High performance bookshelf loudspeaker, 6 1/2-inch driver.
8 7/16" W x 14 3/4" H x 14" D
21.43cm W x 37.47cm H x 35.56cm D
A Tour De Force
Close your eyes on our largest RTiA bookshelf speaker and you’ll believe you’re listening to floorstanding speakers. It features a 6 1/2-inch Dynamic Balance® woofer, 1-inch Dynamic Balance dome tweeter and 150 Watt power handling, Mark Marcantonio from Affordable Audio comments “The timbre and spacious presentation was dead on,” and “The clarity of all vocals (no nasal or fuzziness) makes for an easy and non-fatiguing listening experience.” In summary, the RTiA3 is perfect for the most demanding home theater system and the most discerning stereo listener.
The proprietary curved, 6-layer DAHLI enclosure design creates the optimal shear damping for a more rigid, acoustically inert enclosure and minimal cabinet resonances. RTiA3 cabinets are designed for clean, accurate sound.
Klippel motor optimization uses laser measurement technology to ensure a smooth excursion path at either end of the volume spectrum for uniform performance at both low and high volumes.
Polk’s proprietary, patented Dynamic Balance technology allows our engineers to design out distortion-causing driver and system resonances, so you only hear the good sounds.
Durable, computer-modeled, injection-molded butyl rubber surrounds suppress unwanted cone resonances for a lifetime of reliable sound.
The RTiA Cascade Tapered Crossover eliminates the comb filtering and beaming, common to multi-driver speakers, which degrades the quality of the audio and collapses the soundstage.
Beautiful curved furniture-grade hardwood veneer cabinet finishes, with sleek trim accents in black or cherry.
Computer-modeled anti-diffraction grilles enhance the good looks while minimizing sonic interference.
PowerPort® bass venting is our patented design for smoothly transitioning the air flow from the port into your listening area, eliminating turbulence and distortion, for bigger, more musical, deep bass impact.
Our patented Acoustic Resonance Control® (ARC) port technology tunes out the internal cabinet resonances resulting in natural uncolored midrange reproduction.
All Polk loudspeakers are timbre-matched within their series, designed with the same components throughout, to achieve seamless speaker-to-speaker blending effects in multi-channel systems.
Dual gold-plated, professional-style 5-way binding posts, for the most secure connection options.
All Polk products are made using the best materials and the most advanced manufacturing techniques. They pass the industry’s most exhaustive quality tests, including drop testing, extreme signal response and UV & salt exposure testing. Polk loudspeakers are built to perform for a lifetime.
|Type||Dynamic Balance silk polymer composite dome tweeter|
|Mid / Woofer|
|Diameter||6 1/2" (16.51cm)|
|Type||Dynamic Balance driver with polymer composite cone and rubber surround|
|Total Frequency Response||40Hz-27kHz|
|Upper -3dB Limit||26 kHz|
|Lower -3dB Limit||50 Hz|
|Nominal Impedance||8 ohms|
|Recommended Amplifier Power||20-150 watts per channel|
|Inputs||Dual 5-way binding posts|
|Height||14 3/4" (37.47cm)|
|Width||8 7/16" (21.43cm)|
|Mid-High Array Enclosure Type||PowerPort bass venting and ARC Port|
|Product Weight (each)||16 pounds|
|Unit of Measure||Pair|
|Total Shipping Weight||35 pounds|
|Speaker Warranty||5 years parts and labor (original purchaser)|
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.
19 reviews with an average of 4.5Write your own review
by Ben, November 24, 200862 out of 64 people found this review helpful.
- ballsy, full-bodied warm midrange - delicate and detailed high end -wall-shaking mid-bass from a bookshelf
- I'm not a fan of bi-amp terminals... they introduce more riddles than they help performance.
