Setting Up Your Home Audio

• There's no sound when my SurroundBar®3000 is connected using the optical cable method?

Check to make sure the protective rubber caps found on the ends of the optical cable have been removed. If they haven't the optical cable won't fit properly into either the SurroundBar 3000 or your cable set top box.
Also check the TV's set up menu to make sure the Digital Audio Format is set to PCM instead of Dolby Digital.

•  I only hear audio from my SurroundBar® 3000 when I am watching a non HD or standard definition station.

Change the input connection method to the bar. The SurroundBar 3000 will need to be connected to your TV by using the Source 2 or 3 which is an analog audio input.
Connect the left and right channel analog audio output from your TV set into source 2 or 3 on the bar. This will require purchasing a separate audio cable from your dealer. The cable will need to be terminated with a 1/8 inch or 3.5 mm male headphone plug to two male RCA plugs.
Change the Digital Audio Format, in your TV's set up menu, from Dolby Digital to PCM.
•  I only hear audio from SurroundBar® 3000, but no bass from the subwoofer.

Check to make sure the channel ID selector switch is set to the same channel on both the SurroundBar and subwoofer.

Also, make sure to turn up the subwoofer volume on the supplied Polk Audio remote.

• On the RTS systems how do the Stud Lock Mounts actually work? Screw nut? Wing nuts? Bolt?

The STL105 (Stud Lock mount for RTS105) is screwed into the side studs with standard drywall screws in 3 places on either side. You then tighten down the captured screws and lock washers threaded into a welded capnut to lock the left and right sliding pieces in place. The STL 100 screws into the joists the same way, with drywall screws. You then lock the left and right sliding pieces in place with 6 molded finger friendly bolts because it's over your head and harder to reach.

• How far on the RTS do the Stud Lock mounting brackets stretch?

The RTS105 will open to 16-inch and the RTS100 can be adjusted to accommodate 24-inch ceiling joist spacing.

• Where can installers find PDF cut sheets for our RTS and IP products?

They are available now on our website on the right side of each product page.

• How do I get the little plastic inserts out of the binding posts so I can use banana plugs?

To satisfy inquiring minds, those little plastic plugs are there to satisfy European safety regulations. Turns out that Euro AC plugs and sockets are the same size and spacing of dual binding posts and banana plugs used in the US. So, not wanting anyone to ruin their speakers we put the plastic inserts in the ends of the binding posts.



For most of our models the plastic plug can be pried out with a sharp knife or tool. On some models, such as the LSi Series, you must first remove the binding post nut. Fully unscrew the binding post nut until it comes off. Use a small screwdriver, knife or nail file to pry out the plastic insert. Screw the binding post nut back on the post. Do one terminal at a time to avoid messing up the +/- color code.

• What type of speaker wire should I use?

We recommend that you get stranded cable that is specifically designed for use with speakers, not just lamp cord or (heaven forbid) telephone wire. Your choice of wire can effect the sound quality of your system and we recommend better-quality branded wire such as Monster Cable, Kimber Kable, AudioQuest or the like. For connecting lengths less than 25 ft. use either 18 or 16 gauge, for connection lengths greater than 25 ft. but less than 50 ft. use either 16 or 14 and greater than 50 ft. use 14 or 12.

• What's the best way to hook up my new powered Subwoofer?

Subwoofer hookup is fairly straight forward, typically requiring a single cable from the sub out jack of your surround receiver to the LFE input on the subwoofer. If your receiver or integrated amplifier doesn't have a dedicated sub-out connection you may run a right and left speaker wire from your receiver/amplifier's speaker connections to the corresponding right and left speaker level inputs on the subwoofer.

For the complete story on subwoofer connections, click here<>/aFor more general advice, read on.

A powered subwoofer can be hooked up to your system in several ways. There are two ways that seem to work best. First, if you have a spare set of Front Left and Right channel ""pre amp"" outputs, simply connect these to the low level inputs of your powered sub. If you have only one set of ""pre amp"" outputs and they are being used to drive the ""power amp"" inputs, you can split this signal with a ""Y"" connector and send the pre amp output signal to your power amplifier and your powered subwoofer. If you have a Dolby Digital (AC-3) processor use the Speaker Set-up menu to select front speakers as ""Large"" and Subwoofer ""No"" or ""Off."" This is not a typo. Trust us here, we actually know what we're talking about. Really.

