Home Cinema all around a single component, a soundbar, this is what Polk Audio wants to offer with the latest solution of the Polk MagniFi Series, the Polk MagniFi 2 Soundbar. Once again, this is a combination of a soundbar and a subwoofer, with the aim of achieving immersive surround sound using Polk SDA Surround Sound technology.
A sound bar is still the ideal way for many consumers to raise the sound of their TV to a reasonable quality level. Easy to install, discreetly integrated into the living space, and yet a result that is worlds better than without such a solution, even if one chooses solutions in the entry-level segment and thus at an attractive price. Especially if you choose a solution from a proven expert and not the inadequate solutions of a TV manufacturer.
One of these proven experts is certainly Polk Audio, a company that has been working for years on compact solutions and therefore knows exactly how to get maximum sound out of comparatively small systems. This has been proven with various soundbar systems, for example, and the product range in this area is now being expanded once again. This is the so-called Polk MagniFi Series, which has now been expanded with the new Polk MagniFi 2.
The outstanding feature of the new Polk MagniFi 2 is that it is a soundbar that is even supposed to offer immersive surround sound, for which it makes use of the so-called Polk SDA Surround Sound Technology. A dedicated 3D audio mode is supposed to generate virtual height channels and thus guarantee first-class, room-filling sound. The fact that this soundbar does not have to do without music streaming in the network via Google Chromecast or the simple integration of mobile devices via Bluetooth also speaks for this very universal solution at an attractive price.
Four full range drivers, two tweeters and an 8 inch woofer built into a separate subwoofer in combination with a bass reflex system provide the lively, powerful sound according to the manufacturer’s specifications. These are of course controlled by DSP-based signal processing, with several equalizer settings available on demand for film music and sports. A special night mode lowers the bass a little at late hours if desired, so that you don’t disturb your roommates or even neighbours. If desired, speech can also be moved into the centre of attention so that dialogues are clearly comprehensible at all times.
The surround sound promised by the manufacturer is, as already mentioned, realized by means of the patented Polk SDA Surround Sound technology, which was originally developed by the company’s founder Matthew Polk himself. SDA stands for Stereo Dimensional Array and is intended to provide four virtual height channels for immersive 3D sound.
The Polk MagniF 2 is capable of decoding signals in Dolby Digital as well as DTS.
First and foremost, the Polk MagniFi 2 is of course connected to the TV set via HDMI, although an optical S/PDIF interface and a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack input are also available as alternatives. HDMI inputs are also available here, namely three HDMI 2.0 interfaces, so that Blu-ray players, SAT receivers or game consoles can be connected directly to the Polk MagniFi 2. Naturally, content in 4K HDR is also looped through, HDCP 2.2 is supported, and the Polk MagniFi 2 naturally has both an ARC (Audio Return Channel) and HDMI CEC for central control of all essential functions with just one remote control, especially that of the television. Polk Audio refers to this as Polk Smart Remote technology, although it relies heavily on the HDMI CEC mentioned above, which is “standard” anyway. Nevertheless, the Polk MagniFi 2 is compatible with IR codes of the leading TV manufacturers and also has a learning function.
Apart from its actual task as a soundbar for the TV, the new Polk MagniFi 2 should also score as an all-in-one audio system, with music streaming being the main focus here. The integration into the network is done via WiFi and the Polk MagniFi 2 relies on the streaming platform Google Chromecast. This offers the immense advantage that a multitude of different services are available, be it Google PLAY Music, Amazon Music HD, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL…
Google Chromecast also offers the advantage that other streaming clients based on this now very widespread platform can be used in a network for multi-room audio streaming. In addition, voice control is also possible using Google Assistant, although the Polk MagniFi 2 cannot do this on its own, but can be used in conjunction with appropriate Google Assistant-capable speakers.
For all those who want to use their smartphone as a direct source, for example, no network is required at all; the new Polk MagniFi 2 offers Bluetooth for this purpose.
“While many soundbars significantly improve TV sound, few deliver a compelling immersive surround sound experience. With tools such as Polk’s patented SDA technology, 3D audio mode for virtual elevation effects, and Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, the MagniFi 2 soundbar takes a significant step closer to a multi-channel system – at a much lower price.Michael McCole, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Soundbars at Polk Audio
Finally, it should be mentioned again that the new Polk MagniFi 2 is designed as an extremely flat sound bar, so that it fits under any TV set without any problems. The height here is just 5.6 cm. Of course, wall mounting is also possible, whereby the corresponding drill holes are located directly on the back. The radio-controlled subwoofer is also very compact, so that it can easily be placed anywhere in the room.
The new Polk MagniFi 2 should be available in specialist shops as early as the end of July 2020. The recommended retail price is stated by the manufacturer as € 499. Also available are the solutions Polk MagniFi MAX as well as Polk MagniFi MAX SR and the Polk MagniFi Mini.
Getting to the point
The outstanding feature of the new Polk MagniFi 2 is that it is a soundbar that is even supposed to offer immersive surround sound, for which it uses the so-called Polk SDA Surround Sound Technology. A dedicated 3D audio mode is supposed to generate virtual height channels and thus guarantee first-class, room-filling sound. The fact that this soundbar does not have to do without music streaming in the network via Google Chromecast or the simple integration of mobile devices via Bluetooth also speaks for this very universal solution at an attractive price.