I also own the previous generation RTi6 speakers. These are an evolutionary improvement, more marked in style and less so in sound. So many of the reviews here are from self-professed audiophiles who toss around adjectives like Stereophile critics but... they're not. Subjective comments like "bright" or especially "better for HT" might be a little helpful to some, but that "brightness" is a measured 5db boost in the top octave and "better for HT" is pointless - a speaker should be a good reproducer of sound, and last I checked movies and music operated within the same audible frequency range. It's easy to let a few crazy people who think they know a lot more than they do about audio proselytize about cables, amplifiers, power cleaners, etc - but the fact of the matter is that for almost all of us (myself included) we want speakers that pull us into music, reveal all elements of a film soundtrack (especially dialog) and look nice while they do it. On those criteria, the Polk RTi A3 are an absolute home-run. I run them through a NAD C325BEE integrated amplifier and a bunch of different components (or "sources," if I wanted to sound like a silly man with a bunch of silly electronics). I find that the enhanced top end works really well with all but the most compressed sources; my LP collection sounds better than ever on these speakers, better than I've ever heard. These speakers are perfect for the fan of rowdy rock and roll, country, or anything with a little grit in it. Listen to some Neil Young or The Band's Music From Big Pink... you'll thank me. I've watched many many movies with these, and they deliver the goods. Watching Wall-E last night showed how deeply these extend (thanks to their largish cabinets) and I'm happy using them without a sub. I know I'm missing the bottom octave, but I don't touch a lot of pipe organ and the roll-off is so sweet anyway. Again, most of the self-proclaimed experts here and elsewhere will insist you need a sub to listen to music without the basic knowledge of music theory to know just how little music information exists below 40hz. I digress. In short, these are a roaring value that can be found almost anywhere. I prefer them to the LSi7 speakers in my room as their character is a lot more rocking. Up against the RTi6, they sound very very similar. I'm hard pressed to find differences; the A3s look a little smoother which might be why I thought they sounded smoother. Anyway, there are many choices from Paradigm, PSB, and Infinity that I like in this price range. I'll admit to choosing the A3s because I like their cabinets the best, and I don't regret it - they're great and I hope to get a decade out of them.
by Ignacio Merino, March 19, 201029 out of 30 people found this review helpful.
- quality finish, smooth & silky sound - well designed crossover and bass capable
- you will be listening for hours they are so non-fatiguing - you will buy more to complete your set
Finish: Super high quality, the real wood veneer is beautiful, the cabinet is very well put together, the grilles are solid and firm. These speakers are a no brainer at their price point. I love the port in the back and the new curved shape. Will be doing some detailed comparisons with my 7 year old Polk RTI 6's which are still running strong. Sound: what can I say. Balanced, musical, detailed, refined and punchy. Reminds me of Rega. These speakers play the music just right for whatever type you listen too. I compared them with the british brands MA, B&W, Mission...the French, Triangle and others. For their size and their price, there is no way I would consider anything else. The silk dome tweeters are better than before and provide much of the detail found in metal dome tweeters but you can actually listen to music for more than 5 minutes. The woofers display a liquid midrange which in my opinion, beats the 2-way popular models from MA and B&W. I've owned the MA RS series as well as the Gold series, I've also used the B&W 600 series and the CM series. These speakers are 90%-95% of the CM sound but they cost 3 times less. Plus the cabinets are real wood, you get a 5 year warranty and a person who will answer the phone. My Polks match well with Rotel, Roksan, Creek, Rega and Yamaha/Denon receivers, what else can I ask for.. Their consistency in performance and their ability to sound good with many types of cables is unparalleled. I will by the A1's, A5's and the center channel soon. The best speakers under $1000 period!
by Steven Borsos, December 15, 200715 out of 15 people found this review helpful.
Evolutionary improvement of RTi6 - better, tighter bass and 'brightness' brought under control with still a super mid/upper soundstage.
Nothing for a speaker system of this size and price range.
