Polk vs JBL vs Infinity

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by myriad1973, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. myriad1973 Audioholic

    myriad1973
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    Can anybody tell me the general design differences that these three companies are known for? For instance, Cerwin Vega and Klipsch are both known for making some of the most efficient speakers in the industry. What are their (Polk, JBL, and Infinity) niches in the industry?

    My experience with Polk is limited, other than that I know they are a well respected company. I've heard JBL, but only their professional (PA) products. And I've only heard Infinity's SM series back in the 90's.

    I would like to hear a definitive synopsis, if anybody can provide one.
  2. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    JBL and Infinity both fall under Harmon International so expect some similarities in the design of them. Polk varies from line to line, the TSI line is the replacement line for the Monitor series, their mid-line RTI-A is what most describe as a little bright at the top end and the LSI line it the top tier which is more laid back but has an excellent tweeter, they do however require some juice to push them as they are 4-ohm nominal.
  3. jamie2112 Banned

    jamie2112
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    I am not a fan of the Polk sound as I have owned a few pairs and sold them both.JBL makes much better Pro Audio gear than HT gear IMO. Infinity has the best sound IMO out of the speakers listed here IMO once again.The tweeters on the Polk and JBL are very fatiguing to my ears.The Infinitys can really sound good with a little cabinet bracing,in fact I almost bought a pair from Matt.I think all their niches are in the budget priced consumer area as far as price goes.If choosing a brand to look at I would choose Infinity for sure as they have the highest quality sound out of the three to my ears..
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  4. myriad1973 Audioholic

    myriad1973
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    Thanks for the input. The reason I was asking was because I'm trying to narrow down my choices of speakers down to either the Polk R50 or Monitor 50 or Monitor 60, JBL ES80 or 90, or the Infinity P362 (which looks like a scaled down ES80).

    I obviously already have a sub, so I really don't need deep bass from the mains, but I do like bright highs, snappy mids, and punchy midbass.
  5. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    The P362 are leagues better than the Polk models you mentioned. The ES 80 look like they have a comparable driver setup to the Infinity's with the addition of a "supertweeter" which you may or may not like. I don't think it's really necessary.
  6. myriad1973 Audioholic

    myriad1973
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    Being I tend to prefer multi-way systems, I've been leaning towards the ES line. I love sizzling cymbals. It's hard to tell really since I haven't been able to physically listen to them.
  7. ozmedia Audioholic

    ozmedia
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    I find JBL still makes a good product no matter where in the line you buy, they offer a fair value for money.

    Infinity, in their higher end (once you get away from retail) is a nice product, as is Polk in the higher end.

    As far as retail offerings, big box products, I'd run screaming from anything Polk offers at that "affordale" level and be very careful about Infinity, though they still offer some good, common, retail products.

    In the end, it all comes down to YOUR ears, and nobody's opinion counts.

    It's like being a cheap drunk, if you can have a great time and party after 2 beers, all the power to you. Others need more to get such satisfaction and only tease those who do not.

    If a $200.00 pair of speakers sound good to you, again that's to YOUR benefit. No matter what anyone else says or recommends, including myself of course, sound needs to be appreciated by the listener, not the press or reviewers. I have a friend who knows I offer some of teh est speakers around, and the factory direct pricing I can offer him is simply unbeatable anywhere in teh industry. However, he has a $250.00 theatre in a box system that he knows isn't the greatest but it sounds good enough in HIS room for HIS ears and really, that's all that counts. The fact that I have to spend thousands to be equally satisfied is my issue, not his.


    "If music be the food of love...play on" W.Shakespeare
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  8. Crackerballer Senior Audioholic

    Crackerballer
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    I am in a similar place as you right now. I am running a full JBL setup (see sig) and want to replace my bookshelves with floorstanding fronts and a matching center. My choices so far are:

    JBL L880 (found them for $500 shipped for 2, should have pulled the trigger) now about $650
    JBL L890 $700 shipped for 2
    Infinity P362 (waiting for Frys to put them on sale for $99 each again, unless I get L890s first)
    Axiom M50s, $780 shipped for 2.


    I am not sure what I want to do, as any of those above are gonna require a center channel as well, and I have size restraints. I have read that the ES80/ES90 is just an OK speaker, and for not much more $$ to go with the Studio L lineup. JBL must be phasing them out, as I have found many retailers out of them.

