Polk Audio DB651 Review
The level of detail in the construction quality on this marine-grade speaker is above average and unmatched by most speakers. Being a component speaker, installation is simple considering it’s got installation gear included as well. The sound quality is also above average from the power handling to the sensitivity and impedance.
No matter how many friends are accompanying you on the road, your road trip can be made much better by having an outstanding set of speakers.
Whereas a quick search on the internet for the best will bring innumerable results, it may disappoint you to find that most of these are actually not as good as they claim to be. Getting the best is not all about going for the most expensive and neither is it about the brand.
Regardless of the low odds of actually getting the best, we were obliged to look for something that will be worth every penny- thePolk Audio DB651
If you’re looking for something that delivers an outstanding sound quality and has just as good a design, then the Polk Audio DB651 is definitely meant for you. In this section, we'll be looking at even the tiniest details on this 2-way car speaker.
Well, how about we get started right away?
Normally, I’d like to start off with the most obvious which in this case is the fact that the Polk Audio DB651 is a 2-way speaker. Most vehicles come with a coaxial speaker system, right? Owing to the fact that this speaker too, does fall into that category, installation won't be a hassle whatsoever.
As a matter of fact, they are the perfect set of speakers as far as DIY installation is concerned whether or not you have done speaker installation in the past. As for the fit, replacing your stock speakers will be quite simple.
Owing to the fact that both the woofer and the tweeters are handled by the same driver, you won’t have to worry about perfectly positioning wither of these.
Yet another thing that guarantees easy installation is the fact that most OEM speakers measure 6-1/2”. Considering the Polk Audio DB651 measures 6-1/2" / 6-3/4", getting a perfect fit won’t be a problem at all.
Other than just being one of the few perfect replacements for your stock installed speakers, there is a multi-hole mounting pattern and a shallow depth magnet design. This saves you quite a lot of time and proves less cumbersome as well.
To make the installation procedure easy for you, you’ll be getting speaker grilles, the installation hardware and the owner’s manual alongside the pair of Polk Audio DB651 speakers.
In a nutshell, as far as installation is concerned, the Polk Audio DB651 has indeed put a lot of time, effort and resources to ensure that you get as much flexibility as possible.
A perfect fit for all
Whereas other speakers may get you worried about the fit, this one has you covered. With the Polk Audio DB651, you’ll be getting 6-3/4 adaptor rings which will make it easy for you to fit the speakers in most European vehicles which would hardly be the case for other speakers.
In addition to having the 6-3/4 adaptor rings, the speaker has been constructed with a new multi-hole mounting pattern as well as a shallow magnet design. Each of these features makes the drop in installation amazingly easy.
Top-of-the-line build quality
Upon putting this set of speakers alongside other coaxial speakers in its class, you’ll definitely see that this one will stand out.
A durable rubber surround.
Around the woofer cone is a durable butyl rubber surround. If you’re really after getting a quality bass, then the surround is something you should not take chances on.
Of all the surround materials you’ll get out there, a rubber surround is probably the best you’ll get; let’s find out why, shall we?
First off, if you’re all about getting a quality bass, then you should go for a surround that is as flexible as possible. Considering we’ll be getting rubber surround in our case, you’ll simply be dealing with the best. Rubber allows for optimal movement of the cone and upon doing so delivers the bass from the woofer with utmost clarity and quality.
Something else that makes rubber a preferable choice over the other surround materials is that its level of durability is one of the best. When exposed to extreme temperatures, rubber tends to hold up quite well and more so, it won’t be affected by moisture whatsoever as is the case in surround materials such as foam.
In a nutshell, rubber tends to give you quality sound over the longest period of time.
Silk polymer dome tweeters.
We’ve already had a look at how the surround on the woofer is; now let’s take a look at how the tweeters will hold up, shall we?
Owing to the fact that the tweeters will be handling the high frequencies, it's always best that the surrounding material on these should be as soft as possible. In our case, you'll be getting the silk polymer dome tweeters.