I will be the first to review this product - sorry for the tome, but I like to put info in perspective. I have not purchased purchased 'real' audio equipment in years and am approaching age 50. In college I lived with high-end audio salesmen and grew accustomed to listening to very high quality equipment at the time. Upon graduation in 1981, I purchased a typical 'starter' audiophile system then with a NAD 3140 and BA-100's as the core. Life and work took me in other directions and I lost touch with this market but would occasionally wander into high-end stores and listen. I still think I can tell a pig from a purse, especially in an A-B test. I am about to go on an overseas assignment for what could be a number of years, and I thought I would reward myself and family with some inexpensive, but decent speakers for the fronts of our low-end how theater system. I did some minor web-surfing and it seems that even audiophiles give the Polk equipment due regard, especially for the price (which surprised me). I did some minor web surfing and figured a pair of RTi4's or 6's would fill the bill and expected to go check them vs the competition. I finally found a reasonably priced store where I could actually really listen to speakers on an A-B basis with decent equipment. They had Rti6's as the low end and were closing them out at a very attractive price. I was very impressed with the soundstage and mid-highs and bass was decent for bookshelves. There were in cherry, and the store only had black center CSI4A's (and I had decided to buy a center). So, the salesmen said they had the new RTiA3's in black, but had not put them in the demo room. He said they were more expensive.. I told him to go get 'em so we could compare them. It seems that Polk has taken aim at some of the previous criticism of the RTi4/6 brightness and lack of bottom end with the new RTiA3. It is an improvement in both areas, but still has the super holographic mid/high, which amazed me for the price / size. I bought them and the center CSIA4. On the way home, I thought about going back and buying a pair of the Rti6's for the back speakers... At home I quickly installed the new equipment, and what a difference. However, I now crave more power ! So looks like I will be in the market for a 'starter' audiophile amp and I am pretty sure I will go back and buy the RTi6's for the back channel... I give these speakers five stars for price / performance / size. I know there are other better speakers at a price and probably others in this price range that also will perform well too. But go listen to these, even if you are an audio snoot !
by Francis Fernandes, October 28, 200814 out of 16 people found this review helpful.
Clear highs, good Midrange & a bit of low end too.
None so far
I have been using them for almost two weeks and am really impressed with them. I use them in my stereo setup.Vocals are very clear and in some recordings you can really feel the bass. The new curved cabinets are a real treat. I recommend these speakers to anyone who is looking out for a good bookshelf which is not too heavy on the pocket.Go for it!
by Ian, August 5, 200811 out of 11 people found this review helpful.
Really nice tweeter! Excellent imaging, midrange and midbass
Bass is a bit lean but that's to be expected from a bookshelf speaker
I've been a Polk fan for many years using them in home and car. Actually won my first IASCA competition with a pair of Polks. I upgraded from a pair of Monitor 40s to the A3s and was smiling from the time I hooked them up. What was immediately noticeable was the quality of the tweeter. The highs had more air and the siblence that I had with the Monitors disappeared. Like with all polks the imaging is superb. Vocals step out at you and are really natural. I absolutely have no issues with these speakers as they sound great with both music and movies.
by Ron Temple, December 26, 20077 out of 8 people found this review helpful.
They have it all, looks, fit, finish and excellent dynamic sound quality
If you like heavy metal, with lots of distortion, these might be a bit much.
