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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound, No Fuss.
I'll start with my current set up and what my expectations were. I have a 47" Philips LCD TV, all the major gaming systems, and I also use my LCD TV as a computer monitor. I was looking for a speaker system with a subwoofer for around $400. I didn't want to buy a receiver if I didn't have to for my set up. I had researched and heard several soundbar systems before...
Published on November 23, 2009 by Tenor At Law

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left without highs...
Bought this product after listening to built-in "3D" sound bar in new Mitsubishi LCD TVs. Shopped around and this appeared to be best "self powered" sound bar out there. I was definitely disappointed for the price and compared to my expectations based on the Mitsu TV. It does not even compare. But then again it doesn't have 16 speakers either. The Polk sound bar does...
Published on January 19, 2010 by devats


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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound, No Fuss., November 23, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
I'll start with my current set up and what my expectations were. I have a 47" Philips LCD TV, all the major gaming systems, and I also use my LCD TV as a computer monitor. I was looking for a speaker system with a subwoofer for around $400. I didn't want to buy a receiver if I didn't have to for my set up. I had researched and heard several soundbar systems before deciding on this one. All of my gaming systems and my laptop connect directly into the TV through HDMI cables. The speakers are connected to the TV through the "TV Out" connection. Overall, I am very, very happy with it.

The soundbar itself is smaller than expected. The mid and high rannge sounds are great. One concern that I had with soundbar systems was the ability to hear dialogue. Many soundbar systems I listened to had muffled dialogue that was difficult to hear at times. This soundbar does not suffer from any of those qualities. Dialogue is easy to hear from all sources.

The subwoofer has very good bass output. One of the nicest things about this system is the fact that the subwoofer is wireless. I have a smaller living room, and 8 foot ceilings, so for my space this subwoofer is more than adequate. As other reviewers have noted, a seperate 5.1 or 7.1 system and seperate receiver have the potential of creating more robust sound. You have to consider the space you are working with and of course, your budget. The Polk soundbar is by far better than any speakers that an LCD TV can offer.

The best part about this system was the ease of set up. It took literally less than ten minutes to take everything out of the box and connect it to my TV. My universal remote control is used to adjust the volume. This system is great deal for the price, and the best part about the system was the ease of set up. It sounds fantastic, and provides a very full and pleasing bass. I am completely happy with this purchase, and I would buy it again in an instant.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice, September 20, 2009
By 
SherryMarie (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
I purchased one of these because my husband is an old rocker and his hearing isn't as good as it used to be. He'd given up watching TV on our 46" Samsung LCD because of muddy sound. I don't know whether we blew a speaker (which we've done on every other stereo and car we've owned) or whether it was just the tiny, tinny speakers in the TV. (Time out for pet peeve: We paid a LOT of money for this TV 2 years ago; you'd think they could put decent speakers in it. OK, back in) He was always asking me what people had said. I wasn't sure one of these would 'fix' it, but it did. We pulled it out of the box and plugged one cable into the wall for power and one into the TV for audio (actually 2 together, you know how they do left and right, red and yellow). We turned the TV speakers off and started enjoying TV immediately. Then my son insisted that we had to use the subwoofer. I thought extra noise was part of our problem and didn't want to add anything more. We plugged it into power and placed it behind my husband's chair. Wonderful. You don't actually hear stuff from this, more like you feel the sound. And this woofer is wireless, so other than needing power, you can put it ANYWHERE in the room. Apparently it's not like the 3.1/5.1/7.1 speakers where placement is so critical (at least according to those audiophiles). And it only took a few seconds to train our remote to drive it. You hold down a button and count the blinks. When it reaches 3 or something it's programmed.

So, easy setup of soundbar, able to use existing remote, and decent looking design. What's not to love.
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69 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little system but.., March 3, 2009
By 
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
It gives a good bang for the buck but there were a couple of issues that I had with it. Firstly, it is very easy to setup and install which is a plus. The wireless sub fits conveniently anywhere in a room and provides a nice bass. Where is the remote? Where are the directions? These things were not in the box. I am guessing the remote wasn't supposed to be there. It took me a few days to figure out that when you turn the tv off and on the sound bar will automatically sense input from the TV and then turn itself on without having to manually press the power button which is nice. But I would have liked to have read that in a manually and not figure it out for myself. Overall I love the simplicity that this system provides and combined with good performance I would recommend it to someone who doesn't want to hassle with a big surround system but wants something a little extra in the sound department.

EDIT: I was able to find directions online that show you how to synch it to any universal remote. I also found my directions under the couch after a few weeks. Guess I should have looked more. Overall this is a great system for a small to medium room. A must have for those weak speakers that come with your tv.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Soundbar on the Market, June 17, 2009
By 
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
I bought a 40 inch Samsung LED TV. Purchased a Samsung soundbar first, but returned it because it had poor sound reproduction. Tried a Sony soundbar but returned it because it had low volume. Next tried a Boston Acoustic soundbar, but found out that it only was a TV enhancer.

