Polk T15 Vs Pioneer BS22 are bookshelf speakers that are available in a similar price range. Both of them have received plenty of positive reviews from their users. They are mostly praised for their great power and generally distortion-free performance. So, which one is better? The comparison between Polk T15 and Pioneer BS22 below will help you decide!
What we will discuss in this article include
- The design and build quality of each speaker
- The diameters of each speaker’s tweeter and woofer
- How many watts that each pair of speakers can handle
- The sound quality of Polk T15 Vs Pioneer BS22
- Which pair of bookshelf speakers that is more recommended for you
Polk T15: Overview
Polk T15 is a set of stereo speakers which offers crystal-clear performance, thanks to the company’s exclusive Dynamic Balance Drivers technology for wide frequency response and minimized distortion. Each speaker here features rubber driver surround which improves the accuracy of the frequency response as well as the durability. Also, each speaker comes with a magnetically shielded enclosure to prevent distortion when the unit is placed near a video monitor or an audio wire. See also: M-Audio AV32 Vs Mackie CR3
One of the selling points of Polk T15 is the fact that the speakers have been sonically-matched to work in synergy to provide superb stereo performance with good detail and proper sound separation. In addition, the speakers are easy to set up, and they support Dolby and DTS surround technologies in order to form a surround home theater system when used with Polk’s tower speakers and subwoofer.
Polk T15 comes with dynamic-balance silk/polymer composite drivers with neodymium magnets. It easily delivers a lush soundscape with enjoyable sound. However, upon more careful inspection, there is an obvious conflict between the woofer and the tweeter, and this can be a problem if you need impeccable accuracy for monitoring.
Polk T15: Design and Build Quality
When it comes to design, there is no surprise that the price becomes a limiting factor. The company has opted for standard black MDF enclosures, which you can also find on many other speakers in the market these days. If we compare the aesthetics of Polk T15 vs Pioneer BS22, there is no denying that Polk T15 is inferior, as the black finish is really plain.
On the good side, the build quality is indeed very good. The composite baffle does a great job in keeping everything intact. Furthermore, each speaker here is actually fitted with a 5.25-inch driver, which is notably larger than what most bookshelf speakers in the market now have, along with a 0.75-inch tweeter. As the effect, you can expect the lows and mids to be good.
One interesting feature of Polk T15 is that the porting is on the front instead of the rear. There is a good reason for this. If you take a look at the rear, you can find a keyhole slot for wall mounting. In other words, a rear port will be a problem when the speaker is mounted on a wall. By placing the port on the front, there won’t be a problem with wall mounting.
Polk T15: Performance
The speakers are quite powerful. In fact, if we compare the raw power of Polk T15 vs Pioneer BS22, the 100-Watt peak power handling of Polk T15 easily takes the cake. Still, it is not completely flawless.
The peak power handling is 100 Watts, with a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms. You can easily get music with enough volume to fill a large-sized room. In addition, the magnetic shielding of the enclosure makes Polk T15 very versatile. You can use these speakers for pretty much any application. You can use them as bookshelf speakers or to complete a surround system. Placing them next to your television won’t cause any distortion issue.
As expected from the 0.75-inch tweeter, the treble is clear and well-defined. The treble is accurate and can be pretty bright. Moving towards the midrange, you will be impressed by the solid sound and excellent definition. The bass is pretty good, but keep in mind that these are still bookshelf speakers. You should not expect them to output ground-shaking rumbles like what a real subwoofer can do. Nevertheless, the bass has good accuracy and clarity.
Another issue is that there is an obvious conflict between the woofer and the tweeter. Around the 2.5-kHz frequency, there is an abrupt transition between the mids and highs. This is apparently because of the lack of a crossover to take care of the transition between the woofer and the tweeter. Fortunately, this issue is easy to overcome. When you have the time, you can tweak your EQ in order to smoothen the transition.
Nevertheless, Polk T15 has no difficulty working in a surround system with other speakers. In fact, having a subwoofer can be a major improvement to the overall sound, as the subwoofer will ensure more powerful bass. In a surround system, the Polk T15 speakers should serve as frontal or dialogue speakers, where the clarity and definition of the mids and highs will be very beneficial.
Pioneer BS22: Overview
Calling Pioneer BS22 beautiful is probably a stretch. However, most people will agree that the simplicity of these speakers has some attraction. The obvious wood pattern adds elegance to the overall appearance. Nevertheless, Pioneer BS22 is not only about the look; these speakers actually go for optimal performance before anything else.
The Pioneer BS22 speakers offer very rich midrange, which makes them an excellent choice for enjoying any well-recorded voice. Meanwhile, the reproduction of the highs is kind of interesting. Instead of going for the most extended treble, just like what other inexpensive bookshelf speakers go for, Pioneer BS22 features a gradual roll-off towards the extreme highs, hence keeping the realism of high-frequency instruments while integrating and balancing the lower and upper highs.
The clarity across the frequency response range is impressive. The overall sound is balanced, accurate, and very enjoyable. The transition between the woofer and tweeter is nice and smooth. The only weakness is that there isn’t much reach into the lower bass.
Pioneer BS22: Design and Build Quality
In terms of construction material, Polk T15 vs Pioneer BS22 are similar. The Pioneer BS22 speakers are also made from MDF. However, there is no baffle on the front. Each transducer is given its own surround.
The speakers are very compact, and they come with black, somewhat glossy wood-grain vinyl. Pioneer BS22 is visually pleasing and able to fit into pretty much any environment with any kind of décor.
However, some people may still find these speakers to be overly simplified. Indeed, there is no on-board feature besides the audio input ports. This is where people either like or completely dislike these bookshelf speakers. Then again, if you want a pair of feature-packed speakers, you will need to spend more money.
The specs here include a 4-inch woofer that comes with oversized magnets and a structured surface. Then, there is a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter sitting comfortably inside a subtle waveguide. Keep in mind that the maximum power handling is 80 Watts. It is already powerful enough for a medium-sized room.
The most attractive feature of Pioneer BS22 is the 6-element complex crossover which ensures superbly smooth transition between the mids and highs. Another notable feature is the shape of the cabinet, which is slightly curved and tapered towards the back. People tend to mistake this as a purely aesthetic touch, but the shape of the cabinet is actually also for breaking the standing soundwaves inside the cabinet and ensuring rich yet accurate sound.
Pioneer BS22: Performance
When it comes to affordable bookshelf speakers, they usually rely on the transducers that are put in them in order to output sound. However, without a proper design, this often causes very obvious dips and drops in certain parts of the frequency response range. Sometimes, a simple crossover can’t solve such problem.
Pioneer BS22 was released as an answer to such problem. It has pretty much set a good standard for compact bookshelf speakers in the low-end price range. The 6-element complex crossover is surprisingly very effective in ensuring smooth transitions between highs, mids, and lows. We are not only talking about the transition between the midrange and treble; the performance is really flawless between different frequencies in the treble, different frequencies in the midrange, and so on.
The only real weakness of Pioneer BS22 is the somewhat shallow bass. Of course, this is a direct result of using a 4-inch driver. To be fair, the clarity is excellent. But you need the help of a dedicated subwoofer if you really want to get ground-shaking bass.
Polk T15 vs Pioneer BS22
In general, Pioneer BS22 is more recommended. Although the peak power handling is slightly lower, the overall sound is better. The speakers have excellent clarity across the range, and the transition between the lows, mids, and highs is very nicely smooth. In addition, the speaker looks more elegant with the wood grain vinyl.