Published on January 12th, 2016 | by Greg0
Polk Audio MagniFi One: Striking Sound And A Wireless Sub
A variety of sound equipment came out of CES, but while you’re waiting for the new headphones and amplifiers to start shipping, you may have noticed that a couple of categories didn’t have as many options around and grabbing attention this year. New smartwatches were few and far between, at least among major manufacturers, though they still sprouted up alongside other sorts of fitness peripherals and wearables. And high-end audio manufacturers didn’t unveil a whole lot of soundbars, leaving room for existing models to catch eyes and ears.
The Polk Audio MagniFi One 2.1 Sound Bar System is a perfect example of a model well worth picking up- a soundbar made by a well-known company, available at a competitive price, and with some excellent features. The primary one is the included 7-inch wireless subwoofer, an extra typically included only on more expensive soundbars. This one is small enough to fit under just about any flat panel LCD TV on a stand, so it won’t block your view, or the infrared sensors. Plus, it takes only a few minutes to setup- honestly, even if you are a home theater newbie who doesn’t know HDMI from DRM. Learning your TV’s remote control takes a bit longer, but is well worth it, since it makes life much simpler.
To be clear, this is not a replacement for a full 5.1 system, if you have space, money, time and inclination to wire one of those all up. But Polk did add Bluetooth wireless technology, so you can stream music directly from your tablet or smartphone without worrying about a cable. And there is Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 decoding, meaning your action movies will sound great, with booming explosions. There are a couple of other nifty additions too, like modes for movies, music and sports and even a Night Effect mode that “reduces low-frequency output and sonic range”- basically making everything a little less likely to wake your neighbors while still being able to hear dialogue. Speaking of which, we were a bit skeptical of the VoiceAdjust Technology but it worked well, boosting voices to help make them more audible.
The outputs are sufficient for most folks- optical, 3.5mm analog audio and RCA stereo offer plenty of connectivity options. Audiophiles might want to spring for the pricier Polk Magnifi, which boasts NFC, apt-X, some more advanced functions for audio adjustments, and 300 watts of power versus the One’s 240 watts. The Magnifi One is compact, user-friendly, and sounds impressive for a unit in this price range. We’ve seen a lot of soundbars, but this is the first with a wireless sub that offers a solid value. And it’s available now, online and in stores for around $300.