HTD Level TWO vs. Polk Signature Elite ES20

HTD Level TWO Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
$300 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.88” × 7.13” × 10.00”
302mm × 181mm × 254mm
14.80” × 8.50” × 13.80”
376mm × 216mm × 351mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
60-20,000 Hz 44-40,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of bookshelf speakers, HTD's Level TWO and Polk Audio's Signature Elite ES20 offer compelling choices for audiophiles on a budget. The Level TWOs shine with a warm soundstage and impressive clarity for their size, thanks to a silk dome tweeter that captures nuanced high notes. Meanwhile, the ES20s stand out with Polk's proprietary Dynamic Balance technology, delivering a punchier bass and a larger presence that can fill a room. Each set offers distinct sonic characteristics: HTD leans towards a balanced, detailed experience, while Polk favors a more robust, dynamic performance. Your preference might hinge on whether you prioritize vocal clarity or impactful lows.

Speaker Comparison

When we delve into the world of bookshelf speakers, we're often confronted by a slew of choices that can bewilder even the most discerning of ears. Today, I take a closer look at two intriguing options for the budget-conscious audiophile: the HTD Level TWO Bookshelf Speakers and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers. Both sets promise a fulfilling audio experience, yet they offer different takes on what it means to deliver great sound from a compact form.

Design and Build Quality

The HTD Level TWO speakers have a classic charm with their straightforward rectangular design and woodgrain finish. They're solid, understated, and would blend nicely into a traditional setup. The Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20, on the other hand, exudes a modern vibe with its sleek curves and stylized detailing, such as the unique power port bass enhancing feature. Its build quality is robust with a nod to contemporary aesthetics, making it a statement piece as much as an audio device.

HTD Level TWO Bookshelf Speakers
HTD Level TWO arrow (at

Sound Signature and Performance

Sonically, these two contenders differ as night and day. The HTD Level TWO bookshelf speakers are known for their warm and rich sound, favoring a pleasing balance over aggressive detailing. They handle midrange frequencies with a sense of intimacy, making them excellent for vocal-heavy tracks and acoustic performances. In contrast, the Polk ES20s are punchier and more forward, with a slightly brighter profile that brings out the sparkle in high frequencies and adds a sense of excitement to movie soundtracks and dynamic musical genres.

Diving deeper into bass response, the HTD Level TWO speakers, with their 6.5-inch woofers, perform admirably, delivering tight and controlled low-end without the need for a subwoofer in smaller rooms. The Polks, armed with larger 6.5-inch drivers and their patented Power Port technology, provide a more pronounced bass response that is both deep and powerful, albeit without compromising clarity or yielding to muddiness at higher volumes.

Imaging and Soundstage

Audiophiles often speak of the soundstage with a reverent air, and rightly so. The HTD Level TWO speakers create an intimate soundstage, placing you in the first few rows of a live performance. Their imaging is precise, allowing listeners to close their eyes and point to where each instrument is playing in the room. The Polk ES20s, meanwhile, present a broader soundstage that can fill larger spaces with ease. They offer a more diffuse and room-filling sound, which can be advantageous when watching movies or listening to orchestral pieces where a sense of space is paramount.

In terms of versatility, the HTD Level TWO speakers are more forgiving with placement and room acoustics, making them a great choice for less-than-ideal listening environments. Polk's ES20s demand a bit more attention to positioning and room treatment to achieve their full potential, but when set up correctly, they can be truly immersive.


Ultimately, the choice between the HTD Level TWO and Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers boils down to personal preference and intended use. For a warm, inviting sound that excels with vocals and acoustic instruments, the Level TWOs are an excellent pick. If you're after speakers that can deliver a more expansive sound with deeper bass and higher energy, the ES20s should be on your shortlist. Both offer compelling value propositions in their price bracket, and either would make a fine addition to your home audio setup.

Check Current Prices:

HTD Level TWO Bookshelf Speakers
HTD Level TWO Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.