home audio – Polk, 2017

The Polk TL150 has five total speakers – four satellite speakers and one center speaker. This is one of the few surround sound speaker systems in our lineup that doesn’t feature a subwoofer, however. This is the main reason why this system doesn’t excel in bass production and has overall weaker sound quality than other speakers in our review.

Summary

We had a listening panel watch a scene from a movie with each speaker system hooked up to our home entertainment center to help evaluate the sound quality. Without a dedicated subwoofer, the Polk TL150 didn’t have much of a chance against the competition. The overall sound quality lacks the much-needed bottom end that systems with subwoofers provide. The sound it provides is thinner than most speakers’ audio, and it also lacks sharp definition from the upper range. This led to dialogue that wasn’t as clear as it was with other systems. The TL150 didn’t have an impressive showing in our testing.

The Polk TL150 is one of the most efficient sets of speakers in our lineup. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, it boasts an 89 dB sensitivity rating, the second highest we saw. Generally, speakers with high sensitivity ratings convert energy to sound more efficiently than speakers with low sensitivity ratings. When speakers are able to do this, they often last longer and perform well.

The frequency response is equally impressive. The TL150 home theater speakers have a frequency response of 95Hz to 22kHz. The low end of the range is impressive for speakers that are only 2.5 inches in diameter, but since there isn’t a subwoofer to dip down and produce the frequencies below 95Hz, it leaves the sound quality sounding thin.

The center speaker is slightly larger than the rest of these small home theater speakers, measuring 4 x 15 x 4.8 inches. This isn’t so tall that it blocks the receiver on your television, so you can place it directly in front of your television as intended, unlike with tall center speakers.

Polk covers these surround sound speakers for five years from the date of purchase. Five-year warranties are among the longest in our comparisons. You can contact Polk via email and phone if you have an inquiry about your home speaker system.

The Polk TL150 works best in addition to an existing home theater system or components, as it lacks its own subwoofer. As it stands, this surround sound system doesn’t have the bass production to provide in-depth and full home theater audio. It does have an impressive frequency response and sensitivity rating, but our panel was more impressed with the competition than this set of Polk home theater speakers.