This soundbar by Polk Audio comes with 3D sound – but not Dolby Atmos

(Image credit: Polk Audio)

Polk Audio has announced its latest soundbar in the MagniFi series, and with spatial audio and Google Chromecast support, it could be its best soundbar yet. 

The MagniFi 2 is promised to offer an "immersive surround-sound experience in a minimalist package", thanks to its new 3D Audio Mode, according to What Hi-Fi?.

While that may sound like the kind of audio processing you get with Dolby Atmos, Polk hasn't used the cinematic sound codec for its new bar – instead it relies on its own Stereo Dimensional Array technology to create virtual height channels, making it seem as though sound is coming at you from all angles without the need for upfiring tweeters. 

Virtual 3D audio is rarely as convincing as true Atmos sound, but it can come pretty close – and it's allowed Polk to create a soundbar that has a smaller footprint than many upfiring Dolby Atmos speakers. That means it should be suitable for smaller spaces, though it does come with a wireless subwoofer to boost the bass, too.

Another cool feature of this soundbar is that it could make it easy to understand mumbling actors; Polk says that its Voice Adjust technology lets you "hear every word" by customizing dialogue levels "to maximize intelligibility and clarity".

All the streaming platforms

With Wi-Fi connectivity and built-in Google Chromecast Audio, the latter of which allows seamless music streaming via Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, and Amazon Music HD, you'll be able to listen to music from lots of different sources. You can also stream your music via Bluetooth, if you prefer. 

To hook the soundbar up to your TV, you have three HDMI 2.0 ports, allowing for 4K HDR passthrough. Polk Audio says that you'll be able to adjust the volume with your regular Samsung, LG, Vizio, TCL, or Sony TV remote, too.

Costing $499 / £499 (around AU$720), it's cheaper than many of the best soundbars you can buy today; saying that, the Dolby Atmos-enabled Sony HT-X8500 costs just $299 / £350 / AU$599.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.