Polk plans to expand its custom selection with the May shipment of a speaker series that bridges the gap between the RCi entry-level series and the top-end LCi series. The new TCi series consists of two in-wall models at $599 and $449 each and two round in-ceiling models at $499 and $599 each. All are two-way models except for the three-way $599 in-wall speaker. All feature a toggle switch to optimize speaker response based on mounting location. If the speakers are placed near corners for aesthetic reasons, installers can flip a wall-distance switch that controls a pass-band filter. The filter in turn attenuates only low-midrange/upper-bass response to compensate for boominess that occurs when mounting the speakers near adjacent surfaces. Other brands of speakers use a simpler high-pass filter that attenuates the boomy region and the deep bass output.
Likewise, the speakers feature a tweeter-attenuation switch, which activates a pass-band filter to attenuate only the high-frequency range that's amplified by rooms with many hard reflecting surfaces. Many competing speakers simply attenuate the entire output of the tweeter. Optional back boxes are available for all models. When the boxes are combined with the bass efficiency-enhancing Power Port vents of the in-wall models, the result is "startling bass response in any wall," the company said.
The tweeters in all models are housed in a cup that swivels up to 15 degrees to improve imaging when the speakers are mounted in less-than-ideal locations. The in-ceiling models add bass/midrange drivers angled at 15 degrees to deliver improved midrange clarity and imaging to the listening position. All use the driver designs of the RTi freestanding speakers to create a tambour-matched mix of in-wall and enclosed speakers in a home theater system.