If you do not have the option or ability to separate your pre amp from your power amp, the best way to hook up your subwoofer is with speaker wire connections. Run separate left and right speaker wire from your amp or receiver to the subwoofer. In most instances using speaker wire to connect your subwoofer will sound better and louder than using the mono subwoofer output on your amp or receiver. If you have a Dolby Digital (AC-3) processor use the Speaker Set-up menu to select front speakers as ""Large"" and Subwoofer ""No"" or ""Off.""

Use the mono subwoofer output on your amp or receiver only if you get sufficient volume and the low pass filter on that output can be switched off (a very rare feature). More detailed information on subwoofer hook up.

Specific hook up recommendations for each of the major types of loudspeakers:

Left And Right Front Speakers
When you are using the Front Left and Right outputs to ""feed"" the subwoofer (with speaker wire or line cable), always select front speakers as ""Large"" and subwoofer ""Off."" When using the sub output jack to feed the sub, sometimes the front speaker choice between ""Small"" and ""Large"" is not clear-cut. There are tradeoffs: When the main speakers are set to ""Small,"" you'll be increasing the top volume capability of those speakers and probably lowering their midrange distortion as well. The downside is that the more speakers you select as ""Small"" the greater the workload on the subwoofer, increasing the odds that you will overtax it. Also, you will probably get better blending between main speakers and subwoofer if the main speakers are run as ""Large."" Experiment and see what works best. Here are some speaker set-up suggestions based on typical main speaker types:

Floor-Standing With Built-In Subwoofer (Like RT2000p, RT1000p or LSi25) And No Additional Subwoofer In The System
Hook them up in the normal fashion with speaker wire as if they were regular speakers. If you are adventurous and looking for that last little bit of sound quality, remove the flat metal jumpers from the input terminals of the speakers. Connect the subwoofers with line level (RCA type) cables from the Front Left and Right preamp outputs of your electronics (use Y connectors as shown in Figure 7 if necessary). With either hook up, select front speakers as ""Large"" and Sub as ""Off"" in the speaker set-up function of your electronics.

Floor-Standing With Built-In Sub-woofer (like RT2000p, RT1000p, LSi15) And An Additional Subwoofer In The System
Follow the same hook-up instructions for your main fronts. If the sub out jack is unfiltered, connect one of the line inputs of the subwoofer to the sub out jack of your electronics and set the sub's low pass filter to taste. If the sub out jack is filtered, either use an unfiltered input on the sub (if it has one) or use a line input and turn the sub's variable low-pass filter all the way up. Set the Front L&R speakers as ""Large"" and Sub as ""On.""

Large Floor-Standing Speaker With Good Bass Response (RT800, RT16, LSi15 or LS90, For Example)
Follow the same guidelines as described above.

Any Speaker System That Does Not Have A Subwoofer In The System
Always select front speakers as ""Large"" even if it the speakers are physically small. Select subwoofer as ""Off.""

Bookshelf Speaker With Single 6"" or Smaller Woofer (Such As RT35i, LSi7) With A Separate Powered Subwoofer
Select front as ""Small."" If the sub out jack is unfiltered, connect one of the line inputs of the subwoofer to the sub out jack of your electronicsand set the subs low pass filter to taste. If the sub out jack is filtered, either use an unfiltered input on the sub (if it has one) or use a line input and turn the sub's variable low-pass filter all the way up.

Bookshelf Speaker With 8"" Woofer Or Dual 6"" Woofers (Such As RT55i, LSi9)
If the sub output jack on your electronics is unfiltered go ahead and connect the subwoofer to the sub out jack via the subwoofer's line in jack. Set the front speakers as ""Small"" or ""Large"" depending on whether your priority is louder volume or better sub-to-speaker blending. Set the sub as ""On."" If the subwoofer output jack is filtered we believe the system will sound better if you connect the sub to the Front Left and Right speaker level or preamp level outputs; set the Fronts to ""Large"" and the Sub to ""Off.""

Small Satellite/Subwoofer Systems, Like The Polk RM Series
Connect the subwoofer to the Front Left & Right speaker level or preamp level outputs, set the Fronts to ""Large"" and Sub to ""Off."" Resist all temptation to use the subwoofer output jack please.

Center Speaker
Few center channel speakers produce as much bass as a subwoofer or most main speakers. Unless you have a truly full-range (big) center speaker, set the center speaker as ""Small.""

Surround Speakers
If you're using bookshelf, on-wall or in-wall speakers as surrounds, select ""Small."" If you have large floor-standing surround speakers with good bass response, or have a second subwoofer for the surround channels (you're a bass freak, eh?), select ""Large.""

