The Polk SurroundBar is an audio system which uses the Stereo Dimensional Array technology for offering the best surround sound possible through a single speaker. You can get it for around $950 and it will become the unit which completes your room, especially if you already own a flat screen TV which lacks sound power.
The system contains seven drivers which measure 3.5 inches each and three tweeters. The sound offered by this unit is quite powerful and these small drivers certainly offer a lot more sound than what you’d expect. However, the lack of a subwoofer is noticeable and adding a separate one will make an important difference.
The system is 42 inches wide, 5 inches deep and 4 inches tall. It weighs 25 pounds, so wall mounting shouldn ’t be a problem.
Setting up the Polk SurroundBar
If you want to add a subwoofer, you can choose between the output of your receiver and the line level subwoofer output. Polk recommended the first option, but you should try both of them just to be sure. Either way, the sound quality will be drastically improved.
The SDA technology will use targeted phase cancellation, which means that the soundstage will be increased and everyone who is listening will enjoy the same surround effect. The sounds coming from the rear channel will appear as they are coming from behind you thanks to the Head Related Transfer Function. This technology is based on the shape of the human ear and the way we hear sounds. By delaying the sounds from the rear channel, you will get the impression of surround sound.
Even stereo music plays well on the Polk Surroundbar. All levels are balanced and complicated classical pieces will appear to be perfect, with no discrepancies whatsoever. The soundstage can be opened by switching the receiver to Dobly Pro Logic II Music mode.
If you used to watch movies on your flat screen TV without any additional speakers, using the Polk SurroundBar will be an incredible step forward. The quality of the sound offered by this simple unit will change the whole experience of watching a movie and you will be placed in the middle of each scene thanks to the surround effect.
Pros and Cons
Unfortunately, you will need to connect an additional subwoofer if you are looking for the perfect experience and an AV receiver is certainly required. The price of $950 might seem high, but it actually isn’t considering what you get in return. Conclusion If you have enough room and you really want to hear sound coming from behind you, a 5.1 or 7.1 channel system is exactly what you need. However, if you are looking for a small, stylish and affordable sound system which sounds better than many surround units, you should go for the Polk Surroundbar. The SDA technology performs admirably and the quality of the sound will always be top notch.
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