The Polk MagniFi 2 is designed to recreate the 3D cinematic sound expertise at residence. The system comes with a conventional soundbar, plus a subwoofer to deal with the bass.
The audio that it goals to create is much like that on soundbars with Dolby Atmos, such because the Sonos Arc. Nevertheless, the MagniFi 2 is available in at a way more inexpensive value. However does it nonetheless ship on the subject of audio high quality? I’ve spent a while with this sound system to see the way it festivals with films, TV, gaming, music and podcasts.
Design & Construct
The Polk MagniFi 2 boasts a minimalist design general with a fabric-covered entrance and a small emblem tucked away on the sting. The remainder of the bar sports activities a matte black end, the identical color that’s seen on the subwoofer. All of the buttons and controls are cleverly hidden away on each the speaker and subwoofer.
Regardless of the refined color and exterior design, each merchandise on this audio setup are extraordinarily massive and take up a number of room. The soundbar measures 53x1092x96mm and weighs 2.5kg, while the subwoofer measures 370x308x371mm and weighs 6.4kg.
You have to a big TV stand, plus no less than a 43in display. If you happen to want a extra compact sound system, think about one thing just like the Samsung S60T.
On the highest of the soundbar you get energy, supply, Bluetooth, mute and grasp quantity controls. If you happen to want to mount the soundbar onto the wall, there are two keyhole slots on the again which permit for this.
There’s additionally an accompanying distant for the soundbar. With this you may regulate quantity, bass and voice ranges, change the HDMI output and activate one of many pre-set audio modes.
That is performed by way of one of many 5 hotkeys that come accessible on the distant: music mode, film mode, night time mode, sports activities mode and 3D mode. These modes mechanically regulate the degrees to go well with the kind of content material you might be watching.
Although the distant management seems subtle and refined, a few of the buttons on the decrease half are somewhat flat, and the textual content isn’t very daring or vivid. This isn’t nice for these with visible impairments or accessibility points.
Like different merchandise such because the JBL Bar 5.1 Encompass, there’s no show on the soundbar. As a substitute, it makes use of a strip of LED lights and completely different color mixtures to point the motion that the bar is performing.
Connectivity & Setup
Preliminary setup for the Polk MagniFi 2 is comparatively simple. You get all of the cables and directions you want, whether or not you’re establishing on a state-of-the-art 4K TV, or an older HD mannequin.
Behind the bar, there are three HDMI 2.zero inputs, one HDMI ARC (audio return channel) enter, an optical cable port, an influence port and a USB-C slot for manufacturing facility updates. I made good use of the HDMI ports, operating my set-top field, Nintendo Swap and Amazon Fireplace TV Stick all by the soundbar making it an amazing characteristic for TVs on the market with restricted ports.
The soundbar helps Bluetooth connectivity, too. All you’ll want to do is press the Bluetooth button on the distant, open the machine you wish to pair and join on to the speaker.
There’s no aptX codec constructed into the soundbar, so the standard of the audio isn’t as spectacular as what you hear with a wired connection. I discovered the whole lot to sound somewhat echoey, even after fine-tuning the bass and voice ranges.
The Polk MagniFi 2 comes outfitted with Google Assistant, together with built-in Chromecast, which implies that you would be able to solid music from apps which assist this characteristic, together with YouTube, Spotify, Tidal and extra. You may also join the soundbar to the Google Residence app and management playback with voice instructions.
The Google Assistant does not assist far more aside from playback – you may’t flip the soundbar on or off utilizing your voice, for instance. Nevertheless, the distant management is faster and simpler than utilizing the app, so I do not suppose this can be a deal-breaker.
I examined this soundbar on a barely older TV, and it’s value mentioning that I had the odd concern the place no audio got here by, regardless of the MagniFi 2 being turned on. This was normally solved by shortly resetting the bar, after which turning the display on and off once more.