Rti A3 Looks like I’m the first, so let’s start this out with a bang. The A3s are an impressive bookshelf speaker. The new sleek, curved cabinets and veneered baffle make you want to take the screens off and play them naked. They seem to be voiced very similarly to the previous Rti rev, but to my ears, there are significant improvements in sound quality as well. I’ve had them for over 2 weeks and they’ve continued improving, but right out of the box, they slap you in the face with a crisp, wide and deep soundstage with incredible macro and micro detail. Bass improved over time, getting richer and impactful, though for HT you’ll want a sub. I expected them to be a great HT speaker, but what really impresses me was how they handle most of the music I throw at them. Female vocals, club jazz, rock, fusion and classical music sound remarkable with the A3s. These guys image like a beast, instrument placement and separation are embedded in crystal and coupled with dynamics have me grinning from ear to ear. This comes at a price and perhaps the only drawback I see with these speakers. They aren’t exactly forgiving of poor recording. When it gets busy up top, guitar distortion or a lot of clutter in the tweeter range, it can get a tad fatiguing…not as much as my recollection of the previous rev, but it’s there. This is a slight drawback because honestly, I expected them to be an HT speaker that was good for most music. What I find, is that the A3s are excellent for both. I have run these large without a sub on bass heavy tracks from Fiona Apple, Sarah McGloughlin and Patricia Barber and was extremely impressed how linear and balanced the presentation with great punch and depth. A sub is still recommended, but they are more than adequate for a small office 2 channel rig. I knew they’d be great for Home Theatre and I’m not disappointed. All that detail gets unleashed. They play big…soundtrack, dialog, dynamics are stellar. They perform as fronts, sides and surrounds, offering everything one could want for all types of movies. I think you can tell…I love them. In summary, the Rti A3s are excellent all round speakers priced in the $400-$500 range and arguably perform as well or better than speakers at or above their price point. I’d give them a score of 4.7, if the site would let me, but I don’t have that option. So the rest of you guys need to give it a 5 to bring the score up to it’s correct level ;^)
by John B, January 11, 20086 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
Looks...the new cabinets look awesome in person Dynamic sound...for bookshelfs you cant go wrong with these speakers
For HT surround..none For 2 channel...when pushed to higher volumes and asked to reproduce the lower frequencies the midrange ( Male voices in particular ) took on a bit of a nasal quality. But , since bookshelf speakers shouldnt be pushed that far in the first place...I really dont consider this a fault...These are worth the money and then some.
These are very stylish speakers ( Especially in Cherry they are beautiful ) that function about as well as you could expect from bookshelf speakers. I used them in a HT surround capacity, as well as in a dedicated 2 channel stereo setup. In surround duty, they were extremely dynamic...reproducing everything asked of them extremely well. In 2 channel mode they were very good at low to medium high volume....but became a bit distressed when asked to reproduce the full frequency spectrum at high volume. Again, this is more relevant to their bookshelf size constraints then to their construction. Overall , If you are in the market for an outstanding HT surround speaker, or a 2 channel setup for a smaller bedroom...these would be great.
by Aqs612, April 12, 20083 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
Elegant design, and solid build.
Mostly listen to jazz and these fit the bill perfectly, good sound stage, clear highs and mids, surprisingly has a bit of low end punch. Couldn't ask for more from a bookshelf speaker. Btw, these are excellent for surround duty as well. Highly recommended.
by Bill Merkel, February 16, 20123 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
They handle the highs and mid-range clearly. I can hear the bass line better than my previous speakers which I had for 8 years.
They don't have very deep bass but that's what my Polk subwoofer is for.
I've been a fan of Polk speakers since the early 90's and these A3s continue my love of Polk. Very well designed, reasonably priced and they handle the wide variety of music that I listen too. An awesome sounding bookshelf speaker.
by Dr. Neezar, June 27, 20122 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
Excellent detailing, Very low punch and very cool.
Some recording requires little bit extra bass so sub woofer is required.
Before this I had TSi200 Polk audio speakers, were very high, then I purchased RTiA7, Excellent speakers but were power hungry. I would have purchased High powered amp. I had an amp OnkoyoVLC-A5 not fulfilling its demand. then I purchased RTiA3. Very good Book shelf speakers do not require too much space. High is very rich, mid is soft. what you can you expect from book shelf speakers is there.
by Cam Podewils, January 1, 20081 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
Good BASS and HIGHS!!!!
A bit big, but O-Well thats OK
These speakers are paired with RTi10's and a Yamaha Amp with twin Yamaha subs (8 inch) and they are unbeleiveable for surround. Don't forget the CSi5 for a center!
by Jerry, August 18, 20081 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
Clean, clear soundstaging. Challanges all other speaker manufacturers in this price range.
Will produce bright, edgy sound with incompetent electronics and improper placement.
