Polk Audio is a well-known brand when it comes to audio products. They make quality speakers that deliver great sound. The two of their most popular speaker we are talking about here are the Polk Audio CS10 and the Polk Audio T30.
Both speakers are center channel speakers and fall into budget categories. Picking the right center channel speaker is crucial and should be done correctly, as these are one of the most important speakers, if not the most important, in your home theatre setup.
The Polk CS10 and T30 are two popular center channel speakers on the market today. Both offer great sound quality, but which one is the better option for you? In this article, we’ll compare the two speakers side-by-side and see which one comes out on top.
Let’s find out…
Design and Build Quality
The Polk Audio CS10 and Polk Audio T30 have a similar design, with a black finish and a removable grille. As you remove the grille, you’ll see the two main drivers with one tweeter on both speakers. Both speakers have the same size drivers and tweeters. You can find more about these drivers and their sizes below.
The t30 is slightly smaller and more compact, while the CS10 is a bit larger.
Both have the same height of 6.5inch or 16.51cm, but the T30 has a width of 19″ (48.26 cm) and 8.5″ (21.59 cm) height, whereas the CS10 has a width of 20″ (50.8 cm) and 6.5″ (16.51 cm) height. The Polk CS10 weighs 16 lbs (7.26 kg), and the T30 weighs 11.45 lbs (5.19 kg).
Regarding build quality, both speakers are well-made and feel solid and durable. Both are made of MDF wood, a high-quality material that helps minimize resonance. There are no cheap plastic parts or anything that feels flimsy.
In design and build quality, there is only one noticeable difference which is the angled top.
The Polk CS10 has an angled top that allows you to place the speaker in a different position, like you can place the speaker below the TV yet direct sound towards the listening area. The T30 doesn’t have this feature, it has a flat top, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
Overall, both speakers have great design and build quality. The Polk CS10 has a slight edge due to its angled top.
I’ll not waste any time and directly talk about how both speakers sound. However sound quality is very subjective so keep that in mind as you read this section. I will give my honest opinion about the sound and try not to be too biased.
Driver Size & Frequency Response
First, let’s find out the spec of both speakers, including the driver sizes, frequency response, and sensitivity, and then we can start talking about the actual sound quality.
On both speakers’ front, as the grille will be removed, you’ll see the two main drivers with one tweeter on both speakers. Polk CS10 and Polk T30 have a 1-inch silk dome tweeter and two 5.25-inch Mid/woofers.
On the rear side, both speakers feature one firing bass port. The frequency response of Polk CS10 is 53 Hz-25,000 Hz, and T30 is 55 Hz-24,000 Hz.
Sensitivity & Power Handling
The Polk CS10 is more sensitive than T30, with a sensitivity of 91 dB vs 90 dB. The Polk CS10 also has a higher power handling capacity, at 125 watts vs. 100 watts for the T30.
Both the Polk CS10 and T30 have a great bass response. The 5.25-inch drivers on both speakers do a great job reproducing low frequencies. The Polk CS10 has a slight edge in the bass department due to its higher power handling capacity and slightly higher sensitivity. The difference is unnoticeable, and the bass is not booming or too much; it’s just perfect. Both speakers have a very good bass response, and you won’t be disappointed with either one.
Mids & Treble
The Polk Audio CS10 and T30 have a great midrange, with clear and precise vocals. The treble is also well-defined and extends nicely. The 1-inch tweeters on both speakers do a great job of reproducing high frequencies.
The Polk CS10 sounds great. It has a very clear and accurate sound with good detail and airiness. The highs are crisp and well-defined, the mids are smooth and natural, and the lows are tight and well-controlled. The soundstage is good, with a nice sense of space and depth. The dialogues are very clear to understand, and even at the lower volume, you can hear them clearly.
So, which speaker sounds better? That’s tough to say. Both speakers sound great, and it comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a warmer and richer sound, then the T30 is the better option. If you prefer a slightly more detailed and accurate sound, then the CS10 is the better option.
Inputs and Technology
There is nothing much to talk about or mention about the inputs part as it is quite common and the same with both models. Both speakers feature gold-plated 5-way binding posts for the connection, which ensures a solid connection with your speaker wire.
Price & Reviews
The Polk Audio T30 is slightly more expensive than the CS10, with a retail price of $129.00 vs. $89.99 for the CS10. The Polk T30 is a great speaker, and it’s one of the best-selling center channel speakers on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 9,706 customer reviews. The Polk CS10 is also a great speaker, and it’s one of the best-selling center channel speakers on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 1,576 customer reviews.
So which speaker is the best? The Polk Audio CS10 or T30? Both speakers are great, but if we had to choose one, we would go with the Polk Audio CS10. It’s a bit cheaper than the T30, and it sounds great. If you’re looking for a great center channel speaker, we highly recommend the Polk Audio CS10.