Did we not request the R200 monitor? That’s the first thing that pops into our heads when we see the gigantic floorstanders coming out of the truck. Let’s check our mail traffic: “If the R200 is not available, you can also send in the R700.” Be careful what you wish for they say. The Polk Audio Reserve R700 is the largest floorstander in the new Reserve series and well… it’s big. Whether it sounds like it or not you will find out in the story below. Enjoy!
Polk Audio is American and known for its strong price/quality ratio and it must be said that also here you get a lot of speaker for the money. In recent years Polk Audio has regained a foothold in Europe and is doing so with ambition.
Importer Sound United is an excellent partner and wants to give the brand some extra attention. We gladly accept their request to test the new Reserve series. It is particularly interesting because a lot of technology has seeped through from the top series. We want to know all about it
Construction and appearance
Quickly recovering from the first impression, we drag the big units inside and unpack the speakers. Although they are quite big and heavy (36kg) it all goes more smoothly than expected. We put them on some clothing and slide them into place. Piece of cake. Just be careful that you open the box on the right side, it’s nicely indicated, or the unpacking will be a lot more cumbersome.
In our room their presence is not too bad. The Polk Audio Reserve R700 are a lot wider and deeper than our Acoustic Energy AE509 but it is still… well physicly possible. Not too bombastic despite their considerable size. With a height of 114 cm you can’t ignore them and with a width of 32 cm and a depth of 43 cm they need some space. But thanks to their renewed ‘Power Port 2.0’, the port at the bottom, the placement in our relatively limited space is very good. A plus in our book.
The Polk Audio Reserve R700 looks very neat and the black, slightly speckled version will fit into a lot of living rooms. If we had to choose we would go for the recently available white. There is also a walnut version for those who prefer a more rustic look. A special mention goes to the base with plastic feet that provide excellent cushioning and do not damage any floor. Great!
Such a large floorstander is of course full of parts so let’s let’s take a look.
Starting with the ‘Pinnacle Ring Radiator’ tweeter. A mouthful but it comes down to the fact that Polk mainly wants to guarantee a large sweet spot by means of a special waveguide. A separate rear chamber provides a wide dispersion of sound without adding coloration. This tweeter, developed entirely by Polk, comes from the prestigious Legend series and is available for the first time in the cheaper Reserve series.
Beneath the tweeter of the Polk Audio Reserve R700 is a so-called ‘Turbine Cone’ mid-driver, lovely all those names anyway, which was again fully developed by Polk. This mid-driver is firmly attached to the baffle to ensure rigidity and special foam provides the necessary damping. At the same time, this special driver provides a mix of stiffness and smoothness that should particularly benefit the dynamics. This mid-driver has a special look and feel and provides that touch of exclusivity. And just like the tweeter, this driver is now included in the Reserve Series for the first time.
This trickle down principle is used more often and is the ideal way to recover costs in the development of more expensive technology.
Below the mid-driver are two more serious 20 cm polypropylene woofers that reproduce everything below 50Hz. Polk lists a frequency range of 38 Hz to 35 kHz at -3db. The sensitivity of 88db is a bit on the low side but does not say much in this case. It is mainly a matter of finding a good ‘match’.
The Reserve series is situated in the mid-segment between the cheaper Signature and more expensive Legend series. The Reserve family is quite extensive. There are two floorstanders, the R500 and R600 and two monitors, the R100 and R200. An optional height module (R900) for an optimal movie experience and no less than three center speakers complete the list.
Polk Audio thus provides everything for a complete home-cinema experience and has everything to satisfy lovers of surround. There is a ’60 day money back’ formula and you get a five year warranty on the components upon purchase. Fine