Polk Audio Magni-Fi Soundbar with Wireless Active Subwoofer

General Information

The Polk Magnify Sound Bar, with our patent pending Polk Voice Adjust Technology, is our next generation sound bar and wireless subwoofer system designed for larger flat panel TVs. Voice Adjust optimizes dialog with center channel intelligibility, regardless of where you're sitting in the room. Voice Adjust Technology also enables you to control the center channel level; only you will hear center channel dialog after hours, without disturbing others.

Latest reviews

Pros: Clear Dialog/Voice control, Room filling sound, Slim Design, Active Sub Woofer
Cons: Music option is not the best
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POLK AUDIO MAGNIFI SOUNDBAR REVIEW

 



The MagniFi Soundbar from Polk Audio is the latest slim wireless system utilising the Polk Audio VoiceAdjust™ technology. The MagniFi is the middle of the range option from Polk, and includes a wireless subwoofer.

Design and Features

The MagniFi soundbar is a great looking slim speaker system, using a 3.1 configuration. MagniFi is powered by 3 x 1″ full range speakers, using the patent pending VoiceAdjust™ system that is the real cornerstone of this soundbar system. No more trying to listen intently to dialog during huge noisy movie scenes, or even softly spoken voices. This technology is a great step forward, but more on that later.



The soundbar is 96.5×4.6×5.2cm (LxWxH), this will suite TV sizes of 40 inch or larger, although the slim down style of the MagniFi will suite smaller TV’s too. The MagniFi is a very good looking soundbar, finished in a matt black and mesh grill design. Both the soundbar and the sub woofer have beautiful curved features which seam to blend nicely with any TV. The front of the soundbar has the Polk logo on the right, LED indicator lights on the left and the centre speaker, which is the heart of the whole system highlighted by a silver ring.

The 7 LED lights on the front let the user know what is happening with regards to overall volume, VoiceAdjust™ volume, music or movie options, as well as which source you have selected (Optical, AUX or Bluetooth) and the amount of bass. The MagniFi only has three options for connecting, an optical audio in, AUX audio in and Bluetooth. The easiest option is to connect all your devices via HDMI direct to the TV and then run the optical out from your TV to the MagniFi, this will ensure you keep the 5.1 Dolby decoding from your source. The lack of HDMI inputs might deter some users, but I prefer to have as little cables coming from the soundbar as possible, especially if you plan to mount it, so this is a non issue.



On top of the soundbar are manual buttons for volume, voice and bass levels, input, power, mute, and Bluetooth, which are also available on the tiny remote. Speaking of the remote, I found that I often had to press the buttons a couple of times, or just really hard. I have a feeling that the design of this remote could have been better, and I don’t have high hope for its longevity. It can also get lost very easily down the side of your sofa, very easy.

The Subwoofer is a downward firing 7″ long throw woofer which automatically connects wirelessly once both the soundbar and subwoofer are powered on. However, if you ever loose connection, there is a analog cable that can connect the two components. I didn’t need this during my review, but its a nice option to have if you run into connection issues.

Build quality is excellent, both the soundbar and the subwoofer are solid and don’t feel cheap. Even though they are mainly plastic, it doesn’t take away from the quality.

The Sound

The MagniFi has two main options for listening; movie and music, both have dramatically different sounds and thus I will do them separately. Using the soundbar as it was built for, which is mainly for movies/TV viewing, the MagniFi is an excellent option for anyone looking to get the big theatre sound in a slim and compact package. The VoiceAdjust option really works. No more turning the volume up and down to hear dialog, the voice adjust technology has me wanting more. I found I had the option turn to the max all the time, as it just made all movies work better. The sound effects were still able to come through via the left and right channels, but they were moved to the background during dialog moments, and then brought forward seamlessly. The MagniFi has no issue filling a room with sound. I have an open plan living room, and I never had to put the volume pass the 2nd LED marker. I don’t think you ever have to, because the dialog is crystal clear and that is what most people want to hear.



The subwoofer never lacked either. Although its not a huge, room shaking subwoofer, it still blended well and mix seamlessly. In big action movies like Mad Max or Black Hawk Down, the subwoofer did rumble nicely and I felt it was fine for small to medium rooms. It will never compete with 12″ monsters, but it works and doesn’t take away anything from the system.

Onto using the MaginFi as a hifi system. For some reason, music doesn’t work as great as movies. There is some serious lacking in soundstage and separation when changing to the music option and playing stereo mixes. I found everything sits back and feels lost. The subwoofer also goes into hiding. Polk seamed to get everything so right with movies and dialog, that the music option seamed forgotten. The Bluetooth feature is great, as streaming from your smartphone is very easy, and most people have online streaming accounts, but this is not a system for sitting down and listening to music, rather a option for background music for entertaining or just relaxing.

I think Polk never intended this to be a music listening system, but rather it added it on as an extra bonus on an already great home theatre movie option.



Conclusion

If you are always wanting the dialog in movies or TV shows to be presented better, than this in the soundbar for you. The VoiceAdjust™ technology works wonders for those softly spoken, hard to hear movies that always have you reaching for the remote to turn the volume up, only to be turning it down the very next scene, because of a huge explosion or over powered music. The MagniFi is a room filling system that will suite most users. Even though the music option is not as great as the movie option, this is a solid performing soundbar that is a great step up from standard TV speakers.

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