The reason as to why silk is a preferable material to use on tweeters is that it results in the production of higher frequencies smoothly.
Whereas other tweeters may be made out of silk alone, the fact that those on the Polk Audio DB651 are a blend of silk and polymer means that they are quite ideal when it comes to high power handling. With the polymer reinforcement, the dome will be much stiffer and more so, there will be an improved damping.
The end result is that you’ll be able to get a high-volume output and simultaneously maintain a high accuracy level and keep things smooth.
The woofer cone.
We’ve already seen how the high frequencies will hold up now how about we take a look at the low frequencies, shall we?
In order to ensure that you end up with only the best bass quality, you’ll need to go for a woofer cone that’s got the perfect balance between rigidity and lightweight. In the case of the Polk Audio DB651, you’ll be getting a dynamic balance polymer/mica composite woofer.
Polymer alone will work quite well since it’s both rigid and lightweight hence it will have the best sensitivity. Owing to the fact that you’ll be getting a polymer-mica blend on this speaker, the bass quality will be twice as good since the stiffness of the cone will be increased and so will the sensitivity accordingly.
Something else worth taking note of about this cone is that even at high volume, the roll-off will be smooth and the response rate will be quick. In a nutshell, you’ll not have to worry about any distortions whatsoever.
Considering the fact that you’ll be having a rubber surround around the woofer cone, the bass response will be quite outstanding.
A high-temperature voice coil
Yet another feature that makes this speaker worth every penny is that it comes with a high-temperature voice coil.
The coil on the Polk Audio DB651 is a low-mass 2-layer Kapton voice coil. Being one of the things that determines whether or not a speaker is good enough, the voice coil is one of the most sensitive and easy-to-damage parts on a speaker. It is therefore important that the cone be as good enough as possible when it comes to working under high temperatures.
In the case of our 2-layer Kapton voice coil, you’ll enjoy a cone with a high melting temperature which means that even when supplied with high amounts of power, it won’t succumb to damage that easily. With such a voice coil and a polymer-mica cone, you’ll enjoy a bass like no other.
The frequency response.
Considering this is a coaxial speaker, one of the things that you should really pay close attention to is the frequency response and mostly on the lower end of the scale.
The frequency response in speakers is normally within the range of human hearing and in our case, the lowest possible frequency you can get will be at 35Hz whereas the highest possible frequency will be at 22,000Hz.
With such a frequency response, the highs will be equally as good as the lows, don't you agree? Considering there is a built-in 2-way crossover network included in the Polk Audio DB651, both of these will be isolated to give you a music experience like no other.
Speaking of a 2-way crossover network, let’s have a look at what it’s all about in our next point, shall we?
A high pass and low pass crossover filter
One of the reasons as to why most people do not go for the coaxial speakers is the possibility of the lows and the highs being jumbled up. Taking this into account, Polk audio has included a built-in crossover that separates the low frequencies from the highs.
Though this will not exactly perform as good as it is the case in the component speakers, the sound quality you’ll be getting from your pair of the Polk Audio DB651 will be outstanding. As compared to other speakers in its class, I’d say that this is a definitely worth every penny.
With the low frequencies going to the woofer and the highs going to the tweeters, you'll definitely have a better soundstage.
Swivel mount tweeters.
Besides just including the high pass and low pass crossover on this speaker, there is also a flush and swivel-mount tweeter included on the Polk Audio DB651.
The fact that this is a flush and swivel mount tweeter makes it more customizable. You can be able to point it to your desired direction so that you end up getting a good soundstage.
The best part about this set of speakers is that they come with mounting hardware included as well as a user manual each of which will prove quite handy when working on the tweeters. Well, if you are on a budget and are looking for a quick speaker upgrade for your vehicle, then this might just be what suits you best.
We’ve already seen that the magnets play a huge part in ensuring that the installation of each of the speakers goes as smoothly as possible. Besides this, let’s see how they hold up when it comes to sound production.
