The people from Polk first started to get into the market of sound bars in 2005. They have created a few models since and all of them were better than what most people expected. Now, it is time to review the SurroundBar 50. This system is larger in width than most sounds bars around, but it also looks better than them. The design is simplistic, without any unnecessary LED lights or screens. This is a passive system, so a secondary piece of equipment is required.
This sound bar is not your average black, rectangular shaped unit. The rounded shape is unique in the world of sound bars, but it looks great. You can get the Surroundbar 50 in black or titanium and both of these options look equally attractive. The unit is quite large in width: no less than 51 inches. The rounded shape makes it easily mountable in front of your TV without blocking the view or the signal from your remote control. It is only 4.5 inches high and 5 inches deep and weighs around 15 pounds. These measurements are perfect for 50 inch screen TVs, but you can fit it along any other system as well. If you don’t want to place it in front of your TV, you can always mount it on the wall, a set up which will certainly look stylish.
The set up process is easy thanks to the included bracket. On the interior, the Surroundbar 50 contains nine midrange drivers which measure 3.5 inches each. They are accompanied by three tweeters which measure 0.75 inch each.
Setting up the Surroundbar 50
The people from Polk highly recommend adding a sub to the SurroundBar 50 and you shouldn’t forget about this recommendation. This unit wasn’t built to work alone so you can’t use it without the proper equipment and expect high quality sound on all levels. The user guide should make things easier when it comes to set up, so keep it close to you.
One of the biggest problems that sound bars have to face is different room shapes. Most systems will use the bouncing sounds of the walls technique and the result won’t be that great if you have large furniture pieces or anything but a perfectly square room. Luckily, the SurroundBar 50 is not based on this technique. It will generate surround effects directly from its speakers through the SDA surround technology. The virtual sound will be produced through signal processing and the result will be better than what you get from most audio systems. This technology was developed by Polk and it certainly brings something new to the table.
When listening to music, you will notice a clear difference between playing it from a CD and playing form a DVD or Blu-Ray. If you have most of your music on CDs, you should find a way to get it on DVDS because the quality difference can’t be neglected. All music genres will sound amazing, so you shouldn’t worry about this aspect.
If you are getting the SurroundBar 50 for movies, you won’t be disappointed either. It offers great clarity in all sorts of situations and the dialog will never sink under explosions or other ambient sounds. The surround sound is present, but like with all other systems of this kind, you won’t get the full effects. This is the limitation imposed by having a single speaker instead of 5 or 7 across your room. Those who are sited right in front of the system will hear better sound than those who are on the sides. The effects of a HD movie will be fairly good since the SurroundBar 50 offers a reasonable sound stage and high quality sound on all levels, especially if you have a subwoofer.
Pros and Cons
On the downside, you will have to buy a separate subwoofer and you have to connect this passive system to your own amplifier or AV receiver. You should be aware of this before you decide to purchase the SurroundBar 50, so make sure that your budget can cover these expenses. Also, if you plan on watching a movie with a bunch of your friends, those who will be sited on the sides of your couch won’t notice the full surround effect.
Buy Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 Surround System (Single Speaker, Black)