Sound High quality
The Polk MagniFi 2 comes full with a six-driver array, a wi-fi subwoofer, Polk’s personal Stereo Dimensional Array (SDA) expertise and Patented Voice Modify Know-how. Between the speaker and subwoofer, the Polk MagniFi 2 has 200W value of peak energy.
All of those options mixed create a robust and wealthy listening expertise. The audio is extraordinarily good, fills the house utterly and does replicate that cinematic really feel.
Because of the included wi-fi subwoofer, the Polk MagniFi 2 shines when it comes bass-heavy audio with the best settings. It’s excellent for blockbuster motion films, in addition to heavier digital or rock music.
If something, the audio is somewhat too good for somebody who lives in a flat with neighbours at shut proximity and does not wish to disturb them. Happily, there’s a devoted night time mode, which mechanically lowers the amount and bass to socially acceptable ranges. Even when turned down decrease, the bar nonetheless manages to supply vibrant audio.
The highs are additionally spectacular, with devices corresponding to violins standing out nicely. The weakest space is the mids, which isn’t fairly as punchy or as wealthy because the lows and highs. Nevertheless, they’re nonetheless clear and simply distinguishable.
As talked about above, the bar has quite a few pre-set audio modes on the distant. One in every of these is a 3D setting, one of many distinctive options of the Polk MagniFi 2. Based on Polk, the bar makes use of ‘peak virtualisation’ to assist recreate that encompass sound expertise that you simply get in cinemas – normally created utilizing satellite tv for pc (rear) audio system.
The system helps 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS, however the aforementioned SDA tech means encompass sound will be added to any soundtrack. Turning on the 3D Mode when listening to an motion movie actually does heighten the standard and brings out audio results that you simply’d miss in the event you didn’t have such an intensive sound system.
Admittedly, the 3D sound is not utterly excellent. It really works finest with appears like gunshots and laser beams which sound as if they’re coming from across the room in any respect angles. Nevertheless, one thing extra particular like a automotive driving in from behind does not completely sound prefer it’s coming from the again, with spatial recognition kicking in on the sides.
Whereas the bar cannot actually replicate rear audio system and does not match as much as dearer soundbars just like the Sonos Arc, it is respectable for the worth and will be switched on and off as you please.
You could discover within the picture exhibiting ports an LED labelled ‘SURR’ for encompass implying you may join wi-fi satellite tv for pc audio system if you wish to purchase them. This is not accessible on the time of writing however is one thing Polk is engaged on including.
While this can be a nice machine for customising audio ranges, it could not go well with those that are in search of a fast and straightforward answer. I discover that utilizing one of many pre-set audio modes doesn’t all the time go well with what you are listening, and to get one of the best audio you need to regulate the degrees manually every time.
For example, the music mode suited digital and rock, however not classical or jazz. I needed to tweak the degrees to get one of the best sound high quality – so that is one thing to bear in mind.
Worth & Availability
The Polk Magnifi retails for £499/US$499. Within the UK, you should buy it immediately from Polk, Amazon UK or Currys PC World. Within the US, you should purchase it from BestBuy.
The worth of the bar has come down since its preliminary launch and is now accessible to buy for £349 from Currys. In comparison with another setups such because the Sonos Arc, this can be a aggressive value for a full sound answer.
If you wish to see extra choices, you may check out our checklist of one of the best soundbars in the marketplace proper now. We even have the same chart for one of the best TVs in case you are revamping your whole residence leisure setup.
The Polk MagniFi 2 is an audio system with a wealthy and immersive sound expertise providing a Dolby Atmos like digital encompass sound with out the standard price ticket.
The customisation ranges make it excellent for tailoring to the content material you need, and the usability is easy.
Each merchandise, nonetheless, are somewhat massive and ponderous, and are due to this fact not appropriate in case you have a small TV, or are quick on house and might’t discover a spot for the subwoofer. The pre-set modes additionally aren’t excellent and require some guide tweaking to be good.
Nonetheless, contemplating that this product is available in cheaper than some rivals, it’s nonetheless an amazing answer that may up the audio sport of your own home leisure setup.
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