So far, I love these speakers. I was impressed by the reviews I had watched about the Polk Reserve Series. Sean at Zero Fidelity reviewed the R500s in particular. I wanted tower speakers and this model fit my room & budget. I am currently driving these with a Marantz NR1200 Receiver. I find these have sufficient bass (and I like bass.) These speakers have a full sound. I may experiment with adding a sub down the road but I don't feel it is necessary. The speakers are attractive and well built. (I have the Midnight Black). The top end has clarity but it is not fatiguing. I just recently listened to one of the Duet CD's from Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, and both of their voices sounded great. I am still experimenting with placement and followed Sean's suggestion of using 1 inch cutting boards as a base for the speakers, to tighten bass response. It was a definite improvement in my opinion. I'm 50 years old and haven't built a real 2-channel set up since college. I am very happy with my choice of the R500s. Crutchfield has helped me with a couple of ordering adjustments and their customer service staff is absolutely top notch. For this reason I plan to continue buying from Crutchfield in the future.
2 of 2 found this helpful
Build system with Onkyo TX-NR696 receiver ,Polk R300 center, Polk R500 front, R100 rear channel. Wow! Building a media room around the system. Everything sounds clean and crisp, from Mozart to Tool. Couldn't be happier with the system and the service from Crutchfield.
1 of 1 found this helpful
I give 5 stars for the overall value and positive qualities mentioned in other reviews, but these are my least favorite of the Reserve series speakers that I've heard (r200 and r600). I bought these to avoid buying stands for the R200. But even more than r200, they are very sensitive to positioning. Too far out they sound thin, too close to the wall they sound muddy. I had a hard time getting the balance right when I just wanted to enjoy the speakers. And at their best, the R500s sound like nice budget speakers. Nothing more. For whatever reason, the R200 just seemed to have a more pleasing fun sound, and have only slightly less bass extension. The r600s have a down firing port and are easier to position. The r600s also have a deeper, more robust sound and can be had for only a little more. These offer good value and might be the best looking speakers in the series, but imo there are better overall options in the series.
Pros: Slim profile
Cons: Needs a lot of space to get the best sound
0 of 1 found this helpful
My ~20-year-old Canadian towers have a generally nice/open sound, but recent ARC Genesis measurements confirmed my experience of top-end brightness. I was also jaded with the "square black box" look. Anyway, I was curious about the Polk Reserve line given the online praise for all models, and I had been meaning to try bookshelf speakers, since my old towers are big for my current space. However, I don't like the bookshelf + stand look, and I have a toddler to worry about. What to do? The R500s seemed like the perfect trade-off, and the brown finish with rounded corners is a great match four our living room. IMO these slim towers produce a very pleasant and detailed sound, without crossing into "distracting levels of detail" territory. They also do interesting things with movie soundtracks (I intentionally stick to a simple 2.1 setup) where I will hear things to my sides and sometimes even behind me (!) I must explain that I've been using IsoAcoustics GAIAs for a couple years now, so when I initially unpacked and listened to the R500s with the stock footers, something sounded odd to me. I really wish the stock Polk spikes used standard thread sizes, but unfortunately, I had to remove the Polk outriggers altogether so that I could install a spare set of outriggers with standard ¼-20 threads. Problem solved - And things sounded "effortless" again (clearly, I've gotten used to whatever the GAIAs do). Bottom line: These things deliver what I was looking for, so I'm
Pros: Sound, size, finish, price.
Cons: The stock Polk footers use a non-standard thread size.
3 of 4 found this helpful
You won't get better service anywhere. Quality and price are excellent!
Pros: Nice clear sound at low volume. Quality and handsome cabinets.
Cons: No cons
7 of 10 found this helpful
I initially ordered the center channel, R350, which I love for television. I wanted the matching right and left channel is a 3.1 system. Visually these are beautiful, modern speakers. They are warm with terrific bass. They have excellent dispersion and make a wonderful home theater. Highly recommended for home theater.
Pros: Great for home theater.
Cons: I am not convinced they are as open sounding as desired for just two channel music listening. The warm tweeter is good for the human voice in home theater applications.
3 of 3 found this helpful
This is the second pair of R500s. Unfortunately, the first pair both had cabinet defects from Manufacturing...Crutchfield quickly issued a RMA. I also received numerous offers directly from Polk to replace, but, I had already returned to CF...Yes, great customer service from both companies. Once a restock shipment was received by Crutchfield, I decided to give them another chance. Am I happy I believe in second chances. I had been looking for a small format solution for audio in my office and the R500s are beyond satisfying. I also bought a Jamo Concert 9 center channel. Both are driven by a legacy Harman Kardon Amp/Receiver that has been in my attic for 15 years that was designed as a 3.1 channel AVR. The amp puts out 50 Watts per channel and with this configuration I feel as though I work in the center of a sound studio. I literally could not be happier. The styling (white was a requirement for me), the soundstage (audiophile here), and the subtle, almost understated presence make the full spectrum of satisfaction. The most surprising aspect is the clarity remains throughout - even at excessive volume levels. Am delighted with the lows, so likely will not include a subwoofer. I feel this way and it has only been just over 24 hours since they were delivered. Polk and Crutchfield - Thank you for being there supporting the market for those of us most interested in clarity and reproduction accuracy without having to take out a second mortgage.
Pros: Styling, Small format, Understated Presence, Reproduction Accuracy, Accommodation of high-current amplifiers, White as a cabinet Option (simply elegant).
5 of 5 found this helpful
Based on the price this is an easy five stars. I tried the Polk L600's and those sounded fantastic but the bass response flat out over powered my room (13' by 17' with angled ceilings). I wanted a speaker that gave me the midrange and detail of the Polk L600 but with a better balance of bass in my room. These hit the nail on the head in that regard. Very good detail, better than expected resolution (actually great resolution regardless), and low bass that is pretty astonishing for a floor standing speaker with two 5 1/4" drivers. Set up correctly and with the right equipment these produce a very spacious, slightly warm, presentation with incredible bass extensions. I wouldn't call it the most nuanced bass response but it is solid, linear, and zero bloat (again, if set up correctly in the room). I debated getting the R600's in lieu of the R500's but the 500's seem to be a very good match for the room. I own a pair of what would be considered high end speakers and I prefer the R500. One thing I will add is I'm getting these results due in no small part to the quality of electronics being used. I'm using with electronics that offer high power and current giving these things amazing punch and bass control. If the intent is to connect to a lower powered receiver I'm certain they will have wonderful sound but you may not be getting everything these speakers can do. It's positively astonishing what Polk has been able to do with the Reserve Line of speakers at this price poin
Pros: - Stunning bass depth for a speaker with 5 1/4" drivers. - Excellent resolution and detail without being bright. - Very linear sounding speaker from top to bottom. - These speakers will scale with better electronics. - Worked well with both solid state and tube power amplifiers but both were relatively beefy amps. Solid state offers better low end control and punch.
Cons: - Lot's of people won't take these speakers seriously simply because they are from Polk. - Finish is a bit utilitarian but they still look really good. That's one of the reasons they sell for what they do. - Bass is DEEP but not terribly nuanced. Still no bloat at all if set up correctly.
18 of 18 found this helpful