Polk Audio Signature Elite ES60 review

Big sound on a budget

₹ 1,15,000

Surviving more than 50 years in the audio industry and convincing people they need better sound in their lives requires commitment. Lots of it. Thankfully, that’s something founder Matthew Polk and his troupe of intransigent audio engineers had since their Johns Hopkins University days in Baltimore, USA. Fast forward to 2024 and the brand is done convincing and is more into impressing their value-for-money proposition across various price points. Having consolidated the stereo speaker portfolio to just four lines, the Signature Elite is second from the bottom of the range. Within that range, the Signature Elite ES60 is the largest and most expensive model, featuring a 2.5-way design with substantial heft built into the cabinet.


Our review samples came with pre-installed feet that extend beyond the cabinet to stabilise the speakers on any surface and also made it easier to lug their 24kg bulk around. The relatively slender cabinets that hold a trio of 6.5in mid/bass drivers and a 1in terylene tweeter measure 8.5in across, making it convenient to place around in the room. Even more so than normal, thanks to the patented Polk Audio Powerport system that uses a downward firing port and an inverted funnel-shaped contraption, it smoothes out the airflow, dramatically reducing distortion and port noise. 

On the HF side, handling duties is a Terylene tweeter which is “Hi-Res” certified, meaning that it has a frequency response of up to 40kHz. The prying audiophiles will probably realise that even though humans can barely hear beyond 18kHz, the upper-order harmonics reach far outside this hearing range and have an effect on the audible frequency range too. This is true especially for Hi-Res digital sources that have sampling rates beyond 192kHz and depending on the kind of filters used by your DAC to process all that information, you may appreciate your new speakers that can play as high. Coming back to the material itself, the unusual choice of Terylene isn’t explained by Polk anywhere but it’s safe to assume that it meets all the criteria required for an HF driver - light, stiff and durable. Strangely though, Polk Audio has been brave enough to keep the soft dome completely exposed, without any sort of grille or protection whatsoever. There is a magnetic grille that of course covers the entire front baffle and is said to be designed for minimum diffraction. For the sake of this review though, we used it unattired.


Taking over the baton from the tweeter, a trio of mica-fortified polypropylene woofers get split with a cascading crossover so that the lower two drivers operate solely around the lower octaves while the midwoofer gets crossed over to the tweeter at about 2.5kHz. Bearing a pale copper hue and emblazoned with “Signature Elite” on the cones, they mean business and the combined surface area of three 6.5in drivers does make for a substantial low-end impact. The official figures claim a LF response of 36Hz and on electronic tracks like Pneuma by Marsh are presented with a punch that you can feel in your gut. Not something you’d expect from a slim floorstander with 6.5in bass drivers and a budget price point for sure. But it’s also not just the bass, but even the mids that sound open and highly resolved. Playing any track by Yello demonstrates the size of the image that the ES60 can conjure and the width of the soundstage extends well beyond the confines of the speaker baffle. For a four-driver speaker system, the ES60 does a fine job of being largely seamless from the top of the frequency range to the lowest registers it can muster. The soft dome tweeter is capable of a lot of energy and unsurprisingly, can be easily excited either by a poor recording, sterile amplifier, untreated room or all of the above. Fortunately, the Michi X5 integrated amp along with the Chord Hugo TT2 DAC and M-Scaler that formed the upstream electronics ensured that most of this excessive  energy was tamed. But different electronics will make it behave differently, so an audition with the partnering amp cannot be stressed enough. Of course, you could always play with the toe-in of the speakers and decide how much you want to face the tweeter response directly and again, taking time in the set-up process will yield rewards in your own room.

Polk also mentions phase correct crossovers and dynamically balanced drivers in their literature and moving away from the marketing spiel for a minute, it basically means that all the materials that make up the key driver elements have been chosen after careful analysis and with the intention to minimise resonance and distortion. Even the cabinet is braced and stiffened at key points so as to be more cost efficient without compromising on structural integrity. It all comes together in a sound that is cohesive, impactful and most importantly, entertaining. All this translates into a well-rounded speaker that sounds bigger and more expensive than its size or price would have you believe.


Considering its price, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES60 is a true bargain in the world of floorstanding speakers. Price notwithstanding, it is even a great overall speaker in its own right. Easy to place in any sort of room, prodigious bass response and the capability to throw open substantial soundstage if you place them out into the room. Sure it needs a bit of system matching to make it shine, but if you do manage to (or use Dirac to EQ it), you could build a complete Dolby Atmos speaker system for under Rs. 3 lacs! But even as the L/R anchors or standalone stereo speakers, the Polk Audio ES60 makes American hi-fi sound good!

Stuff Says

Phenomenal value for money, the Polk Audio Signature Elite is a product of science and it sounds like it!
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Easy set-up and placement in any room

  1. Big bass that is controlled and precise

  1. Open and wide soundstage

  1. Fit and finish in some areas lacking

  1. Tweeter can sizzle a bit

  1. Looks a bit dated

Drivers: 1 x 1in Terylene tweeter, 3 x 6.5in mid/bass
Sensitivity: 90dB
Frequency Response: 36Hz - 40kHz
Crossover frequency: 2.5kHz
Impedance: 4-8ohms
Dimensions (HWD): 44.5 x 8.5 x 15.7in
Weight: 23.6kg