If you have connected your subwoofer to the subwoofer output jack, select subwoofer as ""On."" The subwoofer will now play Dolby Digital's dedicated Low Frequency Effects bass channel (AKA: the LFE channel, the "".1"" in ""5.1""), as well as the bass of any other speakers selected as ""Small."" If you connect your subwoofer to your system in any other way (such as via L&R pre-outs or L&R speaker outputs), select sub as ""Off"" in bass management. LFE and bass from channels selected as ""Small"" will now go to the Left and Right front channels, and be filtered out and played by the subwoofer which in turn feeds the filtered, low-passed signal to the satellites.

• Where do I place the surround speakers in my room for the best performance?

Unlike the front three speakers, that must produce sharply focused images, the job of surround channels is to envelop the audience in diffused sound known as ambience. To excel at this job, rear speakers should not call attention to themselves as sources of sound. For these reasons, surround speakers work best when elevated at least two feet above the seated listeners' heads (a height of six to seven feet above the ground is considered normal), and mounted on the side walls in line with or slightly behind the audience. If you are using front firing speakers, they should face each other so that the sound is projected over the listeners' heads.

If your seating area adjoins the rear wall, or if you cannot place speakers on the side wall, you'll have to position the speakers on the rear wall. In this case, we recommend bi-directional (bi or dipole) speakers, since they will produce the most diffuse effect. If you use front firing speakers, do not aim them at the audience as one would a front speaker, but point them straight forward so the sound projects past the audience. Another option is to mount in-wall speakers in the ceiling, slightly behind the listening area.

• What wire should I get? What gauge?

We recommend that you get stranded cable that is specifically designed for use with speakers, not just lamp cord or (heaven forbid) telephone wire. Your choice of wire can effect the sound quality of your system and we recommend better quality branded wire such as Monster Cable, Kimber Kable, AudioQuest or the like. For connecting lengths less than 25 ft. use either 18 or 16 gauge, for connection lengths greater than 25 ft. but less than 50 ft. use either 16 or 14 and greater than 50 ft. use 14 or 12.

• Why are there two sets of terminals on my speakers?

Ah, we thought you'd never ask. Those dual terminals are separate connections for the driver (woofer) and tweeter (in a two-way speaker) to allow for bi-wiring or bi-amping your speakers. Let's look at what those are and how to do them.


In bi-wiring, one cable pair delivers high frequency information to the tweeter and a separate wire pair delivers low frequency signal to the driver from the same amplifier. According to one theory, by providing each half of the signal a separate wire path, interference effects within the wire are reduced producing better sound. We're not in a position to explain in-depth, or for that matter prove or disprove this or any other theory. What we can do is tell you that in many systems, bi-wiring does indeed make an audible and worthwhile difference. The better the speakers and electronics you have and the more discerning a listener you are, the more likely bi-wiring will make a difference you will appreciate. I was shocked by the difference bi-wiring made with LSi9s in my listening room. The midrange opened up, becoming clearer and more detailed with improved three-dimensional imaging. Voices and other midrange sounds were more out of the box than with the single wire hookup. To bi-wire you need four lengths of speaker wire. For convenience and economy, most cable manufacturers offer bi-wire cable wherein two sets of cable are combined into one jacket. If you want to use the speaker cables you have now, just add a second set of the same cable. Be sure to remove the flat metal jumper cable between the terminal sets. Most receiver and amplifier speaker terminals allow you to connect two sets of wires as illustrated here. If that isn't possible with your equipment, you can use the 'A' and 'B' terminals and set the receiver's output to 'A+B.' It is all the same electrically but it is better to leave the 'B' set of terminals free for connecting remote speakers. If you have lots of time on your hands and love to experiment, try mixing different types of wire for high and low frequency duties. Always use heavy gauge cable for the low frequency path. Try smaller gauge esoteric cable for the high frequency path. With a little experimentation you'll find a combination of wires that works best for your system.


True bi-amplifying involves using an outboard electronic crossover, multiple amplifiers, and removal of the internal passive crossover of the speaker. We're not going to tell you how to do all that because it is expensive, entails a lot of work and unless you REALLY know what you're doing, you may get worse sound than you started with. Most folks drop the idea right about now in the explanation process. But a few brave souls try half baked bi-amping where two stereo amplifiers are used to drive one pair of speakers: one amp drives the low frequency section of the speaker and another drives the high frequency section and the passive crossover remains intact as illustrated. The benefits of bi-amping compared to bi-wiring are subtle, but like choosing wires you can try different combinations of amplifiers to tailor the sound. For example, many audiophiles prefer the smoothness and silkiness of tube amplifiers for high frequencies but feel that solid state amps do a better job on delivering high current punch for woofers. By bi-amping you can get the best of both worlds. But if the gains of the two amplifiers are very different from one another, the tweeter will play at a level very different from that of the woofer and you will wind up with sound that is obviously inferior to single amplification. If you're going to try bi-amplifying, use power amplifiers with identical gain settings or variable gain controls. Bi-amplifying is not for the faint of heart or the casual audio enthusiast.


