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Polk brings Dolby Atmos to its compact MagniFi soundbar

Polk has a new model in its MagniFi range of ultra-compact soundbars. The $499 MagniFi Mini AX bears a strong resemblance to its MagniFi siblings, but with one key difference: It supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound formats. The new soundbar goes on sale on March 15 at and other official Polk retailers.

Unlike Polk’s recently released $399 Signa S4, a more traditional-looking Dolby Atmos soundbar, the MagniFi Mini AX doesn’t have dedicated upward-firing drivers to achieve to height sound effects that are the hallmark of both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Instead, the speaker virtualizes these channels through its five-driver array, with low-frequency effects being provided by the included wireless subwoofer.

Polk Audio's Magnifi Mini AX soundbar seen with the wireless subwoofer.
Polk Audio

“By integrating the immersive surround capabilities of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and then optimizing it with Polk’s patented SDA technology,” said Frank Sterns, President of Polk Audio in a press release, “we’ve created a product that’s not only as enveloping as a soundbar three times its size, but with a level of sound stage accuracy that’s unmatched in its class.” An included 3D Audio mode will “upscale” even non-Dolby Atmos content to a more immersive audio presentation.

The MagniFi Mini AX has a simplified set of ports. You get a single HDMI ARC/eARC port for the connection to a TV, with an optical port as an alternative if your TV doesn’t have an HDMI ARC output. There’s also an analog Aux-in port as well as onboard Bluetooth for streaming audio from virtually any Bluetooth device. The soundbar is Roku TV Ready for Roku TV owners who would like to use their existing Roku remote to control the MagniFi. Polk includes a remote control in the box, along with an HDMI cable.

However the soundbar is also Wi-Fi enabled, something the Signa S4 doesn’t offer, and that brings several benefits including support for Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast Built-in, and Spotify Connect. You can also add the Mini AX to the Google Home app so you can control it via the Google Assistant and add it to multiroom audio configurations.

An OLED display hidden behind the MagniFi Mini AX’s small grille gives you full status info like input, mode, and the audio signal that’s being received. Those who are looking for an even more immersive option can add Polk’s wireless SR2 surround speakers ($199 per pair), for a full 5.1 experience.

Digital Trends’ reviewers have been impressed by previous Polk MagniFi soundbars like the original MagniFi Mini and the MagniFi Max SR, both of which produced bigger, bolder sound than similarly-priced competitors. We recently received a review model of the MagniFi Mini AX, so we’ll let you know soon whether it manages to continue the MagniFi tradition.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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