This product is a vintage Polk model and is not available for sale, but it may still be available in some stores as a closeout or used product. The following text is taken from the original sales brochure for this product and does not reflect current availability. If you happen to have any question or concerns about this product, or any other Polk Audio product, feel free to contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-377-7655 Monday - Friday, 9am - 5:30pm EST
Two-way bookshelf loudspeaker
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Incredible Sound / Affordable Price
The RT7 features:
- Smooth response, incredible detail and three-dimensional imaging add up to true high-end perform Designed for superior home theater and music performance
- Polk's exclusive Dynamic Balance® technology for wide response and low distortion
- Smooth, natural mid-range reproduction thanks to patented Acoustic Resonance Control technology
- Clear, detailed highs from Polk's Tri-laminate dome tweeter made of polymer with vapor deposited micro-layers of stainless steel and aluminum
- Magnetically shielded for safe placement next to TVs without picture interference
- Resonance-free 1" thick MDF baffle for clean, accurate reproduction
- 5-way binding post inputs for the most secure wire connections
POLK RT SERIES: The new Polk RT Series are more than just another line of speakers. They are the direct descendants of the state-of-the-art Signature Reference Theater System. SRT started out as Matthew Polk's desire for the ultimate home theater system to use in his own media room. It turned into the most ambitious research project in Polk's 23 year history. Countless man hours went into developing the Signature Reference Theater system. It's a system with performance so high that it exceeds the limitations of the listener well before reaching its own limits.
The Signature Reference Theater project provided our entire company with the pride of building what we believe is the finest sounding home entertainment speaker system in the world. The SRT project also spawned several technologies which have been incorporated into the new Reference Theater (RT) models. This is one more example of how our program of fundamental research leads to products with unmatched performance and value. The RT models provide a higher level of performance for music and movies than was ever before possible at such a reasonable price.
Introducing the Reference Theater (RT) Series:
"As the name "Reference Theater" implies, the RT line meets the need for excellent home theater system speakers. But home theater speakers must do more than provide good sound with movies. Home theater systems spend more hours a day playing music than movies. So truly great home theater speakers also need to be great music reproducers. But too often speakers "designed for home theater" are brassy, boomy and "shouty", designed more for quantity of sound than quality. The RT Series have what no other speakers in their price range have - the dynamic range and powerful bass needed for exciting home theater sound and the clarity, imaging and smooth response necessary to make everything from grunge rock to opera sound fantastic." -- Matthew Polk
Polk's RT Reference Theater Series:
Sound quality is only one component of truly great speakers. They also need to look terrific and leave enough room for your family and furniture. We called in one of the world's leading industrial designers to sculpt the elegant lines of the space saving RT towers. We magnetically shielded every RT model to give you the freedom to place the speakers right next to your TV without distorting the picture. No aspect of speaker design or performance was left unexamined and unimproved in the development of the RT Series. Never before in our 23 year history have we been able to provide so much performance, utility and style at such affordable prices.
Dynamic Balance Breakthrough Technology Means Better Sound For You:
Just like Matthew Polk's Signature Reference Theater (SRT) system, the components used in the RT Series benefit from Dynamic Balance, a technology which came out of a joint research project between Polk Audio and Johns Hopkins University. This laser imaging research enabled us to view on a microscopic level the entire vibrating surface of a driver or tweeter. By this method we were able to observe the resonances which develop on speaker cones as they move. These resonances are the root cause of frequency response distortions.
As an x-ray enables a physician to discover the root cause of a symptom and prescribe the right treatment for a cure, this laser imaging technique allowed Polk engineers to find the right combinations of high tech materials, geometry and construction techniques to tune out the offending resonances. The benefit of Dynamic Balance is the dramatic improvement in the sound quality of our speakers which every listener can appreciate. Buyers of reasonably priced speakers no longer have to choose between excellent bass and smooth, clear midrange. Now you can have it all thanks to Dynamic Balance technology.