    Worst of all, I haven't heard any of them. But so far I have been very happy with my JBLs and know the Axioms are good. And for $99, I will take the risk on the Infinitys if they becaome available.
  9. Christopher__BA Junior Audioholic

    Christopher__BA
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    I happen to like Polk's as I own the RT55's as front speakers, RTi35's for rears, and cs245i for the center speaker. They work well together and for what I paid for them, I couldn't find better. I don't see them as being bright or bassy......good nuetral speaker if you ask me.
    The best thing to do would be to go test the speakers out somewhere (if you can). That can be the hardest thing......finding places that have what you want. I recently went to an a/v store that carried the Cambridge Audio S30 and was shocked at how good they sound for their size (size isn't everything). And, to top it off they're inexpensive. Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  10. JaminHead Audiophyte

    JaminHead
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    Speaking for the lower to mid price brackets, I would give infinity the overall nod. I have heard all three and IMO, and it is subjective of course, but I do think infinity tends to offer the best value at those prices.
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  11. Crackerballer Senior Audioholic

    Crackerballer
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    Where's the guy on here who mods the P362? Maybe he can comment on how they sound stock.
  12. myriad1973 Audioholic

    myriad1973
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    Well, it seems the Infinity gets the most thumbs up. This is a hard decision to make. How do the JBL ES and Infinity Primus compare?
  13. JAMS Junior Audioholic

    JAMS
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    I Looked Around

    He is searching for spkrs just like i was,same price range!
    I did chose infinity also,the ones i found factory reconditioned in gift cond.
    were the beta 50 model,much herlded over the primus362 but there gone off sale new about 2 weeks ago!!
    His wishing he bought the jbl L880 seems resonable,there $726.00 A pair on amazon, now in black ash i think! no bad reviews out of 7 people only!

    There was a 3way,yammy ns777 for about $500 a pair?
    Seems someone here on A online was wanting to try those?
    Its a budget stretcher getting good decent spkrs,research bunches and it seems inflation is here!
    good luck! CYBORG won the strikeforce fight in a octogon cage,ju jits su and those girls can frieking fight,kick to neck jez!
    JAMS,
  14. Big Daddy Enthusiast

    Big Daddy
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    Jams,

    Where did you find the Beta 50s? I'm looking for either Beta 50s or Beta 40s.

    Thanks,
    Big Daddy
  15. gmichael Audioholic Spartan

    gmichael
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    I have both the Infinity Primus speakers in one system and the JBL E10's and 20's in another. Both are equaly good IMO, but have a slightly different sound. I'd say that the infinitys have a little more of a natural sound while the JBL's have a little more highs and lows.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  16. Wafflesomd Senior Audioholic

    Wafflesomd
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    As long as JBL manufactures the vertec array's, they'll always be crappy in my book.
  17. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
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    Keep your eye on the HK store on ebay. They'll pop up from time to time.
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  18. Big Daddy Enthusiast

    Big Daddy
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    I appreciate the heads-up, Isiberian. I'll keep my eyes open.
  19. JAMS Junior Audioholic

    JAMS
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    I Looked For The Betas

    Big DADDY,I bought mine from audiovideosource on e-bay because there a infinity reseller,mine were a factory refurb in gift condition for $499.99 a pair and was $583.99 w/shipping!
    The reciept had, wholesaleaudiovideo2003@yahoo.com on it also!!
    e-bay store only had the primus 252 i belive, and $499.00 each nowdays might be the price for the beta 50s!
    I think there being held hostage and the ransom demand doubled!
    How about the mythos one by difinitive technology,ive seen the for $994.99 and could be better,im not sure but i was impressed with them!!
    The jbl L880 might be a better jbl model ? they were $363.00ea on the web,others would know better than me im sure!
    Sorry i cant give specific web sites,i google alot and amazon has a vast encelada of floor standers,seems you have too get too the home audio theater section,other wise you wont find alot of stuff!
    Seems e-bay has the same kind of problem!
    Categories like camera give surprizing finds sometimes!
    Just look under every nick and cranny you can think of!
    GOOD LUCK y.t. jim jams
    JAMS,
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