I decided to treat myself and replace my Cambridge Soundworks satellite speakers that came with the original Cambridge Soundworks: Soundworks 2.1 system. They are being powered by the 36 wpc Cambridge Soundworks sub-woofer/amp that came with the CSW satellite speakers. The volume is controlled by the in-line volume control that came with the system and it plugs into my PC and the sub/amp.
The first thing I noticed is that these speakers are HEAVY! I don't think Polk knows how to build a lightweight speaker. The second thing I noticed, is that they are pretty big but because they have a small footprint, they just fit on my PC cart. I have to turn them outward so that they aren't playing into the back of my monitor. These are beautiful speakers with a nice shiny piano finish.
Once I had them hooked up, I started playing my music on my PC, I immediately had to turn down the volume on the sub because it was a little overpowering. I listened to a few random songs just to get an idea of how they sounded. Then I put them to the test of a music cd I put together to specifically test speakers. The songs on the cd are as follows:
Carly Simon: Live at Martha's Vineyard: It Happens Every day, Anticipation, The Right Thing to Do.
Celine Dion: The Power of the Dream
Bee Gees: I've Gotta Get a Message to You
Eric Clapton: Unplugged: Tears in Heaven & Layla
Eagles: Farewell Tour, Life in the Fast Lane & Hotel California
Virgil Fox: Heavy Organ at Carnegie Hall: Fugue in G Major
These songs for me will let me judge how well the speakers handle the clarity, separation, bass, and vocals of these songs. I turned the sub volume all the way down so that I could get a clear indication of how good the bass is. I listened first without any help from the sub all the way through the cd, then a second time with the sub added in.
The first thing I listen for is if there is any sibilance and if there is, is it within acceptable levels. Live music can tend to have quite a bit of it. Listening to some of these songs on a pair of B & W floor standers had me wincing! So listening to Eric's Tears in Heaven especially told me that the tweeter in the TL3 is a winner. While the sibilance is there, it isn't exaggerated beyond acceptable levels.
These speakers have excellent separation of the instruments, and they are very clear especially in the upper registers, but they aren't the least bit fatiguing. However, I picked up right away that the bass wasn't quite right especially on the Eagles tracks where some of the lower bass was a little thin especially at the end of Life in the Fast Lane, but I was fairly impressed with how well they handled the lower bass notes of the organ in the Gigue Fugue.
I then listened to the cd again this time with the sub volume on level 2. The sub put the true fullness back into the songs since it could hit the notes that were too low for the TL3s to handle with authority. This has also given me a better idea of how powerful the sub and amp is in this little CSW box.
I am very happy with my new computer speakers, and I strongly think that Polk should put together 2.1 computer systems that utilizes a small sub/amp like the CSW computer systems for those of us who don't want to go through the hassle of using a receiver hooked up to the PC, and where a full size sub is too big for the space I have to put it.
Polk has hit this one out of the park with the TL3's, and if they ever do make a smaller sub/amp combo with inline volume control, I will replace my CSW sub/amp with one.
Now for the Ultrafit 2000 headphones.
Polk has another winner on it's hands, these are by far the most comfortable behind the ear headphones I have ever worn! I have always worn behind the ear or over the head headphones since I don't like in-the-ear headphones.
I only wear them when I go to the gym, or when I am traveling. I wear glasses so they have to sit next to the arms on my glasses and usually within 15 minutes behind my ears start hurting, but I have gone through 45-60 minute workouts with these headphones without a bit of pain.
They have a nice snug fit that keeps them in place which allows me to hear the music better over all the other outside noise around me, but stays in place while I'm moving and working out. My only disappointment with them is that the volume control doesn't work on any other mp3 players other than Ipods. Not all of us have Ipods and it would have been nice to be able to control the volume of my Sansa player through the headphones rather than the player.
I am very happy with both of my purchases from Polk and they continue to prove why they remain my FIRST stop when I'm looking for new speakers!