Advanced Crossover Designs for Superior Imaging and Audiophile Transparency:
A crossover is the part of the speaker system which directs high frequencies to the tweeter and lower range frequencies to the woofer. But crossovers can create distortion, called phase shift, which reduces clarity and degrades the ability of the speaker to create a life-like spatial image. Thanks to Dynamic Balance technology, the response of our mid-woofers remains accurate at much higher frequencies than conventional drivers. This allows us to place the crossover frequency above the range where your ear can most easily detect phase shirt (the critical midrange). The result is clarity and imaging so outstanding that the speakers seem to melt away. You'll feel as if you're at a live performance or actually on the movie set.
Power Port Technology for Bass you can Feel:
In the development of the ground-breaking Signature Reference Theater system, we found ways to overcome the limitations of conventional bass reproduction technology. Now the bass performance benefits of the revolutionary SRT technologies can be yours with the RT floorstanding models.
Ported speakers are popular for home theater use because they provide good bass without the need for large amounts of amplifier power. But conventional ports have limitations. Air turbulence at the mouth of the small diameter port causes â€œport noiseâ€? and bass output loses up to 3dB. A loss of 3dB means that half of the amplifier power being used for bass reproduction is wasted by air turbulence losses!
To overcome these limitations we developed a new patented technology called PowerPort. The Power Port is an extremely compact, efficient, aerodynamic system capable of handling tremendous volumes of high velocity air flow with very low turbulence, noise and loss. The technology gives the RT floor standing speakers bass performance which vastly exceeds any speakers in their size and price class. The result is bass which you can feel as well as hear; bass which reaches out, grabs you and pulls you into the performance for a complete visceral and emotional experience.
There are additional benefits to Power Port too. Because the port is on the bottom of the cabinet, there is no direct path for extraneous midrange to get out of the enclosure and into the room. The RT towers give you the midrange clarity and imaging of expensive audiophile speakers. Plus, since the output of the port is down near the floor, the room loading of the system is always the same â€“ you can place your speakers virtually anywhere in the room and still get consistent, great performance.
Superior Performance and Convenience in Bookshelf Speakers: For our new RT bookshelf speakers we developed a new technology called the Acoustic Resonance Control (ARC) port system. Two ports of unequal length are used to suppress cabinet resonances as well as provide greater bass radiating area. Thanks to patent-pending ARC technology, the RT bookshelf models provide Utterly clear and natural midrange with bass that is rich, deep and precise.
â€œBookshelfâ€? speakers don't have to be used on bookshelves â€“ not when they're the RT3 and RT5. Both of these models are also â€œon-wallâ€? speakers thanks to their supplied wall brackets. There's no need to buy expensive optional brackets to get the space-saving convenience of on-wall speakers.
The Bottom Line Benefits:
And the result of all these technologies? One listen will tell you. You'll notice that our RT Series speakers sound a little different from other loudspeakers; the sound seems to have a more natural flow and somehow seems more at ease. You'll find them a little more alive and dynamic, with sonic images that are larger and more solid. You'll find that they offer a listening experience that puts you in touch with the full emotional power of your music and movies.
|Type||Dynamic Balance® Tri-laminate Dome tweeter|
|Mid / Woofer|
|Diameter||7 1/2" (19.05cm)|
|Type||Dynamic Balance® driver|
|Total Frequency Response||35Hz - 26kHz|
|Upper -3dB Limit||25 kHz|
|Lower -3dB Limit||49 Hz|
|Nominal Impedance||8 ohms|
|Recommended Amplifier Power||20 - 150 watts per channel|
|Width||9 1/2" (24.13cm)|
|Depth||11 1/2" (29.21cm)|
|Unit of Measure||each|
|Total Shipping Weight||27.00 pounds|
|Speaker Warranty||5 year limited parts and labor|
Specifications, dimensions and features subject to change without notice. For more information call us at 1-800-377-7655 (USA and Canada). Outside of North America call +1 (410) 358-3600.
