Everyone wants a devoted audio system to go along with their TV—critically, most built-in TV audio system are unhealthy. But in a sea of look-alike black bins, deciding which is best for you can require studying some terminology. That’s why I like Polk’s new Signa S4: It’s the Volvo station wagon of soundbars—easy and boring, and it does precisely what you want.
It may not leap out as an important possibility at first, plus it’s kind of spendy at $399, however after just a few weeks of listening to this soundbar and subwoofer combo, it is now the system I like to recommend for anybody in search of a straightforward audio improve. Don’t wish to fiddle with satellite tv for pc audio system, difficult menus, or, fairly frankly, any setup? The Signa S4 simply is likely to be for you.
Out of the Box
The new Polk soundbar is a black, fabric-wrapped stick that’s about 3 inches excessive, 4 inches deep, and 41 inches lengthy, simply slim sufficient to suit under the bezel of each TV I examined it with. It comes with a wi-fi subwoofer (wi-fi in that it solely must be related to a wall outlet), a small black field that’s straightforward to cover wherever the facility supply is most handy.
Once you’ve positioned the soundbar under your TV, the subwoofer close to an outlet, and plugged them each into an influence supply, all it is advisable do is plug the included HDMI cable into the HDMI ARC (audio return channel) port in your TV; most trendy TVs have an HDMI port labeled as “ARC.” The soundbar ought to robotically join and be able to play—at the least that’s the way it labored on the assorted Vizio and LG TVs I examined it with.
If it would not simply immediately work, you will have to set it up in your TV’s audio settings menu underneath “ARC settings,” particularly in case your set is older. If you don’t have an ARC HDMI port, do not fret! You may use the Signa S4’s optical enter to seize high-quality digital sound. (It comes with each optical and HDMI cables.) Universal mounting holes on the again make it straightforward to place under a wall-mounted TV, however I examined the S4 on a large TV stand.
This simplicity extends to the distant too. You can decide between Music, Film, and Night mode settings (denoted by clip artwork on the buttons). Otherwise, you’ve bought quantity controls and bare-bones EQ adjustment for bass. Night mode limits the bass so that you don’t annoy your neighbors watching Keanu Reeves motion pictures at 3 am. My solely gripe? I want the buttons had a backlight—it is arduous to know what you are urgent in a darkish room.
It would possibly appear like a super-basic 2.1 soundbar, however the Signa S4 is lots highly effective underneath the hood. It can do digital encompass sound by bouncing audio off the partitions of your room, however it’s additionally able to Dolby Atmos object-based encompass sound, thanks to 2 up-firing audio system that bounce audio off the ceiling.
You received’t hear the identical degree of immersion that you just’d get from a system with devoted encompass audio system and extra drivers within the bar, just like the a lot pricier Samsung HW-Q950A, however the Signa S4 delivers considerably higher sound high quality than its friends with out Atmos functionality. You’ll hear some audio behind you and sound unfold out farther to the perimeters, which actually helps pull you into the motion when watching sports activities, taking part in FIFA 22, or catching up on the newest episode of Halo.