Polk Audio Buckle Headphones Review: Did you know that Polk also makes headphones? Polk is well renowned for its speaker systems. One such example is the Polk Audio Buckle (MSRP $249.95), so named for its design that mimics a belt.
The Buckles have many advantages, including a distinctive appearance, a secure fit, strong components and good audio quality. But it doesn’t mean there aren’t some disadvantages. Given how expensive they are, it’s unfortunate that the headphones in our lab tests dramatically underemphasized melodic aspects and bass distortion.
The Buckles are cheap, about $146 online, even if they aren’t the pinnacle of high-end audio—you can purchase our favorites for about the same price. Beyond comparing price and performance, the look alone is a welcome change from the glut of anonymous all-black over-ears dominating the market. Check out below Polk Audio Buckle Headphones Review.
Despite being robust, this design is surprisingly comfy. The “belt buckle” style is certainly distinctive, even if you don’t like it. The boxy silver buckles are made of a cool-to-the-touch, matte-finished metal, and they connect the robust brown band to the earcups. The band is lined with elegant stitching down either side. Brown plastic surrounds the ear cups before giving way to plush, creme-colored pads. No other headphones on the market have an appearance like this one.
The Buckles’ durable construction and strong gripping force are clear indicators of their high quality, although, given all the gear they require, they do err on the heavier side. Despite this, they are comfy, and even after listening for an hour, I am glad they are on my head. However, compared to the Sony MDR-7506, the weight difference is noticeable during a long flight or another extended listening session. In contrast to the lighter Sony cans, you won’t ever forget to wear these.
The Buckle uses a removable brown cable that is lined with tough rubber. One of the strongest I’ve seen this year, the flex point at the jack is particularly well-protected and screams durability. The packaging also contains a 3.5mm to quarter-inch adaptor and a cream-colored travel pouch with a leather drawstring.
Instead of the typical three-button controller that many contemporary headphones have along the wire, these headphones include a spherical, selector with grooves on the back of the right ear cup. The selector is similar to a standard controller in that you can push it to answer or end calls, skip through tunes on a playlist, and adjust the level by rolling it up or down. Although it is a novel strategy, it is also a little obscure and will take some time.
The Buckles sound fine, but they’re not flawless. Overall, strong performance, although with some imperfections. Bass and treble tones are softly emphasized while the music is given a mild makeover. High, mid, and low frequencies are well-balanced and clear, but harder-to-hear parts in the upper-mid range are under-emphasized and practically invisible to the ear. The only significant audio defect is a loss of emphasis, which will be difficult to detect unless you attempt professional studio mixing.
In addition, I found very little audible distortion, even though the deepest bass components don’t always sound completely clear. Although it’s a small issue, we’d love the Buckles to have undistorted notes and unclipped frequencies for the price. The volume balance between each speaker is unbalanced in the Buckles. In the left speaker, some notes are louder than in the right, and vice versa. These minor faults, but many $200 headphones can do without them.
I’m astonished by how little sound the Buckles leak for over-ear headphones. While evaluating these cans, I’ve been blaring everything from Metallica to Daft Punk to Rush, … no one at work has asked me to decline the invitation or made any other attempt to judge my musical preferences.. The Buckles don’t block noise as well as active cancelers or in-ear headphones, despite their lack of leakage. Most sounds around you can still be heard, but extremely high-pitched sounds are significantly muffled.
Overall, this is a respectable performance, but it might astound you if you don’t know anything about high-end audio. The Buckles sound pleasantly subtle compared to the best over-ear headphones for consumers, although at a minor sacrifice to finer nuances.
The Polk Audio Buckles boasts a design that is a welcome break from the ordinary, The business has also blended its expertise in free-standing speakers with a sense of style. They are more than just a badge of accomplishment.
Although the sound quality is not audiophile-grade, it is hardly something to be upset about. A good balance between musical layers is achieved through subtle bass presentation and flat mid-tone emphasis; if not for the under-emphasis of mid-high-range notes, this would be a blue-ribbon sound.
On the design front, everything works out well. The Buckles are heavier than the typical over-ears. Still, they make up for it with exceptionally durable materials, of the highest quality, and have a distinctive appearance that is unmatched in the industry. Just be aware that the design comes at a slight premium and that several less expensive over-ear headphones are available that sound better than the Buckles.
In the end, if you enjoy the look, don’t mind spending a little bit more than is necessary, and aren’t fixated on immaculate audio fidelity, these are a good option. Wearing a belt on your head may seem a little strange initially, but don’t dismiss it before giving it a shot.
The frequency response of any speaker is a measurement of how strongly it accentuates each note, between the lowest bass and the highest treble. In our frequency response test, we use our Head-and-Torso simulator to feed a frequency sweep at 78 dB, which outputs an example of the frequency response of headphones.
The Buckles’ frequency response is one reason I claim they present a delicate soundscape. The Buckles slowly increase sub-bass to about 82 dB from a static 78 dB tone, but by 400 Hz, they are already somewhat under-emphasizing those bass tones at about 72 dB. By 4kHz, emphasis has decreased to as low as 59 dB, which is more than 20 dB quieter than the sub-bass frequencies.
Despite lacking the sibilant “punch” of brighter mids and trebles, this bass-forward emphasis doesn’t have a horrible sound. The main downside is that music tends to lose some of its original edges when played back via the Buckles because upper mid-range frequencies that occasionally depend on that rougher sound to push through to the forefront are muffled. I think you got all explain related to Polk Audio Buckle Headphones Review.