9 reviews with an average of 4.5Write your own review
by Gary Bolduc, October 28, 20086 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
Unbelievable imaging and warm sumptuous bass. Easy to drive and easy to listen to.
I found these used on craigslist for a whopping $20! They had bad tweeters, but other than that were impeccable. I thought for $20, what they heck. Then the guy says to me "I just want to get rid of these, take them. I certainly couldn't resist that offer and away they went to their new home.I replaced the tweeters and man oh man was I pleased! These things are quite spectacular. The bass is plenty, but I chose to run them with a JBL sub and now they really punch some bass! Their imaging is like silk. I love these things! Killer speakers!!
by RuSsMaN, September 15, 20022 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
Specs: Mid/Woofer 1 - 7-1/2" Diameter Tweeter 1 - 1" Diameter Tri-laminate Dome tweeter 49Hz - 25kHz -3db / 8 ohms Efficiency / 89 dB Cabinet Size 19" H x 9-1/2" W x 11-1/2" D Vented Enclosure, dual ports Equipment used: Carver m200t amp, 100wrms/ch Yamaha C40 Preamp ADC 16/2 CD, dual 16 bit Burr-Brown DACs Quadraflex Reference Turntable Straight Wire Rythm Speaker Cable Audioquest Copperhead Interconnects This is a BIG bookshelf speaker to begin with. (just a hair smaller than the RT55). It really portrays quite a 'presence' in my room. The finish is par for the course, as are the gold binding posts. Nothing special, but nothing lacking either. The driver contruction seems very well done (on appearance only at this point). Rubber surrounds, poly cone, and the first version of the Polk Tri-laminate soft dome. The ports are flared, and the grill connects with 4 posts, and the frame is very rigid. I spent an extened listening session over the past 2 days with records and cds from the likes of Muddy Waters, Benny Goodman, Diana Krall, Nickleback, Pink Floyd, Joe Walsh, Dave Matthews, Rush, Chris Rea, Shawn Mullins, and Sheryl Crow, to name a *few*. The overall tonal quality of this speaker I would say is on the warm side of neutral. I've listened to other 2-way designs using a 'larger' woofer, Ie: 7, 7.5, 8 inch, and it seems as if some manufacturers have a hard time getting them blend properly with the tweeter. Polk obviously did not have these issues. I attribute part of this to the rigid cone/suspension on the midwoof, and the low resonant freq of the tweeter. Highs seemed to sparkle, but did not become fatiguing in the least. The RT7 is definately not the last word in detail, but the tri-laminate seems to offer some of the best qualties of the soft silk, and hard metal domes (in general). Some may view this as a bad compromise, a sort of jack of all trades, yet master of none. I think it is a GREAT compromise, that offers versatility throughout many generes of music. The tri-lam had enough detail, without fatique, and it still retained an open, spacious soundstage. There was no tinnyness or shrill, and the output seemed well balanced at low and high listening levels. Mids/vocals, very satisfactory. I bought my B&W's, because the midrange is very clear, if not ever so slightly forward on some recordings. I had no trouble with the Polks 'laid back' lower mids, and all vocals remained clear, and distiguishable. Even under high spl runs (95+ db), I didn't notice any 'breakup', or loss of clarity (with the mid/woof under high excursion). The transistion to the tweeter was seemless, at least to my ears. Lows are pretty much dead on. What you do get in bass seems to have virtually no overhang, and notes seemed to finish sharp, as if I was dealing with a sealed design. I did however feel, without asking too much from a shelf design, that the low end did not reach down as far as I expected it to. Yes, it is a shelf speaker, but a large one, with a large driver, and dual ports nonetheless. I did NOT feel cheated, but yearned for, nay expected, just a little more. HOWEVER, I will say that I feel these speakers can stand alone musically for most listeners in a 2ch rig. They originally sold for around $500/pair in the mid to late 90's, but can be had well under $200 used IF you can find an owner willing to part with them. A great all-around bookshelf speaker at the new asking price, a STEAL used for the budget minded audiophile. These will not leave my collection. Cheers, Russ
by Angelo Bonanno, September 13, 20020 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Sounded great with my harmon kardon avr510 receiver. enjoyed them so much I saw to it that friends and relatives purchased Polks for theirs.
