Polk Audio will soon ship two new additions to its SurroundBar line of sound bar audio solutions. Both the new SurroundBar 9000 Instant Home Theater (IHT) and SurroundBar 5000 IHT deliver a home theater experience that Polk says “belies their price points,” with the latter being the first Polk Audio SurroundBar to feature the added benefit of Bluetooth connectivity.
“With the 9000, we’ve really taken the driver technology to new heights,” said Polk product line manager Al Baron. “And, it includes all of the technologies that have made our Instant Home Theater line such a success, including SmartBar programming, which enables our SurroundBars to easily learn power on/off, volume up/down and mute from your existing TV remote control. It makes operation as simple as can be.”
Polk’s SurroundBar 9000
The new SurroundBar 9000 Instant Home Theater (IHT) joins the line at the top of the list, delivering “component-caliber” 3D audio surround audio while maintaining the low-profile design and simple setup.
The SurroundBar 9000 IHT is self-powered, delivering 45 watts of discrete peak power to each of its eight drivers (five 2.5-inch midrange drivers and three half-inch silk dome tweeters). Add to that the system’s 150-watt, 8-inch wireless subwoofer, which can be located as far as 50 feet away and connects to the system automatically upon powering on—and the SurroundBar 9000 IHT as a whole is capable of delivering 510 watts of total peak power: 25 times as much as the typical TV speakers it is designed to replace.
The SurroundBar 9000 IHT also employs a number of key technologies engineered to deliver a more refined audio experience. The 9000’s Optimized Center Array (OCA) design creates what Polk says is a more realistic center speaker experience, resulting in increased dialog clarity, better midrange performance, more dynamic range, and superior off-axis response, in addition to increased sound output.
Polk’s patented SDA Surround technology also works to eliminate crosstalk between channels, ensuring that left and right ears independently hear the sound intended for them, creating a lifelike three-dimensional sound experience that more closely replicates the way the listener experiences sound in the real world.
Polk Audio’s SurroundBar 9000 IHT features dual tuned ports, designed to provide optimal blending between the midrange drivers and the subwoofer, no matter where the sub is located in the room, and no matter if the bar itself is shelf- or wall-mounted.
The SurroundBar 9000 includes two digital optical inputs (in addition to two analog audio inputs), combined with internal Dolby Digital and DTS processing, the 9000 IHT is designed to deliver more dynamic, high-impact sound from digital audio sources, straight out of the box.
The SurroundBar 5000 Instant Home Theater takes its spot in the line between the 4000 IHT and 6000 IHT, and it is the first Polk SurroundBar to feature Bluetooth connectivity.
The SurroundBar 5000
At just 31 inches wide and 2.25 inches deep, with a 6.5-inch wireless subwoofer, it’s intended for adding a robust surround sound experience to mid-sized displays, but can work with stereo personal music players like the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android phones, through wired or Bluetooth connections. The 5000 also utilizes the apt-X codec in conjunction with Bluetooth connectivity to deliver a true audiophile caliber streaming audio experience.
“With the SurroundBar 5000 IHT, we offer an attractive, easy-to-setup, even easier-to-operate surround sound solution for every budget—all without the need for surround speakers, expensive wire or additional amplification,” Baron said. “The benefit of Bluetooth connectivity makes this one of the most full featured bars at this or any price.”
Digital Logic Technology
One key to the performance of both the SurroundBar 5000 and 9000 is Polk Digital Logic technology, which relies on proprietary digital signal processing to optimize the system’s acoustical performance in the typical room, without the need for complicated setup menus and baffling instruction manuals.
Both new SurroundBars are Energy Star certified, and come with backup remote controls, although each can be programmed to understand the customer’s own TV remote control. Each system also features built-in keyhole slots for mounting, which ensure a wide range of placement options.
The Polk SurroundBar 9000 Instant Home Theater and SurroundBar 5000 Instant Home Theater will be available September 2012, at suggested retail prices of $849 and $399 respectively.