Polk Audio Signature S20 Bookshelf Review

3.44 Mixed Usages
3.4 Dialogue & Vocal Accuracy:
3.5 Treble Accuracy:
3.5 Bass Accuracy:
3.4 Imaging & Soundstage:
3.4 Dynamic Range:
Release year: 2015 Rating: 4.8 Warranty: 5 years Terylene tweeter Polypropylene woofer stereo speaker surround speaker Power port technology Home theater

Polk Audio Signature S20 is a full-range speaker that sounds great without breaking your bank. When we paired the S20 with the other Signature speakers in a 5.1 setup, it delivered truly surround sound. Movies and games are immersive and bass is adequate. Even while using the S20 as stereo speaker, it shows pure and clean performance. Instruments and voices are clear. Low ends packs a punch if you have a small room.

Our Verdict

Polk Audio Signature S20 is a natural sounding speaker. It has good looks and we are impressed by its balanced tone. Make sure you are aware of speaker placement and room acoustics for optimum performance. The speaker can get as low as 39Hz resulting in tight bass. For bass heads, we suggest a subwoofer. This makes movies and music engaging.

PROS
  • Rich and clean sounding
  • Supports Hi-res audio
  • Great bass
  • Good build quality
  • Good for music
  • Room-filling
CONS
  • Not as powerful as tower speakers
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 High-Res Dome Tweeter
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Midrange Type N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Type Dynamic Balance Mica Reinforced Polypropylene Driver
Other

SPECS

Power Range 20–125W
Sensitivity 88dB
Impedance 8 ohms
Frequency Range 39Hz–40 kHz
Crossover Frequencies 2.5 kHz

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 Single gold-plated 5-way binding posts
Compatible Connector Types bare wire, pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and banana plugs (single or dual).
Speaker Wire Compatibility 10AWG

AUDIO QUALITY ( TESTED )

Bass Accuracy: Crystal-clear and soft treble region
Dialogue & Vocal Accuracy: Clear and loud vocals
Treble Accuracy Solid bass
Imaging & Soundstage: Great imaging
Dynamic Range: Decent dynamic range
Power Handling: Good power handling
Frequency Response: Wide frequency response
Transient Response: Decent transient response

BUILD MATERIAL

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Finish MDF
Color Black, Brown

SIZE & WEIGHT

Height (inches) 14.8
Width (inches) 8.5
Depth (inches) 13.8
Weight (pounds) 17 lbs.
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 22-26

CONTROL

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

IN THE BOX

Accessories: 1 pair Bookshelf speakers, 2 Grilles, 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet, Owner's Manual, Online Product Registration
User manual: Yes
Where to buy

Details Review

Design:

Polk Audio Signature S20 has a tweeter and woofer. You can show them or protect with anti-diffraction magnetic grille. The speaker is acoustically inert in order to minimize standing waves. It has thick front baffle and additional bracing reduces any resonance or vibration that might color the sound.

It comes with self-adhesive rubber feet so that the speaker remains put in one place. This also protects the surface from getting scratched or damaged. Overall, the build quality is good and it is designed to produce pure audio.

Performance:

Polk Audio Signature S20 is quite similar to the ES20 speaker. The Polk ES20 is the upgraded version of the S20 with better drivers and belongs to the ES series. It uses the patented Dynamic Balance driver technology that focuses on minimizing any resonance. The speaker has clear and detailed highs, and decent mids. Low ends are powerful from a 6.5” woofer driver. It has a highly efficient woofer driver that produces clean and deep bass.

To boost the bass, it has power port technology with a rear-firing port. Unlike other standard passive speakers, it has unique design to ensure smoother transition. It has a balanced sound profile and the soundstage is wide and spacious. Imaging is good and the speaker can produce immersive sound in small spaces. For large rooms, we suggest to go for a 3.1 or 5.1 system.

As you connect it to an amplifier, set the speakers to ‘small’ in the Bass management option. The two-way crossover is designed to ensure realistic and lively soundfield. It can be used as front, surround or rear speakers. Create an equilateral triangle with the user for front setup. Toe-in to find the sweet spot for the speakers. For rear, place them behind the user above ear level.

Connectivity and control:

 This is a passive speaker and you can’t connect any source directly. The amplifier with available ports will allow you to connect devices and control the speaker.

Use case:

Polk S20 is great for medium sized rooms. Use the speaker to listen to CD players, Blu-ray or TVs. We connected them to PC and placed on desktop table. Listening to games are enjoyable and energetic.

Compatible device:

Choose one of the following amps or from any other brands: Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470, D-Stream Wamp 200SB, Marantz M-CR511, Emotiva BasX A-100, Yamaha MusicCast RX-V483, Dayton Audio DTA Pro 100W, Denon AVR-X550BT, Onkyo TX-NR676, etc.

Build a home theater with Center-Channel Speakers (S30/S35), Bookshelf Speakers: (S10/S15), Tower Speakers (S50/S55/S60). Also add a Polk subwoofer for room shaking bass. Note that, all these speakers need to connect via an amplifier for a theater system.

Cost

Polk S20 is a reasonable and mid-priced speaker.

FAQ:

How to connect a turntable without any phono preamp to Polk Audio Signature S20?

If your turntable doesn’t have any phono preamp, then look for a receiver with built-in phono preamp. Then, look for an input named ‘phono’ and insert the audio signal cable of the turntable to it. Take the ground wire of the turntable and insert it in GND port and the connection is complete.

Polk Signature Elite ES20 or Signature S20, which is better?

Since the Polk Signature Elite ES20 is the latest release and is considered an upgrade over the S20, it is better to check the ES20. That said, the older S20 shows brilliant performance as well.

Where to buy

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