Finally came across the Polk HIC soundbar at Best Buy. A little pricey, but the sound quality is GREAT! Had everything that I wanted, a wireless subwoofer, learns your current remote and has great surround sound, and simple to install. You cannot do better than a Polk (top of the line)sound equipment.

Don't fool with the rest, just buy the best. Also, available online at
Amazon.com, and other websites.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Sound Bar + Sub-Woofer Packs a BIG PUNCH!, February 8, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
I researched a number of sound/surroundbars for over a month and after reading reviews, listening to soundbars in Best Buy and considering convenience and how I already have so many wires behind my TV already, I decided on the Polk SDA Instant Home Theater. I must say I am extremely happy with my decision!

This sleek, user-friendly surroundbar, plus wireless sub-woofer (it doesn't get much cooler than that) is awesome! It took less than 10 minutes to remove from the box and set up. It also learned my cable and television remotes instantaneously. I have the soundbar resting securely on the pedestal of my Samsung 52" and it doesn't block the screen at all. The ONLY negative thing I have to say about the combination of my TV and soundbar is that it blocks the TV remote sensor. For this reason I plan on wall mounting the sound bar above the TV when I move into my new apartment.

Let's get to the sound quality of this little bad boy. The thing is awesome! I immediately popped in a couple blu-rays to really test out the quality of sound, and "I Am Legend" (the opening scene when Will Smith is driving his Mustang around the city, hunting deer) sounds AMAZING! I could hear every purr of the engine, the pitter, patter of the deer running, etc. I could dissect every track of sound and hear every sound effect individually. I then put my TV speakers back on to hear the difference and every sound blended together and sounded muffled (who wants that!?) Video games also sound superb and again every track of sound is so crisp!

The other thing that is GREAT about this system is that it actually balances the sound levels of dialogue and music when watching dvds and blu-rays! I'm sure most people have noticed that when they watch movies the dialogue is always very low and hard to hear, and the sound track is extremely loud. Most of the time I even have to turn down the volume on the TV when music begins to play, and then back up again when dialogue resumes. I have always found this to be really ANNOYING! That is no longer a problem with this system. The dialogue stays nice and loud and clear, and the music stays right at the volume level it should.

The sub woofer really adds an extra punch and delivers crystal clear bass! Unfortunately I have downstairs neighbors so I have not been able to fully test how much bang I can get from the sub, but I cranked it up for a minute or two just to see what it can do and wow!

All in all I am extremely pleased with this purchase, especially since I got it at the Amazon Warehouse open box price and saved over $100! I do agree with some reviewers that it does not deliver TRUE surround sound, but at times it does sound like certain effects are coming from either the left or right of me and not from the sound bar itself. It is pretty cool, but I've noticed this mostly on blu-rays. Regardless the sound that comes from this single speaker system and sub-woofer is crystal clear, and loud! It adds the much needed umph that my TV speakers fail to deliver and I would recommend this system to EVERYONE looking for GREAT sound minus the headache of a timely hookup and unattractive wires all over the place. Oh, and I don't know why so many people complain about it only having analog inputs. I am almost certain that the sound can not get much better and most people would not be able to tell a difference if it offered an optical audio input. Stop complaining about the little things and enjoy the movie theater quality sound! That's it I'm done :)
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Deal, July 3, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
Polk Audio AM1805-A SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) Easy to install and sounds great. More than I hoped for. Hooked up to a 58" Samsung with a Samsung BluyRay , feel like I'm in the Movie Theater. I would recommend this to a family member or friend. Thank You, Paul F. Smith
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended stereo IHT!, April 7, 2011
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
I do own this, just bought on another site. But here's my impressions of it so far...

SOUND QUALITY/PERFORMANCE (RATING: 5 of 5) & FEATURES/EASE OF USE (RATING: 4 of 5): I have absolutely NO complaints about the audio quality of the mids and highs on the surroundbar. This reminds me of a 2.1 speaker set up, meaning the surroundbar acts like a pair of main front speakers with a subwoofer. I am especially impressed with the vocals/dialogue quality. In-between action scenes, you can hear them talking very clearly, it's not muffled or low. Many will be disappointed that there's no Optical Input feature, but this is described as SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array). It won't replicate a true 5.1 surround system, but a 2.1 sound experience is still very good and much improved over the stock speakers that come with LED/LCD and Plasma HDTVs these days. I could not find an Analog Audio Out on my tv, so I plugged the cable into the blu-ray player which is probably better anyway since it's directly connected to the source. Allow a few hours for the break-in period, although it sounds great right out of the box. Also, the surroundbar has no digital display (not a good idea Polk Audio), so it's tough to tell what level volume you're at, just gotta play it by ear until it's loud enough for your taste. Still, this isn't a major setback, just more of an inconvenience. Subwoofer is down-firing which works well if it's a set up on tile or hardwood floors. But for those who want to use it in their master bedroom (like I did), you'll have to turn up the bass volume at least 75% due to carpet flooring even though I put it right next to my bed. As for the sub's power, it's more than enough to fill a bedroom or living space of an apartment or condo. I tested it downstairs and the surroundbar/sub is still sufficient to fill an average-sized family room in a house, but unsure if the sub will provide enough bass for a very large room. I recommend increasing the sub up to 90% max volume in those cases. The sub feels balanced, doesn't over-power the surroundbar and very convenient that it's wireless, so it easily can be placed anywhere with a power outlet nearby. If you prefer more *thump* for a subwoofer, this IHT (Instant Home Theater) may not be for you (may be better off buying a soundbar and more powerful sub separately).

