Polk Audio Legend L200 Bookshelf and L400 Center Speaker Review

S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Polk Audio wowed the audio world with their massive Legend L800 tower speakers, but those towering speakers have overshadowed the fact that Polk released other speakers in the Legend series also, although those other speakers did not boast Polk’s SDA technology. While the L800’s SDA technology was indeed impressive, we found the L800s to be a good loudspeaker in a multitude of other ways as well, so it stood to reason that the other speakers in the Legend series should have the same high level of engineering. We decided to put that theory to test, so in for review today we have the Polk Audio Legend L200 bookshelf speakers and L400 center channel speaker. Let’s dive in to explore these speakers and then listen to them and measure them to see if they keep the promises they make as a part of Polk’s flagship series…

READ: Polk Legend L200 Bookshelf and L400 Center Speaker Review
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
Polk Audio wowed the audio world with their massive Legend L800 tower speakers, but those towering speakers have overshadowed the fact that Polk released other speakers in the Legend series also, although those other speakers did not boast Polk’s SDA technology. While the L800’s SDA technology was indeed impressive, we found the L800s to be a good loudspeaker in a multitude of other ways as well, so it stood to reason that the other speakers in the Legend series should have the same high level of engineering. We decided to put that theory to test, so in for review today we have the Polk Audio Legend L200 bookshelf speakers and L400 center channel speaker. Let’s dive in to explore these speakers and then listen to them and measure them to see if they keep the promises they make as a part of Polk’s flagship series…

READ: Polk Legend L200 Bookshelf and L400 Center Speaker Review
James, Excellent write up and post as usual, You mean to say Polk Audio Actually put their money where their mouth is and went and Design and build a speaker and put the money into a high-end Quality speaker, and not a pleasing Looking speaker. Well I’ll be, good the know that the Center speaker can be used in a Front 3 setup or how about as in 5.1 or.2 hell let’s take up to 7.1 or .2 Don’t see why not.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
So on-axis FR tolerance is about +/-2.0dB from 200Hz-10kHz, about +/-2.5dB up to 20kHz, which puts this bookshelf in the “accurate“ category.

Aesthetics is too boxy/square like about 99% of all other speakers.

People might buy these bookshelf speakers if they go on sale for 50% off. :D
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
Another great review, Shady. :)
Thank you!
Wait? Shady did the right up is ShadyJ James? Guess the J stands for James uhu

KEW, I Probably knew that but My memory isn’t what it used to be
 
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G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
So on-axis FR tolerance is about +/-2.0dB from 200Hz-10kHz, about +/-2.5dB up to 20kHz, which puts this bookshelf in the “accurate“ category.

Aesthetics is too boxy/square like about 99% of all other speakers.

People might buy these bookshelf speakers if they go on sale for 50% off. :D
Yep, but they will have to wait cause maybe in two year 50% off. Polk likes to do 50% off in the month of July for some reason.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Yep, but they will have to wait cause maybe in two year 50% off. Polk likes to do 50% off in the month of July for some reason.
Yep. Polk and Denon often have these 50% off sales on Amazon, which makes it very tempting. :D
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
So on-axis FR tolerance is about +/-2.0dB from 200Hz-10kHz, about +/-2.5dB up to 20kHz, which puts this bookshelf in the “accurate“ category.

Aesthetics is too boxy/square like about 99% of all other speakers.

People might buy these bookshelf speakers if they go on sale for 50% off. :D
They not a Sleeping beauty for sure, between a Beauty and the Beast. Front of them look good big Out riggers big port on front of the towers. You would have to see them In person. Online pic aren’t always the best way to “Judge”an anesthetic look of anything really
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
Yep. Polk and Denon often have these 50% off sales on Amazon, which makes it very tempting. :D
True, but if someone Knows a dealer that can get 65% off? how cool would that be! :D Plus say a 10% kickback to the dealer as a gift. Yeah I could see how that would work.:D
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
@shadyJ , point of clarification!
I don't know if it is worth an edit, but when you give one of the "Cons" as:
A bit tame compared to more exotic designs in the same price range
I am not sure what you mean.
Are you talking design aesthetic? Or are you making the point that in this range you would expect more exotic drivers? Or are you saying the sound character is tame (as in lacking dynamics?)?

Thanks to you for another thorough review!
 
