Polk Signature Elite ES10 Review

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Polk Signature Elite ES10 Review


With the main priority being the front sound stage, (the front left, right, & center speaker) being they’re the most important when it comes your home theater, do remember your surround speakers still make a big difference too.

While not as important, the correct surround speaker can still help to elevate your cinematic experience dramatically.

So in this Polk Signature Elite ES10 review, we take a look at a surround speaker that aims to do exactly that.

Let’s take a look and see whether they live up to that ambition.

 

 Appearance


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So the cool things about these speakers when it comes to their appearance is that they come in 3 colors to match just about every room setting; Walnut, Black, and White.

I went with the Walnut because it slightly reminded me of the RTI A3s, but they all look amazing honestly.

To put it bluntly, these are gorgeous speakers, and pictures don’t do them justice at all.

With the removable magnetic grille on, aside from a small Polk branding on the bottom, they’re pretty low-key.

However it’s when you remove them that their look completely changes.

An eye catching gold tweeter and driver make for a striking appearance, and the words Polk Audio and American Hifi along with their established date of 1972 is situated on the top.

There’s even the words Polk signature series placed on the drivers themselves.

The fact that Polk places this here I think speaks to their inherent confidence that they know they’re offering a good looking, high performance speaker and it shows.

The MDF wood they’re made of has a nice texture to it too, and in terms of size they’re actually not that big surprisingly — making them good for a variety of listening conditions.

The Elite ES10 has a very contemporary design, paying homage to the company’s storied history, while simultaneously bringing its aesthetic forward in a modern setting.

It’s a fusion that works wonderfully, and makes for a speaker design that’s hard not to admire.

 

Features


Hi-Res Certified Audio Performance


Terylene dome Tweeters with curvilinear formers allows the speaker to extend beyond the human range of hearing (40kHz) This allows greater clarity in the frequencies you do hear, resulting in a much higher fidelity sound

 

Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Compatible


The Elite ES10s are Dolby Atmos & DTS:X ready, meaning they can be used as height & elevation speakers for a surround sound that’s lifelike

Timbre Matched


Timbre matching is important as it ensures the cohesive blending of sound between your speakers and luckily the Polk Signature Elite ES10 are timbre matched to allow you to mix and match with any speakers in the Elite series lineup.

Dynamically Balanced Acoustic Arrays with Phase-Optimized Precision Crossovers


Polk was serious with this speaker, and meticulously optimized its drivers and crossovers for the most accurate sound they could deliver

Exclusive Polk Power Port for Effortless Bass


Polk’s signature power port technology is on offer here too; to smoothly transition airflow from the speaker’s port to your listening area, helping to reduce distortion.

It also extends the bass port giving a greater surface area to further increase its clean bass capabilities without chuffing.

In fact, Polk states that their Powerport technology provides a 3dB louder bass output than conventional ported loudspeakers

Gold-Plated Five-Way Binding Posts


Gold-Plated Five-Way Binding Posts ensure the most direct, efficient, and loss-less connection possible while also allowing you to connect your speakers the way you want to.

Powerful Low Resonance Ceramic Motor Structure


A clever design that also helps reduce resonance gives a more energetic and powerful sound

Anti-Diffraction Magnetic Grille


Minimizes sonic interference, giving a clean sound even when the grille is on.

Solid Build Quality


Due to their in depth engineering process that identifies & eliminates physical and electroacoustic abnormalities before they happen, Polk are confident in their Elite series speaker’s build quality and even offer a 5 year warranty so you can enjoy your speaker for years to come.

Plus an MDF wood cabinet means a fuller and richer sound

Wall Mounting Capable


Wall mounting key holes on the back allows you to wall mount these speakers increasing your placement options


How To Set It Up


Setting up the Elite ES10 is done just like you would with any other passive speaker.

Keep in mind speaker wire doesn’t come with it so that’s something you’ll need if you don’t have some already.

I use this one for reference.

But basically you would strip the speaker wire, attach the connectors to it, then plug it into the speaker.

There’s 5 way binding posts on the back so any connector would work, or you could forgo them all together.

