Polk Audio’s Reserve Series Are The New Affordable High-End Audio Contenders!
Today, Polk Audio unveiled its latest hi-fi speaker line, the Reserve Series, a more affordable counterpart to its flagship Legend series. The Reserve series uses the same Pinnacle Ring Tweeter and Turbine Cone midrange utilized in the Legend speakers, now placed in all-new heavily braced enclosures.
The intention is to bring a good part of the Legend series’s performance to a lower price point, which based on what we found in our Legend L200 review, seems to be a noble pursuit.
The Reserve series also introduces some new technologies, namely in the area of port technology. First, the new X-Port filter places a set of closed-pipe absorbers in the port to get rid of port resonances or “port chuff,” which are highly undesirable. This is used in all the traditionally ported models.
Secondly, there is also a new version of Polk’s venerable Power Port technology, called Power Port 2.0. This one uses a new port tube design to improve further the Power Port’s ability to remove port resonance. This is only available on the R600 and R700 floorstanding speakers.
Speaking of the R600 and R700, they are two out of nine models, including two bookshelf models, Three center channels for home theater, Three tower or floorstanding speakers, and a height module for use in a Dolby Atmos home theater. All are attractively priced, starting at $599/pair for the bookshelf models, and all are available in three finishes: matte black, matte white, and walnut woodgrain.
Here’s a breakdown of models and prices:
- R100 Bookshelf – $599/pair
- R200 Bookshelf – $699/pair
- R300 Center Channel – $399
- R350 Center Channel (slim) – $549
- R400 Center Channel – $599
- R500 Tower – $599 each
- R600 Tower – $799 each
- R700 Tower – $999 each
- R900 Height Module – $599/pair
If these speakers come anywhere close to the performance I heard in the Legend series, especially the midrange and soundstage, these sound like they could be a big player in the affordable high-end marketplace. We can’t wait to take a listen!
For more info and pics, see below:
The following press release is courtesy of Polk Audio:
CARLSBAD, Calif. (March 23, 2021)—Polk Audio today announced the launch of the Reserve Series, a high-performance, versatile loudspeaker line designed to deliver serious performance for music, movies and gaming. Reserve Series executes on Polk’s mission to create premium-quality speakers at accessible prices through the application of extensive research and development in advanced materials and acoustics. IMAX® Enhanced and Hi-Res Audio Certified and compatible with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the Reserve Series includes nine models available in matte black, matte white and walnut woodgrain finish. The Polk Reserve Series is now available on www.polkaudio.com/reserve and at select specialty audio/video dealers and custom integrators worldwide.
“The Reserve Series use the same custom-made transducers originally developed for Polk’s award-winning Legend Series loudspeakers,” said Frank Sterns, president of Polk Audio. “Featuring the proprietary Pinnacle Tweeter, Turbine Cone midrange and Polk’s latest bass-management and resonance control technologies—PowerPort® and X-Port—the Reserve Series delivers against Polk Audio’s signature quality sound at an approachable price,” Sterns added.
The Reserve Series is well suited for an array of applications, including immersive multi-channel home theater systems and classic stereo listening. The series consists of nine models, including three floorstanding models, three center channels, two bookshelf speakers and a wall-and speaker-mountable height module, all designed to give listeners flexibility in terms of configuration by incorporating matching transducers and consistent voicing. The center channel speakers are available in three sizes. The R300 center channel is designed to fit in most AV cabinets, while the R350 is only 5.5-inches tall, and is wall mountable so it can be used as left, right or center channel. For the first time, Polk is introducing a height module (R900), which can be placed on the floorstanding speakers or wall mounted. The height module features a toggle switch, which tunes the speaker for the application, whether that be on-speaker or wall mounted.
“You’d be wrong to think the Reserve Series is just ‘Legend-lite’ though,” said Scott Orth, director of audio and acoustical systems at Polk Audio. “While Reserve does use the same transducers as Legend, it also features multiple new developments of its own, including a new patent-pending X-Port filter and advanced cabinet construction to minimize undesirable resonances. In return, you get a classic Polk Audio loudspeaker that is amazingly balanced, offers an expansive sound stage, detailed imaging, smooth mid-range and deep effortless bass.”