This is an above average Mid-Fi speaker. Fit and Finish are outstanding and exemplary in this price range. It is truly a paradigm for inexpensivie Mid-Fi speakers. I question other manufacturers that charge a premium for wood veneers. These speakers provide an above average soundstage with a clear focus on instruments. Frequency response is acceptable, however, a subwoofer would make the sound spectrum complete. I do not recommend them for insanely loud music as these speakers are for pleasant listening at moderate volumes. They sing with more expensive electronics. As with all speakers of this approximate size, I prefer 24" stands. Highly recommended yet I reserve 5 stars for the Polk LSi9's.
by Juan Miguel Rodriguez, October 1, 20101 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
- HOLOGRAPHIC IMAGING and sound-staging - American engineering at its finest - BASS performance of an american speaker - MIDRANGE performance of a british speaker - TREBLE performance of a japanese speaker - 3rd world country pricing
Polk should have been marketing products longer here in the Philippines. Pity that its being quashed by more expensive brands with the same sonic quality and build.
I am a dyed-to-the-wool british speaker fanatic because I abhor uncontrolled and wayward bass, midrange and treble profiles - very much the characteristic of most american speakers in the market at the entry/budget level category. Such acoustic profile sound great at first (perfect for parties actually), but once you run out of steam or get down serious, its fatiguing. Make no mistake, I've been weaned on american electronics ever since I learned how to listen to music when I was a toddler, my grandfather a proud owner of a renowned american speaker brand with the abbreviations AR which was the best sounding, well engineered and reasonably priced speaker at that time. Over the years, and several speaker pairs later, I've profiled american speakers as perfect for parties or rock jams, japanese speakers are perfect for classical and instruments, and if you want a balance of these, get the europeans - the british for that matter for their high price-performance ratio. Also, as personal experience have taught me from this audiophile journey, if you're in a budget - you deserve crappy sounding speakers, and if you want good sounding ones - be prepared to cough out a kidney or liver or other vital organs out to blackmarket sale. Let's just say the RTiA3 upped up the ante when it comes to sonic quality and pricing, a lost trait forgotten by the americans during the hippy days. This is my first day as a proud owner of a Polk Audio Speaker. You guys have restored my grandfather's mindset that speakers are supposed to sound good, look good inside and out, and costs a little. Thanks Matthew Polk, you earned a gold star in my books that speakers need not be expensive to sound great.
by S G, January 6, 20111 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
-Very clear and detailed top end and midrange -Great amount of bass for most music (perhaps not hip hop and electronic) -Wall mountable out of the box -Bi-ampable -Finish / looks -Sound better over time
-Certain vocal highs sound distorted at very close range -Can be somewhat "bright" at times - not the most warm sound with certain acoustic music
I've been listening to these speakers for 1.5 years now. I decided it's time to write a review, given how much I've enjoyed these speakers. They get better over time. Although this is obvious, it is very important to power them with a good, clean signal. The speakers have an amazing sound stage and provide a very solid amount of bass. If you are looking slamming bass, of course a sub is required. I actually love bass - but to my surprise I haven't felt the need to buy a sub! I listen to classic rock, hindi, gangsta rap, electronic, jazz - actually a wide range of music. These produce an amazing full sound with most music. I highly recommend these speakers if you're constrained for space or if you are purchasing your first set of "nice" speakers.
by GARY, March 27, 20080 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
the looking at the back
transparent high frequency
by RON, August 25, 20090 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
The clarity is amazing and they handle bass pretty good after all they r bookshelf .
None except mayb the size . They r a little large to b hanging on the wall but i did anyway and have no issues.
Got these speakers to replace my rt35 Polk audio speakers which kicked serious butt. Decided to go with these as a upgrade and didn't know what to expect in comparison. Well, There's no comparison these baby rock and handle my Onkyo 875 Receiver with no problems . I got these as my new fronts and my back and surround speakers r the Fxi A6 . Along with Polk Audio CSi A6 for the center channel and DSW PRO 500 Polk Audio as the sub. And my home theatre really, really rocks. Love it.
