Within the Polk Audio loudspeaker catalog, the Legend series is the top of the range. Within this top range, the L100 compact speakers are the most basic, with a price of $1,199 per pair. They are shelf boxes, or “monitors”, and not so compact in size despite being the small ones in the series: almost 35 centimeters high, by 29 deep and 20 wide, and nearly eight kilos in weight. Available in wood (walnut) or black finish, the brand offers a five-year warranty, and let’s review its features.
Polk Audio Legend L100 Features
|Type||Passive two-way loudspeakers|
|Speakers||1 Pinnacle Ring Radiator 1-inch tweeter, 1 5’25-inch mid-woofer with Turbine cone|
|Frequency response||43 Hz to 50 kHz (57 Hz to 38 kHz with -3 dB cutoff)|
|Recommended power||30 W to 160 W (peak)|
|Enclosure||Bass-reflex with Power Port output|
|Cutoff frequency (filter)||2,900 Hz|
|Impedance (minimum)||4 Ohms (3 Ohms minimum)|
|accessories||Magnetic grill (acoustically neutral)|
|Available finishes||Black ash or walnut|
|Dimensions||197 x 346 x 286 mm (width x height x depth)|
The Polk Audio Legend L100 are two-way boxes, with two speakers. The higher (treble) frequencies are reproduced by a one-inch diameter “tweeter” of the Ring Radiator type. The mid and low frequencies are counted by a 5.25-inch turbine cone mid-woofer. The filter cuts (distributes the frequencies to one or another speaker) at 2.9 kHz.
The tweeter calls it the Polk Audio Pinnacle Ring Radiator. It is a style that has been seen in some very high range speakers initially and now reaches more models. This tweeter delivers clear, crisp highs without unwanted coloring or distortion. The Pinnacle tweeter is remarkable for its pointed shape, a precisely tuned waveguide that greatly improves high-frequency dispersion to provide a wide optimal listening area. It has a cushioned back chamber that helps eliminate any unwanted resonance. Certified for high resolution (up to 40 kHz), this Pinnacle tweeter is used throughout the Legend range and is designed for stereo music listening as well as multi-channel 3D sound for music content, movies, sports, and video game soundtracks.
As for the mid-woofer, Polk has developed the new turbine cone also especially for this Legend series. The aim is to ensure a natural reproduction of the mid frequencies. The cone itself combines a foam core and the molded turbine geometry considerably improves rigidity and damping, without increasing mass. The result is a smooth, detailed midrange and natural bass.
Power Port Bass
The Polk Audio L100 Legend is a “bass reflex” boxes, that is to say with the opening of the rear case, it improves its bass reproduction. But unlike conventional bass reflex ports, where a sound is distorted by turbulence, the Polk Enhanced Power Port system is mounted here. The outlet is at the back and a cone is mounted in the mouth that acts as a diffractor, eliminating turbulence and leaving a laminar flow of air. This allows for a more powerful and clearer bass while minimizing vibration, distortion, and noise from the port itself.
Polk has optimized its popular Power Port technology for this Legend series by fine-tuning the port’s horn-type geometry. A very interesting effect of this system is that it allows the boxes to be brought much closer to the back wall without generating serious rumble. Although the compact boxes are called “shelf”, normally a shelf is not the right place to put them if we want good sound. But these L100s will sound good in that position, near the back wall.
In the range in which the Polk Audio Legend plays, the enclosure is not only acoustically optimal but also aesthetically optimal. Polk Legend Series enclosures stand, and internal structures are carefully designed to minimize unwanted internal standing waves and eliminate resonance. The result is an enclosure that holds the speakers securely and allows for faithful reproduction of recordings.
From the first handmade enclosures in 1972 to today’s new series of reference speakers, Polk has been designing natural wood enclosures for over 45 years. Building on that legacy, the Legend series continues this tradition with the classic design of a high-performance speaker. It is available in two natural wood veneer finishes: brown walnut and black ash. To top off the front aesthetics comes a computer-modeled grille for a precise fit and minimized acoustic interference. They are magnetic grilles, acoustically inert, which offer a refined aesthetic without altering the sound.
Perfect with Little Space
Two things play in favor of the Polk Audio L100 when we think of a small room or bedroom: its relatively compact size, and how it reproduces bass frequencies. The problem in that environment (small room) is usually that the speaker is too “rich” in low frequencies and as soon as we turn up the volume, the resonances blur the music losing clarity. The compact woofer of the L100 and especially its muffled rear output, besides allowing us to leave them closer to the rear wall (thus making better use of available space), will avoid this problem. In return, its bass will be rhythmic and deep enough, because there is not much music that contains notes below that 43 Hz. Recommended especially for this use, or for rooms where the boxes must necessarily be placed on a shelf or glued to the back wall.
Price and Availability
The speaker is available for purchase and can be purchased for $1,199.
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