Polk Audio is one of a handful of companies that are completely dedicated to making audio products. This type of focus normally means making speaker systems that sound better than the less-focused competitors. TV manufacturers that also make sound bars have an advantage in terms of marketing and tighter integration but Polk Audio wants to bring its audio expertise to their sound bar products along with some interesting innovations. The Polk Magni-Fi Sound Bar has a couple of premium advantages that may convince you to look past its high asking price.
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About the Magni-Fi Sound Bar
The Magni-Fi is part of Polk Audio’s Omni collection introduced in 2014. This special family of audio products focus more on innovation and design. It doesn’t outperform some of the Polk’s existing SurroundBar products but it brings a fresh design and some interesting new features, making the Magni-Fi Sound Bar truly one of a kind. The sound bar unit is 38 inches wide, making it best paired with larger TVs and the wireless subwoofer is pretty large, weighing close to 10 pounds. The Magni-Fi has some nice curves and a few buttons on the top. Wired connection options are on the basic side with an optical port and 3.5mm jack. The necessary cables are included with the Magni-Fi Sound Bar so you can start setting it up right away.
Like most sound bars these days, the Magni-Fi has Bluetooth onboard so just about any mobile device can play back music and have it come straight out of the sound bar. But Polk Audio adds a little bit of extra value to make the whole Bluetooth experience even more appealing. First, the aptX codec is supported which is pretty standard for modern mobile devices so you can ensure optimal audio quality over Bluetooth. NFC is supported as well, making it easier for select Android devices to pair with the Magni-Fi Sound Bar. Finally, there is a DJ Stream app for Google Play and iOS which provides a very friendly interface for streaming music to the sound bar. On top of that, 4 devices with the app installed can connect to the sound bar simultaneously. This makes the sound bar more party friendly where people can collectively create a dynamic playlist.
Your TV remote control can also be used to operate the Magni-Fi. Polk’s own SmartBar technology makes it easy to teach your IR remote control to interact with the sound bar.
One of the main innovations of the Magni-Fi Sound Bar is the VoiceAdjust Technology which drastically adds clarity and crispness to the dialog and you can hear the difference even if you are not sitting in front of the TV. This technology relies on the center channel and you can adjust its volume independently. It also has both Music and Movie immersion modes, making the audio sound even better than expected when playing back Blu-ray titles and lossless music. Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 is onboard as well. Bass is another big strength, thanks to the Full Complement Bass Drive technology, which makes the lower midrange better and adds tonal richness to the upper bass.
• Very attractive design.
• VoiceAdjust Technology improves movies and TV shows in a big way.
• Great bass response.
• Fun Bluetooth features.
• No HDMI ports.
• A little bit on the pricey side.
The Magni-Fi is definitely premium and innovative enough to give the high $499 asking price a pass. Even if it has no virtual surround sound technologies, the VoiceAdjust Technology really works well and the overall sound quality is well above average. If you find 5.1-speaker setups to be a bit excessive, the Magni-Fi Sound Bar is a fantastic minimalistic alternative.