Without a doubt Soundbars are some of the hottest products on the market. With living space becoming a premium, full 7.1 or 5.1 surround systems demand too much room. The Soundbar can be a rewarding option for those that want good audio in their bedrooms or even as a main system. The Polk Audio Surroundbar 4000IHT proves itself a versatile audio companion. I had a chance to experience the Surroundbar 4000IHT and this is what I heard.
The system consists of the powered Surroundbar and a Wireless Subwoofer. The first thing you notice is just how small the bar is. Measuring in at 3 3/4″ H x 31″ W x 3″ D, the bar easily fits below your flat screen television or on the wall with the supplied wall mount. The subwoofer clocks in at 10″ H x 10 1/4″ W x 10 3/4″ D and because it’s wireless, allows for placement anywhere in the room near an outlet. Connection to your source is achieved via Digital Optical Out or 1/8” connector. Most modern flatscreens will have a Digital Optical Output and this is the way to go.
Setting the subwoofer was as simple as plugging in the power cord and switching to the correct ID. Four channels are available and maybe if a host of these systems were in close proximity that would be a problem but it’s doubtful. Being a gamer I chose to explore the sound through my XBOX 360 playing Mass Effect 3. I know. Maybe Call of Duty or some other shooter might have been a better but ME3 has the right combination of action oriented sound, music, and dialogue.
The Surroundbar 4000IHT performed admirably for the video game test. The XBOX took full advantage of the Surroundbar’s built-in Dolby Digital Processing immersing in the action. With one test down I moved on to just plain jane satellite television. Here is where my only issue comes into play. Not all stations are HD and the audio is definitely not Dolby so there were moments when the audio did get muddy. All told not something that would turn me off of the system. On HD channels the audio was great. The final test came in the form of my Blu-Ray Player. Popped in The Dark Knight and let it roll. A thoroughly satisfying audio experience here! The subwoofer performed admirably and the virtual surround really kicked in making me “feel” the movie.
Anyone looking for a great, inexpensive option for their home theater in a tight space should seriously look at the Polk Audio Surroundbar 4000IHT available right now at J&R.