Updated Entry at Bottom. *edited headline* "It's good, better than Sony A8H sound."
Reseñado en los Estados Unidos el 16 de marzo de 2021
This is a good sound bar, that borders the cost that I do not think it worth it. The sound system is just a 2.1 setup, with two woofers that port sound out the sides, and at least two tweeters I can identify from the front that are close the the middle. It lacks EARC, instead going with the older tech of ARC, and it doesn't seem to like adjusting the volume from the TV from either Optical (which my older polk audio sound bar could do) or the ARC port. I chose to go optical in the end as I saw no benefit what so ever to use the ARC as I didn't want to switch to a remote to change inputs just to change inputs again using the remote offered here. The google home interaction is strictly streaming audio from your phone to the sound bar or adjusting the current sound. It is not a very convenient interface when trying to control this sound bar, but it does make as a good backup if you lose the remote and that did happen to me once so far. The sony A8H remote is connected via bluetooth, so many functions are not IR, and rely on the connection from the tv to the bar. The older polk audio bar was able to adjust volume this way, however, this one fails. I do not use that older polk audio bar as it was not better than the A8H sound, even though it was better than the Samsung Q90T.
Now sound quality. It does have good sound quality, but lacks the higher frequency response. The speakers can sometimes get overwhelmed from content that is playing. I only noticed this on busy music like that of the Anime Jujutsu Kaisen that I watched with my son, as the opening sounded strangely garbled and toned flat. But on the TV's speakers was clear and crisp. We chose to continue use of the sound bar, after wall mounting it, finding that it offered a slightly better range verse sitting on the entertainment stand. Voices were clearer on wall mounting it. Speaking of voices, I found that the voice controls were a bit.... weak. The sport setting seemed to be the best, and the 3D mode had moments were it sounded better, but the 3D effect was mild at best. I found that Yamaha did a better job at 3D sound projection than this bar does and many of their bars are much cheaper. Every Atmos bar I tested also did better sound projection than this, and most of them where cheaper (not better sounding in some.) Sound wise, this is different, it took me a bit to love the sound profile, it was different than what I was used to, but I can say I love it. Despite the lack of Atmos support, which I think this bar would benefit separating out sound objects so it doesn't get garbled in the 2.1 setup, I found that I liked this sound profile on most things, from sports, to movies, to shows we frequently watch. Surprisingly, I found that kids shows seemed to do the best on this sound bar.
The sub on this is a bit powerful for what I like, so I did turn it down a couple of notches. It does a great job, but I also feel it was a bit large for me. However, my last polk audio bar had a much smaller one and I love the sub setup this has better so it's a weird balance that I don't think has been mastered just yet.
This bar though, made me feel like polk audio is falling behind their competitors when it comes to sound. Sony, Yamaha, Samsung, Bose, Sonos, and many more have technologies that edge Polk out more and more. Clarity is a issue with this bar, even if quality isn't. I feel like Polk is struggling here to keep up, and tried to stick with things it did well in the past more then innovate. For instance, I noticed how similar this bar looked to the Magnifi Max, and that solution was found at a similar price to this Magnifi 2 at a sale price as of writing this of 399.99 and a refurb at 279.99 and that uses a more true surround sound setup to accomplish its' goal and that is awesome. Same sub, same main bar design, with some cosmetic alterations. I feel like Polk needs to flesh this out, and maybe drop the price, because it is good, just not 399.99 good. Even 350 or 300 would be good prices here as it puts it in the pit with the actual competition it has. And not at the good Dolby Atmos soundbar level pricing.
A list of things I would like to see.
Better Google home support.
Functional control from the TV.
Dolby Atmos sound or better sound isolation of some form so that garbling doesn't happen. Clarity is needed.
Cost does not match performance I think.
Things I liked about this soundbar.
-Clarity when not busy.
-Really good mids and lows.
-Voice isolation (but this needs some more help.)
-Sounds even better when wall mounted.
-Edges out the Sony A8H built in sound overall, even though the A8H does better when things are busy.
-It looks very good.
-Audio books are good for this sound bar, and so is most music.
-Sport and 3D are good modes, (every other mode seemed to make the clarity problem worse though.)
Honestly, I hope this helps Polk though as I love their products overall. But this bar did shake me a bit as I have heard other options that were better, some of those options were 100 to 300 more than this, but a couple were actually cheaper. I like this bar, but it can be better and it is very clear about that.
Update: Recently I decided to switch back from Optical and try the HDMI Arc option. The update I received some months back was pushed through the Google Home app. I wish I got a detailed list of what the update did though.
On optical input, I had a periodic issue, where after turning off the TV, our sound bar would scream at us some 10 minutes later for a few seconds. It was persistent and occurred several times a week.
So in comes HDMI Arc again, with the hope it actually works unlike before where I could get sound but no control. Good news, ARC works on the Sony A8H now. Honestly, it even sounds better. I have no intention of changing my star count, as of updating this, the bar was around 500 dollars and I feel like this is a bar worth around 350. There are clear contenders that meet or exceed this bar at a price that even cost less than 400, have better spatial sound, and meet the sound quality this bar offers.
Stereo sound still suffers from being overwhelmed, but voices and sounds in general are more crisp over the HDMI arc now in comparison to before, and I am able to use Dolby Digital Plus now verse optical where I just had Dolby Digital.
I found out you can get two satellite speakers and sync them to this bar but I do not know how well that will work but it can turn this bar into a truer surround experience that could fix some of the issues I have with this bar. I think the model number is Polk Audio's SR2 Wireless Surround and advertises Magnifi 2 and React soundbar compatibility. I hope this update helps.
-A update improved the bar.
-Bar sounds better after update.
-Price still hard to justify and I suggest waiting for a price drop.
-Optical input would cause periodic soundbar screaming at me... Possibly because it hates that I am using the old format input.
-Spatial 3D sound still inferior to some other options in the price category.
-There are Rear Speakers you can get for this bar now called the "Polk Audio SR2 Wireless Surround."