Polk Audio’s latest addition to its MagniFi series soundbars, the MagniFi 2 ($499), is rolling out this summer (August). It features Polk’s patented SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) surround sound technology, 5.1-channel audio decoding and a new 3D Audio DSP.
Polk says the speaker system is designed to reduce the barrier to entry to a multichannel home theater listening experience. Its performance-tuned, six-driver array and SDA technology, initially developed by founder Matthew Polk, presents a wider soundstage and top-level fidelity for a sound bar. The MagniFi 2’s 3D Audio Mode, for immersive sound and height effects, marries 3D-specific digital signal processing (DSP) techniques with SDA technology, Polk says.
3D Audio mode is the newest DSP advancement from Polk Audio. It employs 3D-specific DSP settings from Polk Audio’s SDA technology – an acoustic means of cancelling interaural crosstalk to enhance the front, surround and low-frequency channels in a 5.1 soundtrack. When this technology is applied to the front and surround channels on the MagniFi 2, the listener perceives an extremely wide sound stage, engulfing surround sound and convincing height effects. Bass response is also weightier and more impactful as a result of applying the advanced 3D listening mode, says the company.
“Polk Audio went back to the drawing board with the MagniFi 2 and took a fresh look at how convincing surround sound could be achieved with a sound bar format,” said Michael McCole, senior product marketing manager for sound bars. “This resulted in a completely new 3D DSP mode engineered to enhance Polk Audio’s existing SDA technology, which already dramatically improves the sound stage. What you get in return is a big performance improvement across every driver, including the subwoofer.”
The MagniFi 2 ships with HDMI and optical cables for pairing to 4K or other HDTVs; the sound bar has three HDMI 2.0 inputs for ensuring optimal 4K HDR content viewing. The MagniFi 2 automatically works with Samsung, LG, Vizio, TCL, and Sony TV remotes to control volume as well as most CEC-enabled TVs. In addition, the MagniFi 2 features Polk Audio’s patented Voice Adjust Technology, which allows users to customize voice levels for clear dialogue and intelligibility.
Since the MagniFi 2 is a Chromecast audio-enabled device, users can stream content from Amazon Music HD, Apple Music, Roon, Qobuz, Spotify, Tidal and more by asking any Google Assistant-enabled speaker. Users can also change volume and find information about what they are listening to with their voice. Bluetooth streaming is another easy way to play music on the MagniFi 2 from a smartphone, tablet or other compatible device.
The MagniFi 2 features four 1-inch-by-3-inch full-range drivers, two 0.75-inch tweeters and an included 8-inch ported subwoofer; the sub produces several times the amount of bass of the average TV. The system is also outfitted with several preset EQ settings for Movies, Music and Sports, which optimize the sound bar and subwoofer levels accordingly. With Night mode, just a touch of a button lowers the bass and increases dialogue on the sound bar without touching the master volume. Users are also able to manually adjust voice control and bass settings to create the desired mix for their listening situation.
In addition to advanced audio capabilities, the MagniFi 2 sound bar features several technologies other technologies:
- Polk Smart Remote Compatibility: The MagniFi 2 is compatible with most CEC-enabled TV remotes and also features built-in support for popular IR TV remotes from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio for easy use. With IR Learn, the sound bar can learn to work with the TV remote if the codes are not already built in.
- Universal Compatibility: The sound bar works with any TV and includes HDMI and optical cables for easy setup.
- Low-Profile Design: At just over 2. inches in height, the MagniFi 2’s slim profile ensures the sound bar will not block a TV’s remote sensor or impede on viewing.
- Array of Audio/Video Connectivity: The sound bar includes three built-In Ultra HD 4K HDMI (HDCP 2.2) inputs, one HDMI (ARC) output, optical input for TV audio, Chromecast for audio, and Bluetooth.