Better Soundbar than Polk Surround 360? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-06-2009, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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My Dad is currently looking at buying a Soundbar (I tried to convince him to get a regular 5.1 system, but had no luck in the end). He is pretty sold on the Polk SurroundBar 360. We stopped by a local store and it did sound pretty decent for a soundbar I guess, but we really don't have anything to compare it to since all of the others seemed pretty low end. The only thing I didn't like is it seems like it may be older as a lot of stores have it discontinued and it comes with a DVD player which he wouldn't take advantage of anyway since he will be buying a BluRay player.

Any suggestions on if he should still go with the Polk 360 or if there is a better Sound Bar out there that is newer and that would be recommended over it? He already has a sub (I believe its a 10")

Any recommendations would be great as he's looking to purchase the Polk 360 sometime later today (Sunday) for $450 from Amazon.

Thanks!

~J
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-06-2009, 11:19 AM
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I haven't seen a review that indicates the polk is any better than the others so I would buy the cheapest one you could find. The reviews all seem to come to the same conclusion that they are better than the tv speaker but fall short of actually sounding like a 5.1 system. $450 is too much for a fancy TV speaker imo. Do some more comparison listening if possible. Sometimes you just have to let Dad have his way tho

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-06-2009, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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He's looking at the Yamaha YSP 4000 which is even more expensive. I'm trying to convince him to pay a ton less and get a 5.1 system that will sound a lot better, but he likes the idea of less pieces.

Wish me luck...

Are there any good good links which go into great detail raving about how much better 5.1 would be vs a Soundbar? I've seen a few articles, but a really good one might do the trick. Grasping at straws right now....

~J
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-06-2009, 02:01 PM
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I'm sure thee are several accounts about the how a 'surroundbar' doesn't create a good enough surround effect. But it sounds like he doesn't want a lot of stuff around and that's a legitimate concern.

I don't know a lot about soundbars but I like to read some of the posts by a member here who has some good rational advice, look for comments by drfreeman60 like his comments in this thread. He gives a good explanation for why he likes the Visio bar that makes sense.

If your dad is looking at YSP money I would consider a compromise system like this Atlantic Technology FS-4000 on eBay (I know...eBay, but Amazon was blowing them out a few weeks ago @ $299 and I'm certain the seller is just an opportunist). It has 4.5" drivers that should do well as L/C/R speakers and sound more full. Add a receiver, a pair of surrounds, and a wireless kit and it's less clunky than a 5.1 system but better than a suroundbar. Just a thought.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-15-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbaj2k View Post

My Dad is currently looking at buying a Soundbar (I tried to convince him to get a regular 5.1 system, but had no luck in the end). He is pretty sold on the Polk SurroundBar 360. We stopped by a local store and it did sound pretty decent for a soundbar I guess, but we really don't have anything to compare it to since all of the others seemed pretty low end. The only thing I didn't like is it seems like it may be older as a lot of stores have it discontinued and it comes with a DVD player which he wouldn't take advantage of anyway since he will be buying a BluRay player.


Any suggestions on if he should still go with the Polk 360 or if there is a better Sound Bar out there that is newer and that would be recommended over it? He already has a sub (I believe its a 10")


Any recommendations would be great as he's looking to purchase the Polk 360 sometime later today (Sunday) for $450 from Amazon.


Thanks!


~J
The problem with the Polk 360 is that it doesn't have Center channel volume control. It's all preset by the factory. I don't really know if there is one "on a budget"....that actually does this. I think the system has a fantastic speaker bar , but it's a real downer when you get blown out by explosions from raising the system volume just to hear dialogue......which is the case on 90% of DVD's that I have watched.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-17-2013, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will2 View Post

The problem with the Polk 360 is that it doesn't have Center channel volume control. It's all preset by the factory. I don't really know if there is one "on a budget"....that actually does this. I think the system has a fantastic speaker bar , but it's a real downer when you get blown out by explosions from raising the system volume just to hear dialogue......which is the case on 90% of DVD's that I have watched.

That's the problem I have with my Polk 4000 soundbar. I am pretty disappointed in it for being a $300 system with tons of bugs and almost non-existent center input.

The tech support is good, though. I had a lot of SPDIF problems with my Samsung TV and shipped it in for a firmware upgrade, all paid for by Polk. I was without the soundbar a week. Most of the issues went away, but the wireless subwoofer still kills wifi connections, and the center output is still too soft and is totally outweighed by left/right channel explosions. This is fixed in software with my media PC, but I can't do jack for Bluray or TV output.

The system simply lacks too many important functions. Changing levels and disabling wireless signal output (subwoofer) being the two most important. For $300+ these are pretty simple requests. After all, this thing is just a piece of plastic with a 2" speaker at each end...
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-27-2013, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by timmmay82 View Post

That's the problem I have with my Polk 4000 soundbar. I am pretty disappointed in it for being a $300 system with tons of bugs and almost non-existent center input.

The tech support is good, though. I had a lot of SPDIF problems with my Samsung TV and shipped it in for a firmware upgrade, all paid for by Polk. I was without the soundbar a week. Most of the issues went away, but the wireless subwoofer still kills wifi connections, and the center output is still too soft and is totally outweighed by left/right channel explosions. This is fixed in software with my media PC, but I can't do jack for Bluray or TV output.

The system simply lacks too many important functions. Changing levels and disabling wireless signal output (subwoofer) being the two most important. For $300+ these are pretty simple requests. After all, this thing is just a piece of plastic with a 2" speaker at each end...

I'd bypass all of optical connections and the self powered aspect of the system and "hard wire" the soundbar speakers and the sub with speaker wire. Then , I'd run them to a surround sound receiver. It would blow away that b.s. that's getting in the way of an otherwise really good set of speakers. Mainly , you would also gain independent center volume control......but I love the challenge of "beating the system". Lack of Center volume is a "plague" affecting most DVD's. I am not an electronics guy, but I do like to tinker with things like this. Check out what I did to my Polk Audio DVD 360 Surroundbar system instead of selling the speaker bar on Craigslist for $50. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1444126/polk-audio-dvd-360-soundbar-hack-job-connectiion-to-receiver-need-super-tech
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