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G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
@shadyJ , point of clarification!
I don't know if it is worth an edit, but when you give one of the "Cons" as:

I am not sure what you mean.
Are you talking design aesthetic? Or are you making the point that in this range you would expect more exotic drivers ? Or are you saying the sound character is tame (as in lacking dynamics?)?
That’s a good Question KEW, when I read that, maybe that’s just His Opinion on what Subjective term (tame). maybe not Flashy or Shiny drivers, or a very Detailed soundIng speaker with a wide soundstage. They sure don’t have that Eye popping look those with Aluminum drivers or Piano black Shiny cabinets.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Aesthetics is too boxy/square like about 99% of all other speakers.
It all depends on your perspective!
Based on measurements and James' comments, this looks like a speaker with very high sound quality.
From his review:
Are they expensive? Yes, but you are getting your money’s worth.
So if you want your exotic cabinet, I think you can expect the price to increase another $500 or more!
Ultimately it is a design decision of whether to produce a value oriented high quality product or a more aesthetic but more expensive product.
I, for one, am happy to see both options available in the market so we have that choice!
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
It all depends on your perspective!
Based on measurements and James' comments, this looks like a speaker with very high sound quality.
From his review:

So if you want your exotic cabinet, I think you can expect the price to increase another $500 or more!
Ultimately it is a design decision of whether to produce a value oriented high quality product or a more aesthetic but more expensive product.
I, for one, am happy to see both options available in the market so we have that choice!
Best Buy with their Magnolia department, maybe they’ll have a pair. Closest to me 20+ miles. But last time I did a walk through there where No Polk LSiM anything. I wouldn’t mind checking out a pair
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
Contextually, I took it to be referencing the cabinet styling. :)
That’s my take, the review on Performance didn’t Suggests otherwise, maybe a better driver here or XO part here Instead of, Can be hard to read between one’s thoughts and facts.
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
So on-axis FR tolerance is about +/-2.0dB from 200Hz-10kHz, about +/-2.5dB up to 20kHz, which puts this bookshelf in the “accurate“ category.

Aesthetics is too boxy/square like about 99% of all other speakers.

People might buy these bookshelf speakers if they go on sale for 50% off. :D
Some don’t like the sound of a Accurate speaker, some don’t like a Neutral sounding speaker some don’t like tone flat or, on Axis off. some like hot bass even if it’s coloring the rest of the flat Neutral sounding speakers. Some like a “House” sound whatever that Analogy is just like all the rest of them. I wouldn’t bet Polk won’t sell a ton of that line at Full retail price.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
The reviews show the New Polk Line to be worthy against a possible range of speakers including KEF R Series, JBL HDIs, the new DefTechetc.

I think it has been demonstrated that this price point is bordering (if not obliterating the boundary) on diminishing returns. Yet many insist that there are worthwhile investments at this, and many higher price points.
And not all of them are flat/accurate/neutral... and some have their own house sound. *shrugs

The speakers one purchases are just as much about identity as anything else. (Why do so many still buy B&W 600s insisting they are the best available?)

Though Polk doesn’t seem to have ditched their “difficult to drive” reputation, they do seem to have stepped up their game, and I appreciate that.

I hope we see a comparable step up in more entry level gear! :)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
It all depends on your perspective!
Based on measurements and James' comments, this looks like a speaker with very high sound quality.
From his review:

So if you want your exotic cabinet, I think you can expect the price to increase another $500 or more!
Ultimately it is a design decision of whether to produce a value oriented high quality product or a more aesthetic but more expensive product.
I, for one, am happy to see both options available in the market so we have that choice!
Everything depends on your preference and personal taste.

I guess some people prefer square box shape speakers and some prefer more curvy shape speakers.

I hated when KEF went from the 207/2 to Reference 5 towers or 201/2 to Reference 1 bookshelf.

KEF 207/2:


KEF Reference 5:


I am glad B&W didn’t change from the 800/802D to some boxy square speakers.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
@shadyJ , point of clarification!
I don't know if it is worth an edit, but when you give one of the "Cons" as:

I am not sure what you mean.
Are you talking design aesthetic? Or are you making the point that in this range you would expect more exotic drivers? Or are you saying the sound character is tame (as in lacking dynamics?)?

Thanks to you for another thorough review!
I meant exotic as in aesthetics only. These speakers look nice but a bit reserved compared to a few others in their price range. My guess is that some of the people shopping for speakers in this range will want something more snazzy for the money spent. These look classy without being gaudy.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Not asking for any bean-spilling... but have you listened to the JBLs yet? ;)
 

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