Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 Surround System Speaker (Single, Black)
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- Single magnetically shielded surround bar speaker with neodymium motor structures for safe placement on or near TVs
- Equipped with nine 3.5-inch composite cone drivers
- Contains dual front ports for superior clean, low distortion bass
- Equipped with three 0.75-inch silk/polymer composite dome tweeters
- Polk Audio's patented SDA Surround Technology delivers a vivid sound field from a single 51-inch cabinet
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The Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 is 51" wide to offer an enveloping surround sound experience to anyone who wants better sound from their TV but does not want to install rear-mounted speakers. It delivers surround sound from a single, multi-driver loudspeaker located under or over the TV screen using SDA Surround technology. SDA Surround technology uses a patented combination of signal processing and acoustical geometry that complements the spacing between your ears to produce surround sound without the need for rear mounted speakers. It can deliver a room-filling surround experience in nearly any location in almost any type of room with no special room characteristics required. The SurroundBar 50 is sized to match the width of 50" Plasma and LCD TVs. In addition to using SDA Surround technology on the surround channels, the SurroundBar 50 adds SDA Surround image enhancing technology on the front Left & Right channels to further enhance the surround experience as well as produce a huge stereo sound field from a two-channel source. New drivers and crossover design along with a larger enclosure produce far better bass performance than the original SurroundBar. The aluminum enclosure houses nine mid/bass drivers with Neodymium magnets, three dome tweeters and a four-PC board crossover with over 60 components.
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BTW, DO NOT use the recommended wiring method they send with the speaker where you replace the subwoofer single wire connection with two speaker wires to the front speaker connections on the amp. For me, it sounded "boomy" and just plain awful. Use your single wire subwoofer connection from your amp to your sub.
I bought mine through the Amazon Warehouse and it arrived in a truly shredded box, but the contents were in perfect order. Hookup was simple, although the included wires are too long for my install and a little on the scrawny side, but they are well sheathed and color coded for easy install. The variety of mounting/stand solutions was very nice and allowed me to place the bar on the console under my 65" LCD without a hitch.
Setup and calibration was simple, but as others (including the vendor) have indicated they are a little bright and you MUST have subwoofer support if you want an accurate experience. Surround is as iffy as I would expect, no matter the mojo, but since I was looking for LCR it was perfect. I ended up wiring the SurroundBar's surrounds to give me a 9.1 setup and it does an admirable job.
Soundbars ARE a compromise - I doubt anyone's bar will give you the same surround experience as a discrete speaker system. If that is what you're hoping for, then get 5+ speakers and be done with it. However, if you're looking for a single speaker solution to give you a reasonable portrayal and you already have an amplifier then look no further.
I have the soundbar paired with a Polk Audio wireless subwoofer (PSWI225) and an older 350W 7.1 Harman Kardon AVR-254 receiver. The receiver is good (don't skimp and get a good one to mate with this soundbar) but the soundbar shines with the HK.
In my previous 5.1 traditional setup with the same receiver, I had to turn the volume way up to hear the dialogue in movies. With the Polk Audio soundbar, the volume doesn't go past 50% and dialogue from movies is crystal clear while the supporting sounds and music remain even without startling volume spikes. If I'm having a gathering, I will crank the volume up to 65% max. I got a little devious and turned the volume up to 90% and played some music...still crystal clear sound, little to no distortion (thanks HK). The sound that comes from this thing is really incredible. The faux surround that bar is advertised to reproduce is a neat trick and sometimes I can hear it working sometimes.
I have a very open, long, rectangular living space (living room, dining and kitchen). With my entertainment system on the far wall facing the other living spaces, I was concerned that sound quality would be diminished without walls for the sound to bounce off, but it equally sounds great on the couch and from my kitchen.
Overall, awesome product. You MUST pair this with a good sub or else you're wasting your money. This isn't the speaker for you if you're looking for an accurate reproduction of 5.1 sound compared to a traditional speaker setup. However, it's enough to give you pause.
my story: i have this paired up with a receiver that can dish out the wattage this sound bar can handle, and the level of sound is so impressive. the clarity of the highs is to die for, and the lows are near to none, so MAKE sure you have a subwoofer that can compliment this wonderful piece of technology. i love the look, it pairs SO well with a large high def tv, and is so understated when it's off and just hanging on the wall. comes with the wall mount kit, and stands if you'd rather place it on a shelf or even the floor. i couldn't be happier with this purchase.