Gadgets for humans

Polk’s new soundbar packs a subwoofer and Google Assistant support for $250


Polk Audio today announced the Signa S3, an affordable soundbar that offers a compelling collection of features with its $250 price tag — including Google Assistant support and a wireless subwoofer included in the box.

The device supports Chromecast out of the box, allowing you to easily send music to it from any device or app that can cast via the standard. And though the soundbar itself odes not serve as a Google Assistant device, it can be operated via another such device, like a Google Nest Mini. This also means the device can be linked with other Chromecast devices in your home for multi-room audio.

In terms of sound quality, the Signa S3 can decode Dolby Digital 5.1 content, and can reach down to 45Hz with the included subwoofer. It’s not clear if that’s an in-room or anechoic figure(the latter will underestimate bass in a typical home), but either way it should be enough for all but the deepest sub-bass. It won’t shake your socks off, but you shouldn’t feel like there’s bass missing with most content.

Bass aside, the speaker features Polk’s ‘Voice Adjust’ technology, which lets you enhance dialog separate from other content when watching movies and TV, and there are three EQ modes for movies, music, and night time listening. The speaker operates via HDMI-ARC and supports HDMI–CEC, so it should be easy to set up with a simple HDMI cable and can be controlled with most existing TV remotes too. Should your TV not support those standards, Polk also throws in an optical audio cable.

We loved the Signa S1, which we reviewed back in 2018; that model lacked voice assistant support and 5.1 decoding, but it was still a solid performer and delivered value for money. If Polk has managed to improve on that, then the S3 should certainly be worth a go for your home entertainment setup.

The Sigma S3 goes on sale June 15 for $249.

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

Published May 5, 2020 — 20:47 UTC

Signa S3 on Polk