Polk Audio has an enduring reputation for producing speakers and soundbars that punch well above their weight when you consider how affordable they are. This continues with the company’s first Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar, the Signa S4, which comes with its own wireless subwoofer for $399. It’s available starting today, December 15, at PolkAudio.com or other retailers.
At that price, the Signa S4 undercuts many other Dolby Atmos products like the $449 Sonos Beam Gen 2, the $599 LG Eclair, and the $450 Monoprice SB-600. Better yet, the S4 manages to do this while offering a discrete set of up-firing height drivers in the soundbar, which should offer a more realistic 3D sound field than products that rely entirely on virtualized Dolby Atmos, like the Beam Gen 2.
To get to such a competitive price, Polk has chosen to focus purely on sound. There’s no smart speaker option as the company offered on its React soundbar, and no access to music streaming services via Wi-Fi. If you want to connect a smartphone or tablet, you’ll need to use the built-in Bluetooth connection.
Physical connections are equally spartan: You get a single HDMI ARC/eARC port for wiring the bar to your TV, and both an optical port and an analog port in the event that your TV doesn’t support sending audio over HDMI.
Polk says the main soundbar packs a seven-speaker array, including those two up-firing drivers, a discrete center channel, and left and right tweeters and woofers. The center channel has been designed to make dialogue clearer — a common problem with TV audio — through the use of Polk’s VoiceAdjust technology, which automatically optimizes speech even during loud scenes with plenty of background sounds. Unfortunately, Polk hasn’t mentioned an ability to upgrade the S4’s sound with optional wireless surround speakers for a more discrete 5.1.2 system.
The included remote control has one-button access to EQ presets for both music and movies, and there’s an adjustable bass boost mode for tweaking how much low-end gets pumped out from the subwoofer. Dolby Atmos is the star of this show, but Polk says the Signa S4 can also upscale non-Atmos content into highly immersive surround sound.
You can sit the soundbar on the same surface as your TV, or you can wall-mount it using the included hardware.
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