Should you wish to wall mount them, the keyhole slot and threaded insert in the back would allow you to do just that.

 

The Sound Quality


Gauging the audio quality of surround speakers is slightly more difficult than traditional speakers as a large portion of the sound mix typically doesn’t come through it — with the bass handled by the subwoofer and the rest handled by the front sound stage.

So the unorthodox way I like to do things is testing them like a normal right/left speaker by themselves first, then as a part of an entire home theater system after just to see what they can do.

But upon trying one of my favorite movies (Pacific Rim) with them, I was immediately blown away.

The level of clarity they offered just by themselves was genuinely mind blowing, and even more so when keeping in mind they were performing like this when they aren’t even meant to be a front soundstage speaker.

Every sound, from the mechanical gears & VFX in the mechs, to their lumbering movement as they rushed forward was represented with such pristine detail that it actually sounded real.

I could immediately see why Polk touted their ability to go to 40kHz even if it’s inaudible to the human ear because in the sounds I did hear, they were incredibly lifelike.

Not to mention there were additional sounds I heard that I actually didn’t notice before.

Bass output was decent too, but I’d just recommend using a subwoofer since these are surround speakers ultimately and you’d probably use one anyway.

But it’s good to know these speakers are capable meaning you could set your sub’s crossover lower for more power in those lower frequency ranges.

But as for how they handle with their intended usage, as surround speakers?

Undoubtedly fantastic.

Even with use in a non timbre matched system, these speakers provide subtle yet substantial details that really make movie watching a treat.

It’s really hard to articulate exactly what I mean, but just play one of your favorite movies and you’ll instantly get where I’m coming from.

Highs are crisp, and mids are warm & full bodied; and they come together to make for an incredible sounding surround speaker.

I’d easily say they’re worth it in my opinion.

This is elevated even further when you use them with Atmos or DTS:X enabled content, and is where they really shine. It’s like they make everything seem real.

There was definitely more than one instance where I would hear something and wonder if it was the speakers or real life.

That’s a testament to a quality speaker that does its job.

That’s not even to mention they look absolutely gorgeous and don’t take up that much space.

At only 6 pounds, they’re much lighter than some of the other speakers out there that don’t perform nearly as well as this one does.

To cut a long story short, if you’re looking for a high quality surround sound speaker to give you that movie like surround sound you felt like you’ve been missing all this time, then these really are the ones to go with honestly.

I highly recommend them.

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Likes


  • Unbelievable clarity
  • Gorgeous appearance
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X compatible
  • Great for high res music & movie formats

 

Dislikes


  • Shiny front cover can gather finger prints
  • No included speaker wire

 

Final Thoughts


That about does it for this Polk Signature Elite ES10 review.

In summary, these are a great pair of surround sound speakers that manage to add a surreal level of immersion and atmosphere to whatever it is you’re listening to.

Their attention to detail and clarity is noteworthy, and coupled with their ability to play Atmos content, they’re undoubtedly worth your attention.

Check Availability Of The Polk Signature Elite ES10 Speakers

 

But that’s it for now, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out.

Until next time, make it easy, keep it simple.

 

 

Specs


Box Contents

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Grille (attached)
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Wall-mount template
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Online Product Registration

Inputs & Connectivity


5-way gold-plated binding posts

Total Power Ouput


100 watts


Sensitivity


84 dB


Bass Driver


4 inch mica-reinforced polypropylene Dynamic Balance® cone driver


Tweeter


1 inch Terylene high-res dome tweeter


Frequency Response


78 Hz-40,000 kHz


Impedance


8 Ohms


Dimensions


5.91 x 5.12 x 8.27 inches


Weight


6 lbs (13.2 kg)

 

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2 Comments so far:

  1. How do you find these speakers are when used for the front channel?
    Trying to decide between the es10 AND es15

    thanks

    • I actually really like them at the front channel and find them to be a lot more powerful than initially expected. As far as how they stack up to the ES15, the es15s are the one I’d go with if your budget permits as they definitely have a more commanding presence from my experience; but the ES10s certainly aren’t far behind either. Hopefully that helps.

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