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Polk Audio: Sound With A Difference

By Tony Ibrahim | Wednesday | 31/10/2012

Polk Audio's contribution to soundbars is notably different from other companies. Where others strive to ooze multi-speaker sound from a unison system, Polk Audio focuses on balancing cinematic sound in a design that is as small as possible.

They understand that some rooms lack the space or acoustic properties needed for multi-channel setups, and that many surround systems are setup improperly. Multichannel systems that aren't setup by a professional often overlap the sounds intended for the left ear with that of the right. This is a phenomenon known as Interaural Crosstalk (IAC) and it can distort a director's intention on how you experience their movies.

To eliminate IAC, Polk Audio puts to work a two-fold strategy. The first involves simply spacing the speakers apart by approximately the same distance between your ears. The second is a little more technical and involves active noise cancellation technologies. In much the same way active noise cancellation headphones eliminate interfering sounds, Polk Audio's soundbars use the technology to eradicate most of the overlapping crosstalk.

Click to enlarge

As a result, Polk Audio's SurroundBar 3000, 4000 and 6000 produce cascading sound that fills rooms throughout. This approach to acoustic production makes it harder to identify where in the room the sound is coming from and creates the sensation you are surrounded by it.

Their entry-level soundbar, known as the Polk Audio SurroundBar 3000, is a simple, easy-to-install sound solution. It's a two part system that consists of a 3 inch soundbar and wireless subwoofer, which together produce 180 watts of power.

Beneath the SurroundBar's grille are two 5.08cm drivers that work in tandem with the 16.5cm sub-woofer. The wireless subwoofer has a range of 50 feet and, because it can be positioned elsewhere in a room, aids in producing a 3D sound experience.

Polk's custom DSP programming technology is used to produce dialogue that is clear and sound that is textured. Their SmartBar Programming software helps the Surroundbar range communicate with your existing remote control.

Click to enlarge

The 4000 takes the existing feature set of the entry-level 3000, but adds upgraded support for today's Blu-ray standard, while the 6000 puts this technology into overdrive.

The Surroundbar 6000 is Polk Audio's flagship soundbar. It combines a 160 watt soundbar with a 120 watt subwoofer and Polk's SDA Surround technology, to reproduce multiple audio channels without the need for multiple speakers.  The result is a sense of excitement when a watching a movie, or atmosphere and depth when listening to music.

Click to enlarge

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Surroundbar 6000 is its size. For such a powerful home entertainment solution, it's a mere two inches thick and will blend in with most flat screen TVs.

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