Are they really worth it? Let’s find out…
It may surprise you but the fact is that when it comes to speaker magnets, they’re not all the same. Whereas other magnets may just give you an average sound quality, speakers constructed with the neodymium magnets offer much more as far as precision is concerned.
Since this is used in both the tweeters and the woofer, you'll also be getting high-frequency reproduction just as good as the bass. Considering you can pivot the tweeters as per your preference, positioning these speakers perfectly will give you as much musical detail as you desire.
Style and quality all in one.
Now here’s something that you’ll rarely find in most coaxial speakers. Other than just having a rubber surround and durable woofer and tweeter cones, the overall construction will definitely catch your eye.
For the sake of durability, all the mounting hardware you’ll be getting is exclusively stainless-steel meaning that it will maintain that shiny look and strength at the same time. As for the grilles, you’ll be getting the ABS type which besides giving them a stylish touch will also protect them from any physical damage.
Something else that’s worth pointing out about the construction of the Polk Audio DB651 is that they are marine certified. This deems them suitable for a wide range of applications other than just using them in your vehicle.
A speaker won’t be any good if you’d have to put up with sound distortions every now and then, would it?
In order to ensure this would not be the case in the Polk Audio DB651, the engineers used laser imaging in the construction. This resulted in coming up with the perfect materials for a distortion-free sound. With distortion being eliminated, you’ll be getting a smooth frequency response with no overlap of the highs and the lows and amazingly sharp detail.
The Klippel optimized components also ensure that you get a consistently clear sound. And as for clarity, the Polk Audio DB651 has got the dynamic balance driver technology to make sure of this.
Yet another thing that we need to take a look at is how good the power handling capabilities of the Polk Audio DB651 are. Let’s start with the RMS.
With each pair of the Polk Audio DB651, you’ll be getting an outstanding 120-watts of RMS. The RMS is simply the continuous power within which the speaker can run without any risk of getting damaged.
With as much as 120 watts for the pair and 60 watts on each individual speaker, you’ll definitely be getting the best sound quality on both the high and the low frequencies.
When it comes to the peak power, each pair working together gives you 360 watts which are quite ideal for the production of a loud bass momentarily.
Though you may be tempted to exceed the RMS as far as continuous power is concerned, you may risk blowing the speakers despite the fact that they have a high-temperature voice coil. You may also end up getting a distorted or lagging sound once in a while once you exceed the RMS hence it’s quite important that you observe this range.
A 4-ohm impedance rating
Yet another thing that should not be overlooked on any well-performing speaker is the impedance rating on the speaker. On each speaker in our pair, the 4-ohm impedance you’ll be getting will definitely be enough.
As far as car speakers are concerned, the lower the impedance is, the better off you are and the greater the RMS power you’ll be able to utilize. With the 4-ohms therefore, you’ll be getting an outstanding bass and owing to the fact that that there is a high-temperature voice coil included, you'll not be at the risk of blowing them
92 dB Sensitivity
Besides the impedance rating, the sensitivity is yet another thing that needs to be paid close attention to. What the sensitivity simply does is to ensure that you get a sound with high volume and utmost clarity and simultaneously optimizes power usage.
With as much as 92 dB which is also above average as far as sensitivity is concerned, you’re guaranteed to get the best sound quality from this pair of speakers.
Conclusion- our final take on the Polk Audio DB651
We’ve already seen what the Polk Audio DB651 is all about and it is now time to wrap things up. The build quality is quite outstanding from the grilles all the way down to the cones. As for the sound quality, I’d say that both the highs and the lows are above average.
If you're looking for the perfect aftermarket set of speakers or just an upgrade, I'd highly recommend these. Though they are not exactly audiophile grade, they’ll give you a kick for your buck.
All in all, though they’re marine-grade speakers, proper maintenance is recommended nonetheless if you want to keep them going for as long as possible.