Polk TSI100 Review – Still Worth Buying?


Since the establishment of Polk in 1972, it has become one of the most successful companies in making speakers and home entertainment components. Polk is a great brand known for producing excellent-sounding audio devices with incredible build quality.

The Polk TSi100 is an excellent example of Polk’s credibility in making high-quality speakers. It is a bookshelf speaker with an entry-level price point but has mid-level bookshelf speaker qualities. 

It can be a little challenging to judge a speaker without knowing anything about it, so we are doing a thorough review of the product to assess it on your own.

Sound Quality

The Polk TSi100 is an entry-level bookshelf speaker under the Polk’s TSi100 Series. This speaker has a 1-inch silk dome tweeter and a 5.25-inch bi-laminate organic fiber woofer.

Audio Specification of the Polk TSi100:

Polk TSi100Specifications
TypePassive
Driver1” Bi-laminate silk dome tweeter
5.25” Bi-laminate organic woofer
Frequency Response53 Hz to 23 kHz
Impedance8 Ohms
Crossover2.5 kHz
Efficiency89 dB
Recommended Amplifier Power20 to 100 W

Its 1-inch bi-laminate silk dome tweeter can deliver precise and detailed highs without fatigue, even when the volume is cranked up. When you first hear the speaker, its treble immediately shines, as it has a clarity of tone without making and piercing or unpleasant sound to hear. For an entry-level speaker, it is impressive.

For a small bookshelf speaker, it has a lovely low-frequency response as it can produce bass notes with ease and clarity. Although it can only go down up to 53 Hz, but still for its size, it is pretty great. It can outperform many entry-level bookshelf speakers with larger sizes in bass performance.

The speaker can produce an excellent mid-frequency response, as its woofer is made using Polk’s patented Dynamic Balance technology. By listening to any music, you can notice the clarity of the reproduction of sounds from the instruments and vocals, which is nice to hear. Thanks to the technologies employed in this speaker, it also does not easily distort even if the volume is cranked up.

Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Black)

Although the recommended amplifier power is only from 20 watts to 100 watts with 8 ohms impedance, this speaker can still get loud without any distortions. Its efficiency of 89 dB for a small bookshelf speaker is already an impressive feature for this speaker. 

Its overall frequency response of 53 Hz to 23 kHz is impressive for an entry-level bookshelf speaker with a small cabinet. It is a great bookshelf speaker to use if you want to watch movies or listen to music, as it can do its job without any issues.

Overall, the Polk TSi100 is an excellent option if you are looking for an entry-level bookshelf speaker with excellent sound quality. It lacks a little bit of bass, which is understandable because of its size, but it has been made up by its wonderful response on mid and high frequencies.

Build Quality

The Polk TSI100 is the smallest bookshelf loudspeaker in the TSI Series. It has some very nice physical features that only a Polk speaker has, which improves the speaker’s overall performance.

Build Specifications of the Polk TSi100:

Polk TSi100Specifications
Dimensions (H x W x D)27.94 x 17.78 x 25.9 cm (11x 7 x 12.04”)
Weight4.5 kg (10.0 lbs)
Cabinet MaterialMedium Density Fiberboard
DesignBass Reflex (Ported)
Port1 x Rear-firing
Placement & Mounting OptionsKeyhole, Wall-Mount, Tabletop

The speaker’s cabinet is made of non-resonant medium-density fiberboard, an industry-standard material for making speaker cabinets. It also comes with 0.75-inch baffles, which help eliminate internal resonances and dampen vibrations, resulting in a more efficient operation and transparent sound.

Additionally, it ensures a more lifelike sound quality, which is cleaner and clearer compared to other speakers.

The speaker comes with a high-quality woofer which is lightweight and has sound dampening, resulting in excellent bass reproduction with lower distortion and higher efficiency.

Its silk dome tweeter is equipped with a powerful neodymium magnet, resulting in the speaker producing a clear and detailed high-frequency response.

It also comes with one rear-firing port, which is pretty good for low-frequency extension, as it results in a natural, full-bodied sound with lovely bass. The speaker has a unique design that enables it to deliver a more open, box-less, three-dimensional sound. Additionally, its narrow baffle profile results in a superior three-dimensional imaging and sound stage.

The speaker comes with a detachable anti-diffraction grille, which is a nice feature if you want to have your speakers covered. It comes with eight self-adhesive rubber feet, which help the speaker’s stability wherever you place it.

It comes in two finishes: black and cherry. It is a woodgrain vinyl finish for both finishes with a piano black top plate, which is very beautiful and luxurious to look at. The speaker has a modern look, and it has been manufactured using updated technologies that enable the bookshelf speaker to shine.

Overall, the Polk TSi100 has one of the best build qualities for an entry-level bookshelf speaker available in the market. Using Polk’s Dynamic Balance Technology significantly improves the speaker to a whole new level in terms of its sound and build quality. By using high-quality materials, the speaker can produce great sound and work for a very long time.

It’s also worth checking out my Polk S10 vs S15 comparison if you are interested in buying from Polk.

Controls

As a passive speaker, the Polk TSI100 has minimal control options. It does not have any built-in amplifier, so you still need to use a separate power amplifier for it to work.

It also lacks any wireless connections like Bluetooth and is not compatible with Google Assistant. However, it can do its job correctly as a passive speaker without any connection hassles.

The speaker has a pair of 5-way binding post terminals, which is nice as it makes your connection to the power amplifier secure. Because these terminals are gold-plated, you can expect that they are durable and can take a beating, and a loose audio connection will rarely happen. You can also use a banana plug for this speaker, which is a plus.

Another control option for the speaker is its built-in passive crossover. The speaker’s crossover features Mylar bypass capacitors, as they can extend the speaker’s frequency response in the higher, more detail-oriented frequencies. 

Having a passive crossover in the speaker will significantly improve its longevity. It protects the woofer and tweeter from blowing off as it organizes the specific frequencies that the drivers should only reproduce.

Overall, the Polk TSi100 only has basic control options, which you would expect from a passive speaker. However, people choose passive speakers because they are simple, easy to set up, durable, dependable, and not a hassle to use.

Price

The Polk TSI100’s sound quality is worth more than the price. It is one of the best-sounding entry-level bookshelf speakers available in its price range. Even with its small size, you rarely see other bookshelf speakers that can produce low and high frequencies like this speaker. In terms of sound quality for its price point, it’s a great deal.

The speaker’s build quality is also exceptional for an entry-level bookshelf speaker. All the materials used in making this speaker are of high quality, so you can expect it to work for a long time, even with minimal maintenance.

Overall, the price point of the Polk TSi100 is excellent for its value. Considering its sound and build quality, there is no reason not to buy the speaker. Purchasing a pair of these speakers is an excellent investment that you will not regret.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Impressive sound quality for its size
  • Clear and detailed high-frequency response
  • Beautiful aesthetics
  • Solid build quality
  • Durable gold-plated terminals

Cons:

  • It lacks a little bass
  • There are more speakers better in mid-frequency response in its price range.
  • Limited connectivity options

Conclusion

The Polk TSi100 is an excellent option if you are looking for an entry-level bookshelf speaker with outstanding sound and build quality. It can produce nice bass even with its stature, but its high-frequency response shines the most. Polk utilized its remarkable technologies in this speaker, resulting in an impressive bookshelf speaker that can match any speakers within its category.

Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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