Polk vs Bose – Which brand is better?

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Polk and Bose are two of the best known brands in the audio industry, so it’s no surprise that people are continually trying to compare the two.

They’re two of the most popular brands around and for a good reason – they both produce some top quality products that you should be aware of. You can also consider Klipsch speakers.

If you are trying to compare the two, then this can be extremely difficult. Typically, Polk are the better option if you’re trying to install a home theater in your house – they are many peoples go to brand.

But if you want something like headphones, Bluetooth speakers and bookshelf speakers then you can look at Bose for these types of things.

Polk vs Bose

Overall, they both have their strengths – and weaknesses. It’s important to know the difference between the two so that you can work out which is a better option for what you need.

They both tend to have an above average sound quality, which is one of the reasons why they’ve become so popular. And whilst they sound good, prices tend to be reasonable for a Bose or Polk system.

Let’s have a little look at both brands so that we can tell the differences between them, so that you can work out which would be a better option for you.

Brand History

Bose were started in the mid 60s by Amir Bose – they’re an American brand, founded in Massachusetts.

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This hasn’t stopped them from global domination though – in the last 50 years, they’ve become one of the most dominant brands in the audio industry. They specialise in headphones, but they also produce other products like car stereos and sound systems too.

Polk are another American company founded in the 70s, which helped continue the run of American brands dominating the audio industry.

They’re well known for their Amps and their automobile speakers, but in recent years they’ve become more popular for their home speaker systems.

Especially speakers that you can hide inside your ceiling or inside your wall, which has become one of their most popular products.

Pros of each brand


  • One of the biggest pros about Polk is that their products are available at an awesome cost to quality ratio. Polk aren’t the very best quality of speakers, but they are one of the cheaper brands on the market too, especially for in wall speakers and good in ceiling speakers. So, you can’t complain too much about price, as they are definitely going to perform well.
  • They’re great for high pitched frequencies, because the majority of their products use a titanium dome tweeter. This is true for all of their center channel speakers, as well as their wireless subwoofer as well.


  • Bose are usually better known for Polk when we’re considering deep and heavy sounds – think subwoofers or a full Bose system. This means that when it comes to getting a full surround sound system, then they’ll be the better choice of the two.
  • Although this isn’t all they’re known for, and the brand nowadays has really become one of the premium lower cost brands out there. Like most brands, you’ll find the cheaper Bose options, but there are some more expensive Bose speakers out there too, depending on what exactly it is that you’re looking for.

Cons of each brand


  • The bad thing about Polk products is that they’re not the best of quality, and if you’re looking for an expensive high quality sound system, it might be worth upping your budget a little. For the majority of people, Polk speakers will do a good job. But, they aren’t top quality, so be sure to bear that in mind.
  • Whilst you can buy Polk speakers within a decent price range, there actually isn’t a great deal of variety to choose from with the brand. They don’t have a large selection of different speakers to choose from, with other brands having much better variety overall.


  • There aren’t many cons to Bose speakers, but the main one is probably the expensive cost. For what you pay for Bose products, you could probably get 2-3x as much equipment from Polk. And for most people, the difference in quality isn’t great enough to warrant this extra expense.
  • Another one of the common criticisms of the Bose brand is that their app isn’t particularly good. This means that if you’re looking for surround speakers for your home, then they may not be the best option out there.

Bose and Polk speakers compared

Typically, brands tend to specialise in a certain style of speaker. For example, Klipsch speakers are best known for their home theater systems, and they’re often the first brand people search for when they look for that style of stereo.

For Bose, they are best known for their Bluetooth and satellite speakers, which tend to deliver a fuller sound than other brands.

They’re also very easily used with other devices, and they have many models that you can use with Google assistant or Apple Airplay.

Polk typically make a great range of lower end in-wall and ceiling speakers that can be used to increase your room acoustics and deliver a clear sound all throughout your home.


If you’re trying to decide between these two brands, then it can be difficult to know which is best. For me, I’ve used Polk Audio equipment throughout my house – I’ve purchasing some of their Polk Ceiling speakers and I’ve been extremely happy with my purchase since then.

Polk are undoubtedly a good choice for your home system, but there are other home theater system brands that are comparable with Polk.

If you’re looking for a set of headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, then Bose should be your first port of call. They’re a good measuring point to other speakers, and they hold their own against other brands like Sonos. Bose do make some other awesome audio equipment too.

It’s very difficult to compare these brands, as nowadays they both have a reputation for their specific products – Bose for headphones and Polk for home theater. You’re unlikely to have trouble with either of these products in all honesty, and they’re both relatively high quality – especially for their price. Depending on what you want, you’ll find it with either of these two brands.

Last update on 2022-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

8 thoughts on “Polk vs Bose – Which brand is better?”

  1. Hi, I found your conclusions quite informative. As you stated, both have their respective strengths and weaknesses.
    When I was getting into Hi Fi I was loured into the world of Bose speakers and obviously paid for the satellite series. This was a mistake I was doomed to continue making till I became much more informed. Unaware that for any Bose dealer in Australia, Bose expressly prohibits their products to be with other speakers from other brands because they do not want you to be able to hear a comparison and once you hear that difference you will more than likely never buy the Bose speaker unless your looking at a very particular sound. Bose do make a wonderful range of Aircraft headphones as the noise canceling properties works great in allowing you to hear the control tower or others in the aircraft. As a general speaker that great in fooling you into thinking your hearing a much larger sound, they are very good. However, Polk do what they do best and have stayed true to making a affordable speaker for home theater and audiophiles on a budget. Personally I would steer clear of Bose if good affordable home theater on a budget is what your aiming for.
    Just my humble opinion learnt form 30 plus years of listening, flying, and learning.

  2. Modern Polk’s can’t compare to vintage Polk Audio. The new stuff in big box stores is junk compared to vintage Polk Audio. (The monitor series was an incredible bargain compared to the likes of Mark Levinson and the likes) If you compare Bose To vintage Polk Audio, there’s absolutely no contest, Polk Audio will blow Bose away. It’s a shame Polk sacrificed Audiophile quality for higher profits. If you look, you cans still find vintage stuff online. Definitely worth your time to look.

  3. I bought my first set of Polk Audio speakers when I was 15 (I’m 40 now). They are still the best speakers I’ve ever owned. Greatest $1000 I’ve ever spent. It was lawn mowing money. I’m a professional now. It’s well known “all highs no lows, it must be Bose”. They have paper cones with foam surrounds. Bose spends more on advertising than they do research. Polk uses polypropylene cones with rubber surrounds. Top it off with a tri-laminate tweeter. the two are not even in the same weight class. You won’t see me but Bose unless it’s stock.


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