Just now that they became defective, no reason why they just went!
I was quite pleased with my RT7's until now! After 4 years use they sound distorted. I do not use everyday and mostly on weekends when using them as part of my home theater system. No spikes or playing too loud just all of a sudden they became defective. waiting for response from Polk on warranty ( 5 Years) and what to do. I will update after problem is or is not solved.
by Charles Rose, January 25, 20030 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Excellent soundstage reproduction. Very good bass response, and smooth overall frequency response.
Let me begin by saying that I have owned these speakers for about 5 years now, so I have listened to alot of music (classical, jazz, rock/pop) and watched numerous DVD's using them. I auditioned them before purchasing and was very pleased with their sound espicially the bass output (test song was Madonna's Vogue). Over the past couple of years I have been gradually upgrading my equipment to take advantage of the home theater experience. Recently, I upgraded my home theater receiver to an Onkyo TX-SR600. Wow! The Polk RT-7 speakers really do a good job as my front theater speakers with the receiver (80W/ch.) My favorite music is classical. The RT-7 speakers perform excellently as far as giving a realistic sound stage and ambience. I will never forget attending the Magic Flute opera with my wife and listening to the overture. We have listened to the overture at home numerous times. Immediately, I recalled how accurately the Polks had reproduced the ambience and sound stage. I looked at my wife and commented to her about it, and she agreed! That in itself says alot about these speakers. Oh yeah, the song Vogue really thumps on the bottom end with these speakers. I am constantly surpised by the bass these speakers can put out, and I enjoy watching the woofers move to produce the lower frequncies.
by Tim Simpson, August 30, 20040 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Value, Value, Value- in their day, and now. These speakers sound fantastic, even compared with higher priced speakers in todays market.
They are rather large for a bookshelf... but they pay off in sound quality. Look great on stands.
I've owned these speakers since new, going on 8 years now. I was a salesperson in an audio/video store when I bought the RT7's. The store I worked for was also a dealer for Boston Acoustics, Infinity, JBL, etc... I was looking for a pair of speakers in the sub $800 price range (MSRP), and these certainly fit the bill. At the time I found them superior to many of the competitive lines in our own store- even speakers closer to the $1,000 price point. Many of my co-workers agreed, as the RT7's became a favorite among employees. I listen to all types of music, and these speakers seem to shine on anything. I have always used them in conjuntion with a Polk powered sub (PSW250, I think), and the combination is very smooth. Both for stereo music playback, as well as home theatre. The RT7's are still going strong after years of use/abuse (abuse: college... party's... need I say more?). The RT7's are still my primary stereo/main speaker, and will remain so for many more years. For reference purposes, I will list the various receivers I've used these speakers with. My very first, was a Nakamichi RE-10 high current stereo receiver- which was the best sound these speakers have ever enjoyed. Since then, I've jumped into the home theatre mess... and I've changed receivers constantly. I've used Denon, Harmon Kardon, Sony and Kenwood. I think that's about all I can say for these speakers. If you can find a good pair used: DON'T HESITATE!
by Hugo Etienne, December 17, 20070 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Deep clean dynamic bass and smooth highs.
Large cabinet size.