by apc, September 13, 20100 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
-Great neutral sound for highs -Great midrange compared to speakers at the same price level -Right amount of bass and has definition but not boomy -Non-fatiguing sound
-Cabinets could be a bit too big -None (for the price I paid)
I have a 5 piece Dynaudio Audience (60/40/c120) speaker system and am very spoiled with its neutrality. Recently, I've had to buy a pair of bookshelf speakers (my wife's preference) for our living room and didn't want to spend as much as I paid for my Dyns. I put a $500 budget for whatever is best out there and tested models from PSB, KEF, Energy, Klipsch, and a lot more. I was blown away with the sound coming from these babies and for $400 it was a steal. They sounded almost (I say again, almost) like my Dyns for 1/3 the price. I played "Way Down Deep" by Jeniffer Warnes and my jaw dropped on hearing how these played the bass. One of the sales guys (who never heard this song) was very surprised to hear how deep they go. He thought I was testing it with a sub. :) Anyone wanting to build a good HT on a budget, trust me you'll love these!
by Nathan b, January 19, 20120 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
Highs Mids Lows down to 60 hz No whiny sound great movie speakers for small and huge rooms. If you plug these in properly and set them to proper settings they are little masters at everything expecially jaw dropping sound effects on action movies.
None I love these. All I my friends want to steal them that's the only weakness. Much better than my Bose 301s I would use the 301s as stools to reach above my counter tops after I got these in :)
These speakers sound like mini floor standing models no distortion clean looks and sound all together perfect mids and crisp highs no need to lower the treble (to stop a loud county singers high pitch voice) is just clears everything to levels in which come out clean and clear. Excellent imagery expecially paired with a. Csi a6 center they match very well as far as designs and clarity.
by Dinesh, January 24, 20130 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
wow! body enclosure, looks beautifully crafted, tight base, high range is absolutely fantastic
Polk should provide a usable and good literatured user manual with these premium speakers. As in my country we usually have to pay double cost for these imported speakers :(
Just bought these for music listening. I've been using them as a B speaker stereo setup feeding by my Onkyo ht 3300. These speakers sounds so beautiful and I mounted them on the walls. Gradually I will complete the HT setup to Polk and will use them as my front speakers. Will buy CSi4 as a center and F/XiA4 as my surrounds after collecting a good money in my pocket :)
View all Professional Reviews
"Right out of the box, the RTi A3 impressed me with its fit and finish...For years, I'd thought that a good minimonitor speaker with a 5.25" woofer was all I'd ever need to fully enjoy music in my small listening room. But after hearing the Polk RTi A3, with its 6.5" woofer and Power Port Plus and all that other stuff, I'm not sure I can go back."
[ Open Review ]
"...the A3 speakers now delivered full-range stereo music with impressively uncolored mids on both male and female vocals. The sound was still just on the warm side, but treble was ample and generally well balanced, and the midbass rich but not boomy...
...the A3 pair's smoothness on vocals, brass, strings - pretty much everything - was very satisfying. They also produced surprising bottom end."
[ Open Review ]
"I started with Trisha Yearwood’s Songbook cd. My first impression of the RTiA3’s, is that of an airy speaker, very light and nimble. Yearwood’s vocals came out smooth, the upper treble was quite pleasant yet still full.
... Matching up a pair with a receiver will yield quite favorable results without having to empty the wallet for mega-wattage home theater receiver. I found that 60 wpc made for a fine pairing..."
[ Open Review ]
Electronics Made Easy, March 2010
"From faithful bass reproduction to crisp, clean highs, sound is excellent. The real wood cabinets are handsome and should go with just about any decor. All in all an excellent offering from Polk Audio."
[ Open Review ]
Want to know more? Want to dig just a little deeper to learn about this product? Here's a list of source material that will give more detail, other perspectives, and answer questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why are there two sets of terminals on my speakers?
- Why are my speakers distorting and popping?
- What wire should I get? What gauge?
- How do I choose between all the different home audio speakers?
- How long is the warranty on Polk loudspeakers?
- How do I obtain service for my loudspeakers?
- Why did my speakers break?
- What type of speaker wire should I use?
- How do I get the little plastic inserts out of the binding posts so I can use banana plugs?
- What is the Klippel Distortion Analyzer?
- Choosing Home Audio Speakers
- Speaker Types
- Home Audio Speaker Placement
- Optimizing the Sound of Your Room
- Surround Processor/Receiver Set-Up
- How Do I Prevent Damaging My Speakers Again?
- Bigger is Not Always Better