Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Sound Bars here.
Major motion pictures and popular TV shows aren’t just meant to be seen; directors also take sound into account when planning explosive action scenes. You can't experience movie magic through your TV's small built-in speakers. Sound bars are an inexpensive alternative to large speaker sets that cost thousands of dollars. Sound bars simulate surround sound in a small home theater, and the Polk SurroundBar 5000 is one of the best options available. This unit provides deep rich sounds that many other sound bars can't match. This speaker has excellent sound quality.
The Polk SurroundBar 5000 delivers deceptively powerful sound that is crisp and clear. Some sound bars that promise virtual surround sound produce more hallow sounds that almost sound muffled. The Polk speaker is one of the best sound bars you can buy because
Some of the best sound bars have up to 7.1 channels. The SurroundBar 5000 is only a 2.1-channel speaker, but combine this bar with the wireless sub, and you will get as close to true surround sound as any unit in our review.
This sound bar doesn’t have the most convenient design. When you prop it up, as it's meant to be situated, the device is a couple inches higher than most sound bars. This is tall enough to block the bottom of the screen if your TV stand is short. However, the speaker is equipped with infrared passthrough, so you can still use your TV remote even if the sound bar blocks the sensor.
This speaker includes multiple sound modes, which you should expect from a high-end sound bar like this. With different sound modes, you can choose presets for whatever program you're watching. Do you need a movie mode where your sound bar sets the levels for a more cinematic experience? Maybe you’re listening to a newscast and need the dialogue to be clear. Having preloaded presets makes it easier for you to choose how each experience should sound without having to resort to trial and error.
The Polk SurroundBar tries to be as wire free as possible. First, it comes with a wireless subwoofer. The subwoofer adds another dimension of rich sound to the system. If you want to connect media devices like iPods or tablets to your system, the SurroundBar 5000 has Bluetooth connectivity. This is perfect if you want to add a little music to your room without having to connect your phone or tablet, although this system does have MP3 player jacks if you are so inclined. Finally, this system comes with a standard optical cable to connect your TV to your sound bar.
Polk offers one of the better warranties for sound bars. The SurroundBar 5000‘s speakers are covered for three years and the subwoofer is covered for a year. Most other sound bar manufacturers offer a standard one-year warranty on their products. The hope is to never use the warranty, but most people won’t complain for a little extra coverage time on their products.
Polk’s website is not as user-friendly as some of the other sites that we perused. Polk also lacks a live chat option that some big manufacturers offer. This company does offer email, phone and FAQs on its site though.
This Polk sound bar is ideal for any home theater aficionado who wants to fill a small space with powerful audio. Sound bars simulate surround sound without as many separate speakers, as well as being more budget-friendly. The Polk SurroundBar 5000 is one of the better solutions on the market because it delivers nice crisp sounds and performs at a high level.