“Since the founding of Polk in 1972, it’s been our mission to craft high quality, great sounding speakers that are accessible to everyone. For the people of Polk, designing and building authentic audio solutions is our true passion.”
The not-so-secret origins of The Speaker Specialists.
This is the story of a real handmade American original. Of three music-loving friends, bursting with new ideas and scientific know-how, and fresh from the hallowed halls of Johns Hopkins University. It’s the story of a world-spanning industry just beginning to find its first audience. And it’s the story of Polk.
In the beginning, there was Matt Polk, George Klopfer and Sandy Gross. They popped out of college in the early seventies with top-shelf physics and mechanical engineering degrees. They knew about stuff like The Haas Effect, and how Phase Distortion Synthesis affected audio signals, and at least three definitions of the word “amplitude.” But all they really wanted to do was listen to music at home.
At the time, options for home audio were sort of limited. Asian brands dominated a transistor radio world. Home-grown “boutique” builders of audio equipment were few and far between in the US. What they made was rough, expensive and impractical.
Matt, George and Sandy, no strangers to the concert arena, wanted that same great concert sound in their homes. But they didn’t want to spend whole paychecks to achieve it, and they didn’t want to clutter up their living rooms with loudspeakers the size of refrigerators, as was the current fashion. So they set about utilizing their various skills – audio engineering, manufacturing, promotion, and their “golden ears” – to design and build a loudspeaker that not only sounded better than what was available at the time, but was more practical.
It came together with their own hands in a ramshackle Victorian rooming house just outside of Baltimore city. It went through prototype after prototype. Slowly, as they assembled a team of skilled friends to help (many of whom still work here), they also assembled a loudspeaker that performed beyond anyone’s expectations. These new loudspeakers solved contemporary problems of clarity, depth and realism with organic technology based on real science, not tricks. The new loudspeaker would reproduce recorded sound with a higher level of lifelike detail and spaciousness. The new loudspeaker would not overwhelm anyone’s living room. And best of all, not cost a fortune.
The Monitor Series, first introduced in 1972, changed the home audio paradigm.
Still just a bunch of perfectly normal audiophiles.
Today, Polk remains a home-grown success story. As the largest audio brand of DEI Holdings, Polk is still proudly based in Baltimore, right where we started. Our engineers and designers now hold more than 65 patents for pioneering advances in audio design and technology. These innovations have influenced the audio industry many times over.
When you visit our Baltimore headquarters, you’ll meet sales people, service reps, engineers and technicians who also happen to be musicians (and musical instrument designers), audiophiles (and car-audio competition winners), home theater buffs, tube-equipment fanatics (still!) and even the odd vinyl LP collector. You’ll meet professionals who plug in their instruments and throw down some self-penned tunes during meeting breaks, and others who could teach courses on music theory or the physics of transducers. At Polk, music is still our passion and designing practical audio solutions that deliver lifelike performance is our mission.
We invite you to get involved: sign in, join us, chat with us, and get to know Polk. We’re here to have fun, and to enjoy great sound all around; from your basement playroom or the gym, to your home theater or video game setup, to your outdoor deck, your office, and even in your car or boat! Welcome to the great-sounding world of Polk!
"Polk is an American original, crafting audio experiences that deliver our iconic, engaging, authentic sound since 1972."