The Polk Audio S55 floor speakers performed well when compared against models that cost hundreds of dollars more. Because of their unique downward-firing port, you can place them close to a wall without fear of sound reflection. The S55 are available in either black or walnut, so you can choose the finish that matches with your current home theater furnishings.
Because these speakers only have one 6.5-inch low-frequency driver, we initially thought they would have little to no chance of competing with models like the Fluance Signature Series that have larger 8-inch woofers, especially when we played bass-heavy music or watched action movies. The Polk S55 proved us wrong. The combination of a well-designed polypropylene driver and a uniquely engineered cabinet produced some of the most accurate and pleasing bass frequencies we heard, particularly in our movie-listening test.
These speakers also produced good results in our music-listening test. In fact, when we played “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk for panel of evaluators, a couple of them said the Polk Audio S55 sounded better than any other speakers we tested. For a few brief moments during the song, the bass seemed to cut through the mix better than some of the vocal frequencies, but this a minor fault compared to some of the glaring inefficiencies other speakers had.
Polk suggests powering these speakers with an AV receiver or amplifier that is capable of 200 watts per channel of continuous power. That power rating, along with an efficient 90 dB sensitivity rating, means that these speakers can easily play a wide variety of content at volumes over 100 dB without distortion.
The one problem we found with the cabinet design was the plastic feet attached to the bottom. They may be susceptible to breaking, especially on harder surfaces, if you rock the speaker back and forth.
It was hard to find a fault with the Polk S55 floor speakers’ cabinet design or the sound they project. They deliver a smooth and natural sound in any size room and look good while doing it. However, they're old, so you'll find better picks in our best soundbars guide.