The Polk Audio MagniFi One Sound Bar Subwoofer System

Solid Sound For A Not-so High Price

Polk Audio MagniFi One Sound Bar/Subwoofer System
Polk Audio MagniFi One Sound Bar/Subwoofer System. Image provided by Polk Audio/Sound United

Soundbars continue to be a popular option for improving sound for TV viewing, and there seems to be no let up in the continuing flow of offerings in this product category. However, if you are looking a soundbar that provides solid basics to complement your TV viewing, consider the Polk Audio MagniFi One.

What The MagniFi One Offers

The Polk Audio MagniFi One is a soundbar/subwoofer system.

The soundbar portion is 34.6-inches wide (which provides a good physical and sound field match for TVs with 32 to 48-inch screen sizes) and can be either shelf or wall mounted. Also, the MagniFi One is only about 2-inches tall, which means that if you place it in front of your TV, it won't block the bottom edge the screen, or block your TVs remote control sensor, which can be an issue with some other sound bars that are on the market.

In addition to the soundbar, a wireless subwoofer is provided. The subwoofer is compact, with curved edges, and houses a 7-inch driver. Although the subwoofer has to be plugged into AC power, it connects to the soundbar wirelessly, not only reducing cable clutter but allows you to place it anywhere in your listening space where it provides the best low-frequency response.

The frequency response for the entire system is 40Hz to 22kHz. Total system power output is stated as 240 Watts.

Audio Decoding and Processing

The MagniFI One provides Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 channel decoding (the 5.1 channel decoded signal is folded within the two-channel configuration of the sound bar for playback).

NOTE: Although the MagniFi One is compatible with Dolby 2.0/5.1 audio, it is not compatible with DTS Digital Surround. If you find that you do not hear sound from a DTS-connected source, reset the audio output of your source device (DVD player, etc...) to PCM.

On the other hand, along with Dolby audio decoding, there are some added audio features provided by Polk Audio that are designed to further complement the listening experience including:

  • Voice Adjust - This feature option makes dialog and music vocals more prominent. This really helps when watching movies where many times, vocals and dialog can get lost in all those sound effects. With music, Voice Adjust can place more emphasis on vocals, bringing out a more live effect.
  • Preset Listening Modes - In addition to Voice Adjust, the Movie, Sports, and Music Modes provide a way to better match the overall sound characteristics from content in those categories.
  • Night Effect - As its name implies, this option is great if you are watching movies or listening to music later at night, or at any time, where a lower volume is desired, but you still want to get a full listening experience. What Night Effect does is boost bass response when listening to low volumes. Normally, there is a natural drop off in bass output whenever the volume is turned down. Night Effect compensates for the loss of bass, but without overwhelming the mid and high frequencies, creating a balanced soundstage.
  • Bass Drive Technology - This option provides ​a smooth blending of the crossover frequency point between the soundbar and subwoofer. The crossover point is the spot where frequencies are divided between the subwoofer and soundbar. If the crossover point of the subwoofer and soundbar don't meet, there is a gap where some frequencies may not be reproduced and the listener may sense that "something is missing".
  • Independent Subwoofer Level Control - In addition to Bass Drive, the volume level can be adjusted separately from the soundbar to provide the best low-frequency listening experience based on placement and user preference. For example, if you have a large room, turning up the subwoofer may provide a more desirable low-frequency impact for movies.

Additional Features

In addition to its core audio features, there are two additional features worth noting.

  • Bluetooth - This feature allows direct music streaming from compatible devices, such as many smartphones and tablets.
  • Smart Bar - Although the MagniFi One comes with its own remote control, the Smart Bar feature allows many TV and home theater remotes to learn its control commands - which means one less remote control to worry about.

Connectivity

Physical connections provided on the MagniFi include 1 digital optical input and a set of analog stereo (3.5mm) inputs. On the other hand, the MagniFi One does not have any pass-through video or HDMI connections.

The Bottom Line

Although it doesn't have extra bells-and-whistles, such as wireless multi-room audio capability, or the ability to accept audio and pass video via HDMI, the Polk Audio MagniFi One provides a modest, but effective, way to improve your TV viewing experience by eliminating the less-than-desirable experience of listening to TV speakers, without adding clutter to your TV viewing space.

Also, the MagniFi comes with everything you need to plug it in and set it up. Unless you need longer cables than provided, when you get it home, you are ready to do.

The Polk MagniFi One has a suggested price of $299.95 - Official Product Page