Pros / This sound bar has great overall sound quality.
Cons / It doesn’t have HDMI ports or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Verdict / Live TV, movies and music all sound amazing coming through this versatile sound bar.
The Polk MagniFi One is one of the best-sounding home theater sound bars we reviewed. The audio quality from this sound bar is top tier, but it doesn’t have as many connectivity options as others. This makes it fall just outside of our best sound bars.
The Polk sound bar is small compared to others. It is only 2 inches tall, so it doesn’t block the remote receiver on your TV. It is also only 34.72 inches long, making it the smallest sound bar in our review. It doesn’t need much real estate, so you can easily make room for it.
All of the controls are located on the top of the sound bar, and all of the inputs are located on the back. When the sound bar is turned on, tiny lights illuminate across the front. These serve as your indicators when volume, treble (voice) or bass are adjusted. We wish there was an actual display with words instead of just lights. Displays make it easier to adjust sound parameters, but the lights work fine.
The first movie we watched was “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and the loud and booming bass was immediately apparent. There wasn’t a better sound bar in terms of bass production than the MagniFi One. The wireless 6-inch down-firing woofer created loud, rumbling bass that literally shook the walls when explosions happened. Of course, this could be adjusted if you want subtler bass. With the remote, you can adjust for more or less bass. It gives you total control of low-end performance.
We were impressed with the surround sound simulation from the Polk sound bar. When we watched “Star Trek Beyond,” it felt like the sound effects were coming from different areas of the room. During the scene where the bees (that’s what they call them) destroy the Enterprise, we could hear the cracking of the ship’s infrastructure in the distance. While the bees crashed into the ship the sound effects sounded like they were coming from both sides of the room. The surround sound was impressive.
Using the Voice Adjust button, you can raise the level of the vocals so dialogue can be heard loud and clear. As with the bass, you can widely adjust the level of the dialogue to your preference.
After our movie testing, we flipped the sound bar system to music mode and listened to “Nude” by Radiohead. We felt the sound quality was really balanced. The guitar work wasn’t too bright or loud, the bass wasn’t overbearing and the sound was dispersed throughout the room. Even during the climax of the song when the lead vocals are soloing and the heavy reverb of the backing synth is at its loudest, we could still hear the raking guitar work clearly. That same guitar would often get swallowed up as we listened through other sound bars, showing the Polk’s ability to maintain balance and not overemphasize one thing for another.
During “Madison Square” by Lettuce, we noticed the wideness of the soundscape. There are a lot of horn melodies along with keyboards and guitars during this song. Through the Polk, the song filled the room with big, bright horns that shined. The total quality was warm, with the subwoofer handling all of the bottom end without muddying up the sound quality. Other sound bars would overemphasize the horns or the guitar work, but everything remained balanced through the Polk. It was one of the best listening experiences we had with both movies and music.
This Polk sound bar is not Wi-Fi enabled, so you won’t be able to stream music over your Wi-Fi network, but it does have NFC Bluetooth. This means that your device (phone or tablet) will automatically connect to the sound bar when close enough. You don’t have to go into your settings and manually connect to the Polk. There is an optical port to connect your TV to the sound bar, but HDMI inputs are missing. HDMI is preferred because it can send higher-resolution audio data than optical cables can.
The TV sound bar comes with a remote that is small and has the potential to get lost easily. It's a bit too small to comfortably reach all of the buttons with your thumb, but it has a simple layout and good button spacing. Since there aren't many buttons or menu options, the remote is simple to use. You can change between the three different sound modes – sports, movies and music – using the remote as well as activating the nighttime setting. This not only lowers the volume but also softens the treble and bass when you are using your sound bar while others are asleep.
This TV sound bar is the only product in our lineup that has a three-year warranty. Other warranties are generally one year, but Polk offers an extended warranty, which shows confidence in its product. You can reach Polk via email and phone for any product inquires.
- Remote Control Range
This is one of the best sound bars in terms of sound quality in our comparison. It has booming bass and clear dialogue – all of which is adjustable to your preference. It does lack some connectivity, including Wi-Fi, and HDMI ports, but if you are fine without those options, this sound bar will surely enhance the audio in your home entertainment center.