Seeking to retain as much of the Polk Legend flagship performance as possible within a moderately priced package, Polk Audio engineers created rigid, internally braced cabinets while leveraging driver and port technologies from the Legend Series speakers to achieve breathtaking levels of balance and realism. With a focus on every aspect of performance from music playback and home theater systems, Polk used—and created—multiple advanced technologies for the Reserve Series:
Pinnacle Ring Radiator Tweeters: Decades of tweeter innovation, design and prototyping led to the development of the new 1-inch, high-definition Pinnacle ring radiator tweeter. Developed by Polk Audio, The Pinnacle tweeter features a finely tuned waveguide, which dramatically improves the dispersion of high frequency energy, ensuring a broad sweet spot, while the critically damped rear-chamber helps defeat unwanted resonances. This delivers ultra-clear, crisp highs without unwanted coloration or distortion. A Hi-Res certified driver, the Pinnacle Tweeter is designed for today’s two-channel music listening as well as multi-channel 3D audio found in music, movies, sports, and video games soundtracks.
Turbine Cone Midrange: The Turbine Cone cleverly combines Polk’s proprietary foam core driver design with molded Turbine geometry, which dramatically increases stiffness and damping without adding mass. This results in a smooth, detailed midrange across the entire bandwidth of the driver—the frequency range to which human ears are most sensitive.
X-Port Technology: The Reserve Series marks the debut of Polk Audio’s patent-pending X-Port technology, which uses a set of closed-pipe absorbers precisely tuned to eliminate unwanted cabinet and port resonances. X-Port is most beneficial to the lower mid-range, ensuring balanced, clean mid-bass for amazing detail and dynamics. X-Port is found on all vented models in the Reserve Series.
Power Port 2.0 Design: Power Port 2.0, found in the R600 and R700 floorstanding models, is a Polk-patented loudspeaker port application that enables bass frequencies to extend more deeply and at higher output levels than traditional ported speakers. The Power Port 2.0 combines the new X-Port and Enhanced Power Port design into a unique loudspeaker application. The port tube base was redesigned in aluminum and sits closer to the floor than previous Power Port designs for added performance characteristics and aesthetics.
Advanced Cabinet Construction: The R700 tower speaker model features advanced point-to-point bracing with new Cabinet Resonance Control technology (CRC) that eliminates panel resonances for enhanced detail and clarity.
Reserve Series Pricing and Availability
The Polk Audio Reserve Series was designed and engineered in the USA under strict standards for quality and includes a 5-year warranty standard. All Reserve Series products are currently available for purchase at PolkAudio.com.
R100 Bookshelf – $599/pair
R200 Bookshelf – $699/pair
R300 Center Channel – $399
R350 Center Channel (slim) – $549
R400 Center Channel – $599
R500 Tower – $599 each
R600 Tower – $799 each
R700 Tower – $999 each
R900 Height Module – $599/pair
About Polk Audio
Polk (www.polkaudio.com) is an award-winning designer of high-performance audio products and one of the largest audio brands under the Sound United umbrella. Founded in 1972 under the assumption that everyone should have access to great sound, Polk is a market share leader in premium home theater speakers in North America, and is also a leading manufacturer of sound bars, wireless speakers, mobile and marine speakers and amplifiers, and other high-performance audio products. For more information on Sound United and its brands, visit www.soundunited.com. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About Sound United
Sound United was founded in 2012 with a simple mission – to bring joy to the world through sound. Today, we’re one of the world’s largest portfolio audio companies and home to several legendary audio brands—Bowers & Wilkins™, Denon®, Marantz®, Polk Audio, Classé, Definitive Technology, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics®. Each brand boasts its own philosophy and unique approach to bringing home entertainment to life.
With centuries of collective experience, Sound United oversees the design and manufacture of a diverse array of premium audio products, including loudspeakers, sound bars, AV receivers, wireless speakers, amplifiers, turntables, and headphones. We create distinct and memorable listening experiences for a wide range of consumers in more than 130 countries. For more information on Sound United and our mission, please visit www.soundunited.com.
I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My thirst for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.