Polk Audio Monitor XT20 Bookshelf speaker

4.44 Mixed Usages
4.4 Dialogue & Vocal Accuracy:
4.4 Treble Accuracy:
4.5 Bass Accuracy:
4.4 Imaging & Soundstage:
4.4 Dynamic Range:
Release year: 2021 Rating: 4.7 Warranty:5 years 1" Terylene tweeter 6.5" woofer passive speaker Monitor speaker stereo speaker usage: movies and music

Polk Audio Monitor XT20 works great as a stereo speaker. Along with stylish design and solid build, it shows great performance. It is one of the best bookshelf speakers under $300. For audiophiles, we recommend pairing a subwoofer to receive punchier bass. When we added these speakers to our 3.1 system as surrounds, the overall sound became more powerful with great clarity. We also appreciate how the speaker holds accuracy at all volume levels. At low levels, the speaker sound clean and clear.

Our Verdict

Polk Audio Monitor XT20 is an entry-level hi-fi system that produces engaging sound. The speaker sounds great regardless of volume level. Along with newbies, music enthusiasts also praise the performance. Allow the speakers to go through break-in period, make sure they are placed as suggested in the user manual and you are good to go.

PROS
  • Sturdy built
  • Great tonal balance
  • Warm and smooth sound
  • Punchier low ends
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Not as powerful as floorstanding speaker
Where to buy

Specification

GENERAL:

Speaker Type Bookshelf Speaker
Number Of Channels 2.0 way speaker
Amplification Type Passive Speaker (External Amp)
Power Source AC Powered

DRIVERS

Drive Unit 2x2
Tweeter Type Terylene dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Midrange Type N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Type bi-laminate paper
Other

SPECS

Power Range 30—200Wpc
Sensitivity 87dB
Impedance 4- and 8-ohm
Frequency Range 38Hz—40kHz
Crossover Frequencies 3200Hz

CONNECTIVITY:

Speaker Level Input N/A
Speaker Wire Input: Yes
Line Level Input N/A
Digital Input (Optical) N/A
Digital Input (Coaxial) N/A
RCA Input N/A
3.5mm Stereo Analog Input N/A
Aux Input N/A
HDMI Input N/A
Bi-amp Input: N/A
USB Port N/A
Subwoofer Output N/A

WIRELESS FEATURES

Bluetooth N/A
Wi-Fi N/A
Other

CONNECTOR:

Connector Type 5-way nickel-plated binding posts
Compatible Connector Types bare wire, pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single or dual)
Speaker Wire Compatibility 12 or 14AWG

AUDIO QUALITY ( TESTED )

Bass Accuracy: Effortless low ends
Dialogue & Vocal Accuracy: Loud and intelligible vocals.
Treble Accuracy Crisp and clear highs
Imaging & Soundstage: Good imaging with broad and intense soundstage.
Dynamic Range: Decent dynamic range
Power Handling: Good power handling
Frequency Response: Wide frequency response
Transient Response: Decent transient response

BUILD MATERIAL

Enclosure Ported
Finish MDF
Color Black

SIZE & WEIGHT

Height (inches) 13
Width (inches) 7.5
Depth (inches) 10.99
Weight (pounds) 12lbs
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 24-28

CONTROL

Handheld Remote N/A
Control by app N/A
Amazon Alexa N/A
Google Assistant N/A

IN THE BOX

Accessories: Pair of Bookshelf loudspeakers, 2 Grilles, 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet, Owner's Manual, Online Product Registration
User manual: Yes
Where to buy

Details Review

Design:

Polk XT20 belongs to the Monitor XT series that is considered an upgrade over the Monitor series. The Monitor XT20 is wrapped in matte black vinyl finish and made of MDF. This MDF enclosure is ‘critically braced’ that can isolate tweeter and woofer sound while minimizing any resonance. A removable grey colored cloth grille is available.

You can remove the grille to reveal tweeter with waveguide and silver colored woofer. Use the self-adhesive rubber feet to ensure it stay put on any surface.

Performance:

The Polk Audio Monitor XT20 consists of 1” tweeter and 6.5” woofer. With Terylene dome tweeter, it can handle hi-res audio contents pretty well. The treble region in airy and mids are accurate. It has decent and spacious soundfield. Mids give a sense of openness. This speaker needs wired connectivity and is capable of producing crystal clear sound.

Low ends are deep and packs a punch without being ‘muddy’. A 6.5” woofer is more than enough for small rooms and good for mid sized spaces. There is also a bass port on the rear side of the speaker to boost the low ends. This makes the speaker a bit difficult to place. So, you need to make sure there is enough space between the speaker and rear wall. Instruments like cymbals, guitars, drums sound great. Music tracks sound lively and natural.

Place the MXT20 on shelves, desktop tables or other tabletops. You can purchase speaker stands as well. Make sure they are at user ear level. In terms of placement, the speaker should be placed at ear level of the user. An equilateral triangle should be created between the speakers and the user. Toe-in the speakers and adjust their position to find the best spot. For movies, we suggest a 3.1 sound system. A 3.1 or 5.1 theater system will be great for large rooms.

Connectivity and control:

Connecting audio sources to the Polk MXT20 depends on the chosen amplifier or receiver ports.  

Use case:

Polk XT20 passive bookshelf speaker is great for medium sized rooms. It can handle fast-paced tracks along with Jazz and Acoustic genre. For serious music listeners, we suggest a subwoofer. Along with music, it can also play movies, shows or games very well. Connecting it to TVs, turntables or PC is easy.

Compatible devices:

Use one from the following amps or choose by your own: Audiolab 6000A Play, Cambridge Audio AXR85, Kenwood amp, Cambridge AXR100. Some other popular amplifier brands are Yamaha, Marantz and Onkyo.

Pair the MXT20 with the following speakers: floorstanding loudspeakers (XT60 / XT70), bookshelf loudspeakers (XT15), two center-channel speakers (XT30 / XT35), a Dolby-Atmos enabled speaker (XT90), and a powered subwoofer (XT12).

Cost:

Polk MXT20 is a budget-friendly bookshelf speaker that won’t break your bank. That said, including additional components like amplifier or subwoofer will increase the overall cost.

FAQ

Why should I choose Polk Audio Monitor XT20?

Users who need compact bookshelf speaker due to small spaces should definitely choose Polk Audio MXT20. They need less space and has excellent sound quality. Low ends from 6.5” woofer driver packs a punch needed for music and movies.

Can I connect Polk Audio Monitor XT20 to a subwoofer?

You can connect the Polk MXT20 to a subwoofer but not directly. You need to use an amplifier or receiver and make sure it has adequate number of sub ports. Like, if you want to connect two make sure it has two sub out ports.

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