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Polk Audio SurroundBar 360

August 30, 2009

Not too long after my failed Zvox experiment, I purchased a Polk Audio SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater. I had looked at several other single bar surround sound systems… including the Sony HT-CT100, a couple of Samsung’s and the Yamaha’s…. before choosing this one. I really liked a couple of things about it. First, it has enough bass not to need a sub-woofer. (I could add a subwoofer, but it doesn’t need one.) This made it less expensive than the Yahmaha’s, which require one for decent sound. The Polk is also much more flexible than the Sony, which puts all the I/O ports in the subwoofer. That would have forced me to keep  the sub, the TV and other components close to each other. Second, the Polk has a lot of inputs… including 3 optical audio jacks… allowing for future expansion (a blu-ray player or Wii).

My one complaint is that it doesn’t have any HDMI inputs. This means that I have to switch the video and video sources individually. It’s not a big deal… but does irritate the wife. Beyond that one nit, it sounds fantastic and is more than capable of filling my room (18×13) with rich, full sound.

If you do pick one of these up, Polk just make a firmware upgrade available that does a nice job of enhancing the sound. Initially,  background music / effects would drown out the dialogue on some programs (not all, but some). After the upgrade, the dialog has been crisp and clear on everything. Highly recommended.

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From → Electronics

2 Comments
  1. Asir Sikdar permalink

    I also bought a Polk 360 and I am not convinced with it at all. Lows are okay but Highs are not that detailed. Also whenever I hook it with my Samsung 46B750 TV through HDMI I don’t get any pictures, so I am right now connect it through component video. You mentioned about Polk’s rolled out of a firmware upgrade, I googled for it but I could not find anything on Polk’s website, can you please send me the link?

  2. jrdpizzo permalink

    Hi Asir,

    To get the firmware upgrade, you have to contact Polk customer service. I did this through their web site. Note: they will need you to ship the console back to them so they can apply the upgrade. (Having applied lots of firmware upgrades to lots of devices, I was turned off by this. I still don’t understand why its not a download to throw on a USB stick.) But, the turn around was very quick, their support team was great to work with and it did improve the dialog significantly.

    Given your description above… it sounds like you have a bad console anyway. I connect the console to my TV through HDMI and can watch DVD’s without issue. I’d contact Polk.

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