MISC. NOTES: Size is compact for a soundbar (31.75" x 4.5" x 4"). I like the matte finish (vs. glossy finish), less reflective surface is preferred since I placed it in front of the tv. Surroundbar does have some weight to it, so make sure it's properly mounted on the wall. Otherwise, it has rubber feet and sits very close to the surface. If you prefer some height to it, use the two stands included, that's what I'm using. It has rubber lining on the stands, so it's secure and won't slide off easily. Be aware that it may block the remote sensor if placed in front of the HDTV. Another minor inconvenience if not mounting the surroundbar onto the wall. Some soundbars are very short in height and don't pose a problem in blocking the remote sensor, but the sacrifice is smaller speakers and possibly less sound range quality. I found that Polk Audio's surroundbar to be a good combo of size, not too tall that it blocks the tv screen and not too long that it exceeds the length of the tv or would interfere with other equipment placed nearby (i.e. cablebox, blu-ray player, etc.). The equipment is securely packed in the box, no damage or missing parts when I opened it. Also, syncing the remote to the surroundbar is a chore. Sure it looks easy on demo videos when you search the net, but I've repeated it several times on my Sony blu-ray remote and have run into syncing problems (i.e. I'll press Volume Up to sync and afterwards volume goes up fine, but it won't turn volume down). At least Polk Audio provides a compact remote control which I'll probably end up using.

Overall, I would rate this product "5 of 5" stars despite some minor complaints. Remember, this was meant to be an easy IHT sound system with less cords and quick set up out of the box. If it lacks the connections and sound range you're looking for (this is stereo with analog audio plugs) or if you prefer heavy bass during music or watching movies, I'd recommend looking elsewhere. BUT...if you prefer high quality and sound balance in a compact set up with very little cords to deal with and on a budget (vs. buying speakers, receiver and subwoofer separately), then I would HIGHLY recommend Polk Audio's Surroundbar SDA IHT. Thanks for reading my review.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polk Audio SDA IHT, November 4, 2009
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
I researched this soundbar for quite some time (couple of months), and decided on the Polk am1805-a Instant Home Theater. I am very glad I did. It sounds awesome compared to the internal speakers on my Samsung 42" plasma, and much better than other surround sound units I have heard. Once I decided on this I waited again for a price fluctuation ([...]), and was able to buy it new for around $[....] (Newegg). Overall I am extremely happy with the purchase. The wireless sub-woofer is a god send.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great sound but compatibility issue with samsung lcd tv, September 25, 2009
By 
M. Ngo (Howell, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
i bought this soundbar based on reading several product reviews on the net and here on amazon. the seller i purchased from was a merchant here, electronic express. great price but did not like that item was shipped in original manufacturer box (they just put a fedex sticker on the box) which may tempt people to steal the thing once left on the front porch.

i have owned the soundbar for less than a week and am very happy with the sound quality. definitely not surround sound quality but an elevated experience from regular tv speakers nonetheless. close to what a bose cinemate would offer... maybe a little bit better.

can't really go wrong with polk audio. they've been in the business for awhile and know how to produce quality sound products. the wireless sub is a definite plus but lacks oomph compared to standalone subs that are available out there. but since it came with the soundbar and was convenient to set up (plug and play - just have to be set to same channel as the soundbar), can't expect too much... does contribute to a better sound experience overall.

the only issue i have with this soundbar is it does not come with its own remote. it has the capability of being programmed with any remote you already have. i was able to initially 'program' it to respond to my samsung lcd tv remote BUT had to cancel that program to respond to a different remote because the tv kept flashing the message 'not available' when i pressed plus or minus on my remote since the tv is telling me the volume feature(which you turn off on the tv speakers and set to external speakers) is not avaialble. pretty annoying to have to hit EXIT on samsung remote each time volume is increased or decreased. so i reprogrammed soundbar to respond to a universal remote spare that i had in the house. works fine now.

hate the fact that i use 2 separate remotes to control tv now but i'll live with it for the better sound quality and upgrade to my movie viewing pleasure.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great, April 4, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polk Audio AM1805 SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black) (Electronics)
It came when they said it would and it works great. I like that it works with the TV and I don't have to keep changing the input of the TV to make it work. Very easy to setup hardly need the directions but, they are very good.Polk Audio AM1805-A SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater (Black)
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