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Polk RM7200 5.1 Speaker System
September, 2002

Brian Weatherhead

 

Specifications:

Surrounds: Cabinet (H/W/D) 8 x 6 3/4 x 4"; Drivers: 3/4" Tweeter, 3 1/4" Mid-Woofers, Internal Crossover; Freq Response: 125 Hz - 20 kHz 3 dB; 4 Ohm Impedance (4/6/8 Ohm Receiver Compatible); Sensitivity: 89 dB.

Center: Cabinet (H/W/D) 5 3/8 x 14 x 4 11/16"; Drivers: 3/4" Tweeter, Two  3 1/4" Mid-Woofers, Internal Crossover; Freq Response: 115 Hz - 20 kHz 3 dB; 8 Ohm Impedance (4/6/8 Ohm Receiver Compatible); Sensitivity: 89 dB.

Sub: Cabinet (H/W/D) 16 1/2" x 13 1/2" x 16 1/4"; Drivers:8" Subwoofer, Internal fully adjustable Crossover; Freq Response: 32 Hz - 180 Hz 3 dB; 100 watt RMS amplifier.

MSRP: $1529.95 USA

Polk Audio; (410) 358-3600; Web http://www.polkaudio.com

Introduction

Now that I was well into the round-up testing, I didn't know what to expect. There had been some real stars so far, and I wasn't sure how the Polk RM7200 system would perform in comparison.

Aesthetics

The RM3300 satellites that make up the system are a wedge shape, that is, only 4" deep. The piano black laminate is very glossy and really pretty. Out of all the finishes in this round-up, the PSB natural wood and this piano finish are my favorites. The shape makes mounting the speakers to a wall adjacent to the TV a natural choice. The speakers do look a little odd on stands, as they are much wider than they are deep. I would definitely wall mount them. If you have a dark room, don't worry, because the grilles hide most if not all the reflections that the gloss black finish creates.

Listening

The 7200 system was pretty transparent in sound quality. Where the PSB system had a lot of punch, the Polks were smooth. Where the Cantons were bright, the Polks were crisp. They just performed well in all areas, a very good balance of the compromises in speaker design. I have always been fond of the tweeter that Polk uses, and these follow those lines. The tweeters sounded good with the mass market receiver used in this test.

Size-wise, the 3300 satellites are just little bit bigger than the RBH. Of note is that fact that they are all vented designs, one of the only such designs in this group. Polk thought ahead and put a diffusing port on the back so that the port is function when the speaker is flat against the wall.

The sub was on a par with the other subs in this round-up. It paces well with the system, and again I set the crossover as high as possible to achieve a smooth frequency response. The sub is a down-firing design, firing into a diffuser. I would have preferred a little more gusto with the sub, but then again I have two SVS-Ultras and a Klipsch RSW-15. I'm focused more on movies than on music, and the subs play a large role in my home. If you have some spare change, upgrade to one of the larger subs that Polk offers. You can never get too much sub, because you can always turn the volume down.

Looking at the RM3300 frequency response spectrum below, we can see that indeed they performed very well with a smooth response. As with most of the medium to small speakers in this round-up they roll off quite quickly at 200 Hz. It seems that 200 Hz is the magic number for mid-ranges in the 3" - 5" category.

The system achieved a good 0.74% THD, 90 dB at 2". Well within the quality limits. Not the worst, but not the best. The Polks made their mark with doing everything well, without leaning to far to one side of the compromise list.

Conclusions

The Polk 7200 system provided great sound and awesome looks. If I were looking for a small speaker set for a second area this would be near the top of my list. The system is very balanced and performed well. It is reasonable priced, and the performance/cost ratio is high.

 

- Brian Weatherhead -

Related to the article above, we recommend the following:

Speaker Primer

Misunderstood 0.1 LFE Channel

Nature of Equipment Reviews

A Big Dig into Bass Reflex

What we Hear

Big Bass in Small Places

High Fidelity

Equalizers

Accuracy, Distortion, and the Audiophile

Copyright 2002 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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