Polk Audio has launched its latest flagship speaker line, the Legend Series. Drawing from more than 45 years’ experience in developing loudspeakers, the Legend Series represents the most sophisticated, and intensively engineered loudspeakers the company has ever introduced.
The series is comprised of six models available in two real-wood finishes, including two bookshelf speakers, one center speaker, an Atmos height module, and two tower speakers. Leading the flagship loudspeaker line is the company’s L800 “True Stereo” floor-standing speaker featuring next generation Stereo Dimensional Array (SDA-PRO) technology, the first SDA speaker introduced in over 20 years and the only speakers in the world to maintain full stereo separation from the source to the listener’s ears. The result is the most lifelike imaging, smooth spectral response and deep, tight bass normally found in speakers several times the cost.
“The Legend Series is the culmination of decades’ worth of acoustic engineering and loudspeaker development. Whether placed in a traditional two-channel orientation or home theater system, the new flagship series offers incredible imaging, perfectly balanced mids and deep lows,” said Michael Greco, senior director of global brand management at Polk Audio. “We’re confident these are the speakers that will remind Polkies and enthusiasts why they love Polk Audio.”
The Polk Legend series’ L800 tower speaker employs the latest generation of Polk Audio’s celebrated SDA technology, which Matthew Polk invented and debuted in the early 1980’s. The technology is a fundamental shift in loudspeaker design and solidified Polk Audio’s place in audio history. The SDA design minimizes an audio phenomenon known as interaural crosstalk (IAC), which is found in all conventional speakers. Interaural crosstalk is natural distortion found in passive stereo loudspeakers resulting from speakers’ channels crossing before they reach the listener’s ears. SDA technology acoustically isolates the two stereo channels and cancels out IAC to deliver a true stereo listening experience, creating a deep, three-dimensional soundstage that faithfully reproduces the recording.
Reinventing Speaker Design for Improved Performance
The new Legend L800 loudspeaker offers a freshly patented SDA-PRO technology, which is the latest evolution of Polk Audio’s SDA design. The new design employs a special “Head Shadow” filter in the dimensional array, which is built to more exactly match—and therefore cancel out— IAC. An additional patent was granted for the L800’s uniquely designed 15-degree angled baffles. This design angles the transducers more precisely toward the listener, which removes any loss of high frequency extension and the need to “toe-in” the loudspeakers.
“From the beginning we wanted to make loudspeakers that virtually transform the listening space into the performance space, creating an intimate, immersive and welcoming experience between the listener and the performer,” said Stu Lumsden, vice president, engineering and quality, Sound United. “When we originally developed SDA in 1982, our goal was the most lifelike imaging you ever heard. We called it True Stereo because we were the first speaker manufacturer to maintain stereo separation all the way from the source to the ears, and that is still true today. After more than forty years developing speakers at Polk Audio, I’m confident the Legend Series are truly exceptional for listeners of all levels. Everyone from discerning audiophiles to casual enthusiasts will immediately hear the difference.”
As the new flagship line, Polk Audio engineers improved upon nearly every aspect of the speaker, including the tweeter, mid-bass driver, woofers, bass port, stereo dimensional array, cabinet design, and crossover network. Through careful testing, listening and experimentation, the team integrated several new technologies across the line to enhance performance and sound:
- 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, it delivers ultra-clear, crisp highs without unwanted coloration or distortions. 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. Hi- Res certified, 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 Cones: Polk developed the new Turbine cone specifically for the Legend series to ensure the natural reproduction of the mid-range—the frequency range human ears are most sensitive towards. The Turbine cone combines Polk’s proprietary foam core and the molded Turbine geometry, which dramatically increases stiffness and damping without adding mass, resulting in a smooth, detailed mid-range and effortless bass.
- Enhanced Power Port Design: Extending the low-end, the upgraded Power Port technology produces less port noise and more bass than traditionally ported loudspeakers. Polk Audio improved the traditional Power Port design by smoothing out the port flare, which offers a smoother transition into the listening area and adds multiple dBs of bass response.
- Advanced Cabinet Construction: The intensively engineered cabinet designs add rigid bracing and structure to control vibration and eliminate unwanted audible distortion.
The Legend Series is composed of the L100 5.25-inch bookshelf speakers, L200 6.5-inch bookshelf speakers, L400 center channel speaker, L600 tower speakers, L800 SDA tower speakers, and L900 Height/Elevation module, all of which can be used for home theater and two-channel listening applications. The line is fully compatible with today’s home theater audio formats including Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X and DTS Virtual:X.
Polk Legend Series Pricing and Availability
The Legend Series stereo products will be available October 1, 2019. The L800 SDA tower will be available November 3, 2019 at select Polk Audio dealers.
- L100 bookshelf speakers (5.25-inch) $1,199 / pair
- L200 bookshelf speakers (6.5-inch) $1,799 / pair
- L400 center channel $1,799
- L600 tower speakers $1,999 / each
- L800 SDA tower speakers $2,999 / each
- L900 Height / Elevation (Atmos) module $599 / pair