Technology & Engineering

Wide Dispersion Array

Truly Big Speaker Sound, without the Big Speaker

Today’s technology is getting smaller and smaller, but Polk was ahead of the curve when it comes to miniaturizing high performance. We were among the first to really perfect high performance sound from compact speakers. I’m thinking specifically of the original RM Series. In opposition to the lightweight, “paper cup and string” performance of small speakers at that time, Polk engineers developed heavier, non-resonant resin enclosures, highly mobile aerated polypropylene drivers, and tiny, powerful neodymium magnet structures that gave the RM Series true big speaker performance that fit into the palm of your hand.

The RM Series was a huge hit. It brought big sound, in a compact package, to small and medium size rooms all over the world. It made any room in your house into a home theater.

But it wasn’t easy. It was a great challenge getting truly big sound from a compact satellite speaker in the original RM Series. That’s because the smaller a speaker is the less air it can move. So a smaller speaker just naturally tends to produce a smaller aural image. (It just can’t play that loudly.) The original RM series overcame these limitations, producing surprisingly huge sound from small speakers.

But in recent years, even as audio tech gets smaller, Polk engineers have watched televisions get bigger and bigger. They decided to go back to the drawing board, and redesign the RM Series with new technologies to keep up with the increase in television size, once again raising the bar on the lifelike volume level of small speakers.


To keep the RM Series’ trademark compact design, while increasing its sound field, Polk engineers developed a new technology based on the acoustic principles of our traditionally sized F/X Series of specialized surround sound speakers. They realized that a compact, front-firing speaker can only do so much. Changing the speaker array increases the sound field exponentially. Wide Dispersion Array Design Technology achieves both goals: it keeps the RM Series compact, and projects a larger, more realistic sound field.

Wide Dispersion Array design features an enclosure with a unique new wedge shape, with drivers firing in two directions at once. The addition of the second driver delivers higher volume, better power handling, and even better low frequency extension; satellite-subwoofer blending is seamless and incredibly realistic. The Wide Dispersion Array design produces a wide, enveloping soundstage, while keeping cabinet size to a minimum.

The Wide Dispersion Array design also allows for much more speaker placement flexibility. This new RM Series design is optimized for placement closer to the left and right sides of your television than ever before. And because they’re mirrored, specifying left and right placements, achieving perfectly balanced sound and a more realistic dispersion pattern is foolproof.

Hear the Magic in the Compact RM8

You can hear the unbelievably rich, powerful sound of the Wide Dispersion Array design in the RM8 satellite speaker. RM8s are the front left- and right-channels of the RM85 System, and all channels of the high performance RM95 System. RM8 satellites are also available separately as a stereo pair, for additional channels in 7.1 systems, or beyond. Add the subwoofer of your choice and build your own compact, high performance home theater system with the big sound of the RM8 satellite featuring Polk’s exclusive wide dispersion array design.

This article was last modified on Mar 26, 2013

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