Good news for those in the market for a soundbar – specifically one that supports Dolby Atmos and is somewhat easier on your wallet. Polk Audio has launched its first Dolby Atmos soundbar, called Polk Audio Signa S4, that won’t break the bank.
Polk Audio Signa S4 packs quite a punch, boasting no less than seven drivers, which include a pair of upward-firing speakers that creates sound overhead – a hallmark of the Dolby Atmos experience.
Like many such soundbars, the Polk Audio Signa S4 is capable of up-mixing non-Dolby Atmos audio too. It does so by rendering the height, surround, and center channels to create a simulated Dolby Atmos audio experience without the need for separate speakers.
TBH, I am pretty sore when I learned about the S4 because I just bought a 400 bucks HTX8500 – which is the same price as the Signa S4. Thankfully, one key feature reminds me why I picked the HTX8500: the lack of a wireless subwoofer.
One of my criteria is NOT to have a separate sub as I do not have the space to accommodate even a small one. Anyways, so yes, the S4 is accompanied by a wireless subwoofer which you can place up to 10 meters (33 feet) away from the soundbar.
It also has fewer audio features but given how many drivers it has, I am sure the sound would be no slouch. However, it offers just one HDMI connection and that is an HDMI eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) which allows a single connection to the TV as opposed to the traditional two cables comprising of an HDMI and an optical cable.
HDMI eARC also means it supports Dolby Atmos. Before we move on, here’s something you need to know about enjoying Dolby Atmos at home. You will need a TV that has an HDMI eARC or ARC with Dolby Digital Plus codec to take advantage of the Dolby Atmos.
Either that or you need to connect a Dolby Atmos-capable player, such as the Apple TV 4K, directly to the soundbar HDMI port to enjoy Dolby Atmos movies and music.
Unfortunately, my TV does not have eARC and it does not have Dolby Digital Plus too. So getting the HTX8500 is kind of useless unless I play the contents through a device hooked up directly to the soundbar. This is where having one or two extra HDMI on the soundbar helps.
Anyways, the Signa S4 has Bluetooth too. Just in case anyone’s wondering if it does support wireless audio streaming.
Images: Polk Audio.