by connecting the XRt12 to your TV via the supplied composite video output. A 6.75' A/V cable is supplied for connecting the unit to your TV.

12-Volt Trigger: If you have a receiver or preamp with a 12-volt trigger, you can connect a 3.5mm mono mini-plug cable between the receiver/preamp and the XM Reference Tuner and switch the tuner from Standby to On or vice versa without having to separately press the power button. As long as the XRt12 stays plugged into an active AC outlet, the unit will respond to 12-volt trigger signals.

RS-232C Connection: The rear panel has an RS-232C connection for use with compatible 3rd party whole house audio distribution systems, such as Crestron, for remote room control of tuner and display of tuner data on remote keypads and other control devices. It is not compatible with computers.

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