• How do I hook-up my powered subwoofer?

In the majority of situations your surround sound receiver will have a connection, on the rear panel, labeled sub pre-out. You would need to run a single shielded coaxial cable (sometimes called an RCA cable) from this connection to your subwoofer. If your subwoofer has a connection labeled LFE this is the one your would use. The LFE connection eliminates any low pass filtering in the subwoofer and prevents any unwanted interaction between the filtering in the receiver and the subwoofer. If your subwoofer doesn't have an LFE connection you may make the receiver connection to either the right or left RCA connection and rotate the variable low pass filte' to the highest setting. Here again this will eliminate any unwanted interaction between the receiver and the subwoofer.

If your receiver or integrated amplifier doesn't have any connection specifically labeled for a subwoofer then you may run a right and left speaker wire from the receiver's speaker level connections to the corresponding right and left speaker level inputs on the subwoofer. Adjust the variable low pass filter to the lowest frequency that your main speakers are capable of producing. If you're not sure what that is, try setting the subwoofer to 100Hz and judge how it blends with the main speakers. If it seems a little too bass heavy and thick then reduce the setting to 80Hz. On the other hand, if the sound seems to be slightly thin and lacking weight, try increasing the setting to 120Hz. By careful listening and a bit of patience you will be able to get the sound to seem balanced and well blended.

If you have any questions telephone Polk's Customer Service at 800-377-7655 and they'll be happy to help.

• How do I maximize my bass performance?

The best way to address this concern is to add on one of Polk Audio's great sounding powered subwoofers. This is going to place the characteristics of what makes good bass information squarely in the hands of the listener. They will be able to use the adjustment capability of Polk's subs to adjust exactly the type and volume of bass they prefer. Polk's subwoofer do more than just add bass they allow the listener to contour the character of the bass and produce a personalized sound that matches what is important to you.

• Why does my SurroundBar® 3000 shut down after 15 or 20 minutes when using the analog Source 1 or 2 input?

The input Voltage level is dropping below 50 Millivolts and the SurroundBar will start the shutdown sequence. This can be corrected by changing the audio output in the TV's set up menu from 'variable' to 'fixed'.

• Where do outdoor speakers go? Can I mount them anywhere?

You can pretty much mount them anywhere, but for long-term considerations, a protected area such as under an eave would be ideal. Your goal should be to create the most even coverage over the area you intend to play music. You don't want the speakers too far apart or too close together, and we recommend spacing them evenly. For example, if the intended coverage area is 40 feet, we recommend putting one at 10 feet and the other at 30 feet.

• Why is my SurroundBar® 3000 very loud every time I turn it on?

The system has reset to the factory default settings. In order to retain your setting the system must be connected to an AC outlet that is not on a switched circuit. This also includes power strips and line conditioners, the AC power should remain on when your system is not in use.

• Are you looking for a Performance Enclosure for your in-wall product?

The secret to ultra high performance from your built-in speakers.

The magic behind built-in loudspeakers. Imagine that your speakers disappear, but they still sound great. No more big boxes next to your TV or scattered around your room. No more wires to try to hide in fake trim or under carpet. No more wires to trip over! This is the big benefit of built-in, in-wall, or in-ceiling loudspeakers. They take up no room space, but (if they are Polk Audio LCi Series built-ins) they deliver the high performance sound you crave. What makes Polk's built-in speakers different?

First, they're specially engineered to be built-in. They're not just speaker components with the box taken away. We design and engineer our built-in speakers from the chassis up to perform in your walls or ceilings just like traditional loudspeakers would perform. Second, we've developed an array of specialized technologies that give you even more control over the sound design of your space. You can read about the LCi custom audio controls here.

But we didn't stop there. We actually go the extra step to give you the opportunity to turn your wall space into a premium optimized speaker enclosure to boost your built-in performance even more. This is where we talk about Polk Audio's custom built LCi Performance Enclosures.

