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Experiences with Polk RT25i Bookshelf Speakers (1 Viewer)


Oct 6, 2015
Real Name
Hi, all. I'm a novice with questions about the "they don't make them like this anymore" Polk RT25i bookshelf speakers.

I don't have the disposable income to be a true audiophile, but I try to be quality-conscious. Recently I replaced a home-theater-in-a-box setup with budget-priced but well-reviewed component pieces, starting with a Yamaha RX-V375 receiver and Yamaha YST-SW012 subwoofer. I've also just purchased a center speaker from Cerwin-Vega's AVS-5.1 system (reviews praised the center's performance and suggested it went against CV's [perhaps unfair] "loud but little else" reputation). I was excited to get a good deal on a pair of Polk RT25i speakers, especially based on their much-referenced rave Stereophile review. My system is in a small room, so I was intending to use the Polks as front speakers and keep my HTIB rear satellites until I found something better.

Unfortunately, the Polk RT25i's have been a disappointment. One speaker was noticeably quieter than the other; after checking my connections, calibration, placement, etc., I removed the woofer and discovered that the magnet had become separated and was loose inside the speaker. I reattached the magnet, which appears to be held on to the back of the driver with its own force and without glue, aligning the undamaged-looking overhung voice coil as best I could. That improved but didn't completely fix the level difference between the two speakers, but I'm still unhappy with the overall performance of them both. I have to crank up the volume to hear anything from them, and their low end is nonexistent. They sound out of phase, even though that's not the case. I suppose the high-end detail is impressive, but I'd prefer not to watch Blu-rays and hear every paper-rustle and lip-smack in perfect detail while any dialogue and music sound muffled and tinny. I thought maybe the RT25i's might work well as rear surrounds, but they even disappointed in that regard; the satellites I already have sound much better. The Polks' performance was unsatisfactory whether set as "small" or "large" with the receiver, and no matter how much I played with levels, equalization, etc. (the subwoofer crossover, which I have set to 80 Hz, is handled well between sub and receiver).

I believe the reattached magnet and voice coil are aligned correctly, and there's no visible damage to either speaker. I bought them on eBay from a seller who doesn't usually accept returns, so naturally they weren't overjoyed when I contacted them about the problem and requested a return and refund. (The speakers were sold as being in perfect working order, and I think a refund is reasonable based on the detached magnet alone.) Were my expectations too high; am I being too picky; is there a factor I'm not addressing; or are the Polk RT25i's simply overrated?

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 1999
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name

I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this problem happening, but if the magnet fell off the speaker is toast. There’s nothing that can be done to fix it, as far as I know, and you certainly didn’t actually fix it by sticking the magnet back on. You are justified to return them if the seller claimed they were in good condition. Actually I’m surprise that neither you or the seller didn’t hear the magnet clunking around inside the cabinet when the speakers were boxed or unboxed (it’s possible the damage happened during shipping) . Luckily ebay is good about holding sellers accountable for the claims they make, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting a refund.


Wayne A. Pflughaupt


gene c

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 2003
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
I think had a pair of RT25i's a few years ago, or something similar, and thought they were very bright. I didn't care for them either.

I had a magnet fall of the back of a tweeter from an old MB Quart speaker. Seller offered me a partial refund and ebay said "take it" so I did. Just putting the magnet back on by it's own force did make it function again but it was also quieter then the other speaker. I'll eventually replace it with another exact tweeter, when I find one (not presently looking real hard.

Use caution with those surrounds from the htib. They might be 4 ohm or less which would put a real strain on the Yamaha's amp section.

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