The clean bass and smooth highs accent the RT series speakers in theater and music uses. The warmth and feeling of music unfettered by the value this speaker brings to a system is unprecedented even the newer models in Polk's lineup.
by rooftop59, September 14, 20090 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Great imaging and bass response
size and appearance
Just a quick review to say thanks to the other reviewers here and on this and other forums. I ordered these without every hearing them, and have been amazed at what I stumbled on. These speakers are still an incredible value. As others have said, the bass response is incredible for bookshelf speakers (though they are very large bookshelf speakers!), and the imaging is smooth with a deep and wide soundstage. For true full-frequency response, you do need a sub as others have mentioned, but the low frequency response of these speakers make them very easy to blend with a sub. The also look very cool on a nice pair of stands with the grills off, but because of the size, vinyl woodgrain enclosure, and plain big-box appearance, they score pretty low on the WAF (my wife is a musician so while she appreciates the way they sound, she says I have to put them away when we go to sell our house because they are that ugly. Oh well...) In short, although I can't say that these are the best deal for the money, I am confident that it would be very hard to get a pair of speakers that sound this good for the used price.
by Michael D, February 27, 20100 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Very Smooth, tight Lows and mids with Extremely Clean, transparent Highs with great Imaging. Superb Cabinet Builds and quality Finishes. 2nd to none for Price.
None. RTi-12's are extremely heavey, aprox. 90 lbs. however I like this. They should be this heavy.
These speakers are incredible. I My brother has 1 pair that he has been using since 1998. I have the other pair which still have not been opened stored in my basement. I recently purchased a pair of the RTi12's for my Fronts. I plan on using the RT7's for the rear and for 4 and 5.1 channel sound. These will sound awesome. I also have a Cherry CSI-A6 Center ( Still in Box) and received the Polk PSW111 8 inch Sub ( Also still in Box.) I'm going to upgrade my Kenwood receiver Dolby Surround receiver which has 4 Channel Stereo Channels and 2 Surround channels ( No Center or Sub outputs) with a decent 7.1 Receiver sometime soon. The RT7's and just all the POlk Speakers I have sound awesome. Very Smooth, tight Lows and mids with Extremely Clean, transparent Highs with great Imaging
by Polk RT Speaker man, December 14, 20100 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Awesome tower speaker sound from a bookshelf. Full sound from bass to highs. Great soundstage. These have dropped in value the last couple of years and can be has for $100.
Too big for actual bookshelf placement or wall hanging. You need to be careful not to knock them off stands.
I love these bookshelf speakers and own 2 sets. You do need stands for them. 24 inch is good. These speakers can help complete an RT home theater system in any capacity. I have used them as rear surrounds with my RT16's and also as Yamaha front effects speakers. You could use 5 or 7 for a complete setup. A decent sub paired with these and they will beat out most comparable Polk towers.
View all Professional Reviews
Best Buys (Australia), 1996
"...Not only are the Polk RT7s just about the biggest-sounding, best-sounding bookshelf speakers we've heard lately... they're also among the best-looking, best finished and most versatile speakers around. Embodying breakthrough materials and design technologies they throw down a stiff challenge to anything sub-$1000 in their ability to bring a sense of lively realism and tonal accuracy to fine music and both the punch and clarity essential for dynamic movie sound."
The Sensible Sound, December 1996
"What higher complement can I pay than to say that with these speakers, listening is easy and enjoyable?"
"... the RT7s are a proverbial steal! Not only do they represent very fine sound at (very) modest cost, they're also backed by a company that's been around since 1972 - a company with an enviable reputation in the industry for suporting its product... The RT7s get my ultimate recommendation, I will be purchasing a pair for a friend..."
Audio (USA), April 1997
"...the RT7's and PSW300's were a true knockout...They competed well with my B&W speakers [$5,500/pair], thanks to their smooth and extended response coupled with powerful and smooth bass reproduction."
This product is considered a "Recent" or "Vintage" Polk Audio model. It is not a part of our current product lineup. It may still be available in some stores as a "close out" or "used" product. Information provided here about this product may not reflect current realities and does not imply availability. If you happen to have a question or concern about this product, contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-377-7655 M-F 9am - 5:30pm EST. Chances are we remember it.
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