Adding custom built Performance Enclosures to your built-in speaker project is an incredibly simple way to turn your in-wall space into a properly tuned speaker cabinet, resulting in ultra high performance from your built-ins. Performance Enclosures are specially engineered boxes that fit snuggly between your wall studs, blocking the area behind your speaker installation within the wall space to create... an enclosure! Using a custom engineered enclosure within your wall behind your built-in loudspeaker guarantees you a more consistently dynamic, full-spectrum sound. Enclosing the space behind the speaker results in better low frequency extension, and reduces print through (sound escaping through your walls).

Professional audio wall treatments

Polk Audio Performance Enclosures are state of the art, constructed of high grade MDF and superior acoustic fill material. How easy are they to install? They come in sizes that fit securely between your wall and ceiling studs. Adjustable brackets make installation even easier, and keep the enclosure secure. Vibration damping foam pads ensure rattle free performance, so you don't lose any energy to vibration or resonance. Performance Enclosures can be easily installed in pre-drywall construction, if you've planned that far ahead. Your contractor or professional audio installer can retrofit Performance Enclosures in your walls or ceilings with a minimum of fuss (and a maximum of audio performance payback). Either way, having Performance Enclosures is like having a professional audio engineer come to your house and customize your wall space for your audio!

Polk Audio's custom built LCi Performance Enclosures give your LCi in-wall loudspeakers the performance edge, with a completely invisible perfect volume speaker cabinet hidden in your wall!

  • No Polk Audio built-in speaker models need Performance Enclosures to perform at their peak. Performance Enclosures are sort of like the icing on the cake of invisible speakers. They virtually guarantee performance that is as close to traditional speaker performance as you can get without the big speaker box in your room. But even without them, Polk Audio built-in loudspeakers will perform better than you could imagine!
  • TCi, SC and certain RCi models may also be used with Performance Enclosures for sound isolation purposes.
  • Have your contractor or installer order LCi Performance Enclosures by contacting Polk Audio's sales department 800-377-7655, option 3.
  • When using performance enclosures, rough-in kits are not necessary.
  • RTS Series speakers have performance enclosures already built-in!

Performance Enclosure Applications

LC65i, LC65F/X, TC65i*, SC65*
Polk Part Number: AW0167-B
55-5/8' (H) x 14' (W) x 3-3/8' (D) (141.3cm x 35.6cm x 8.6cm)

LC265i, LC265i-ip, TC265i*
Polk Part Number: AW0267-B
55-5/8' (H) x 14' (W) x 3-3/8' (D) (141.3cm x 35.6cm x 8.6cm)

LC80i, LC80F/X, LC80i-ip, TC80i*, SC80*, RC80i*, SC80-IPR
Polk Part Number: AW0182-B
20-7/16' (H) x 13 (W) x 9' (D) (51.8 cm x 13cm x 22.9cm)
Cut out diameter 9-3/8'

LC60i, TC60i*, SC60*
Polk Part Number: AW0162-A
43-11/16' (H) x 14' (W) x 5-5/16' (D) (110.9cm x 35.6cm x 13.5cm)
Cut out diameter 8-1/16'

• On my F/X® Wireless surround system, why is the playing volume so high?

If you have connected the F/X Wireless transmitter using RCA type cables move the connection from the surround to the surround back channel inputs on the transmitter. Also, check the rear surround volume level setting within the receiver's setup menu. If you have connected the F/X Wireless transmitter using a speaker wire method, then turn down the level for the rear surround channels in the receiver's setup menu.

• Why does my F/X® Wireless system turn off prematurely when I'm watching a movie?

When you are connecting the F/X Wireless transmitter using the speaker wire connection method make sure the rear surround levels are set 6dB higher than you have set the front and center channel speakers. This would be done on your receiver's setup menu. If you have the F/X Wireless transmitter connected using the speaker wire method, then try using the RCA line level connection. Use RCA type cables to go from the surround connections, on the receiver, to the surround female RCA inputs on the F/X Wireless transmitter.

• Why can't I get my F/X Wireless transmitter to sync to the speaker module?

There can be several potential causes. One could be that there is too much Radio Frequency (RF) interference. As a test, try moving the system into another room in your house to see if it now works properly. Another possibility is that another electronic device is causing problems. Move the F/X Wireless transmitter away from other electronics, such as the TV, cable set top box, DVD player or CD player. Even moving it further from your surround sound receiver could help. You can do what we call a hard reset by unplugging the power supply from the F/X wireless transmitter for about 30 seconds and then replug. You may also have to do this same procedure with the speaker module.