The American manufacturer Polk has established itself over the years as a major player in the home theater industry, with numerous home theater speaker packs including the Polk 5.0.2 R600 we recently tested (discover the review of the Polk 5.0.2 R600 package), as well as center speakers, Atmos speakers and bookshelf and floorstanding speakers designed for this purpose. For more discreet installations, the brand also has a full line of soundbars, newly complemented by the Polk MagniFi Max AX and Polk MagniFi Max AX SR, both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible models.
Polk MagniFi Max AX: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
Earlier this year, Polk Audio pulled off a real tour de force with the Polk MagniFi Mini AX soundbar, an ultra-compact model capable of creating surround sound in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X without obscuring the screen. A compactness made possible by the brand’s exclusive Stereo Dimensional Array (SDA) processing.
The new Polk MagniFi Max AX soundbar builds on this SDA system and integrates it into a larger format to deliver even more spectacular performance. Its length increases from 36cm to 114cm to integrate a set of 10 drivers, including two 6.4cm full-range drivers dedicated to the reproduction of Atmos effects. The center channel is entrusted to two 25 x 64mm drivers, as well as a 19mm tweeter to ensure clear dialogue. To rhythm action scenes, this Polk MagniFi Max AX soundbar works aongside a wireless subwoofer with a 25cm driver.
Supporting Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio formats, the Polk MagniFi Max AX soundbar promises to create a very enveloping 3D soundstage, even wider than that of the Polk MagniFi Mini AX. It therefore joins the most effective Atmos models on the market that you can find in the comparison of the best soundbars of 2022. Powerful DSP systems are at the heart of this Polk soundbar to adjust the sound according to the program being viewed. It features the patented Voice Adjust technology for voice enhancement, as well as a music, movie and night mode. It reduces the dynamic range and bass so you can enjoy your movies without disturbing your family or neighbors.
The large size of the Polk MagniFi Max AX soundbar also allows for expanded connectivity. It now includes three 4K UHD HDMI inputs to connect a Blu-ray player, a network player or a game console, for example. The 4th HDMI port is also 4K and eARC/ARC compatible to retrieve the soundtrack of the program viewed on the TV. The TV can also be connected via optical or mini-jack connection. Finally, the Polk MagniFi Max AX soundbar supports AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Bluetooth streaming protocols. Like the Polk React, it is compatible with Alexa for voice control.
The new Polk MagniFi Max AX sound bar is already available at a price of €799. The first units are expected this week.
Polk MagniFi Max AX SR: wireless surround speakers
The Polk MagniFi Max AX SR soundbar has all the features of the Polk MagniFi Max AX, but with a pair of wireless surround speakers. A concept already implemented through the Polk Magnifi Max SR soundbar (read the Polk Magnifi Max SR test) and that allows you to create a real wireless home theater system. With this pair of speakers, the Polk MagniFi Max AX SR can play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X tracks over 7.1.2 channels, compared to 5.1.2 channels for the Polk MagniFi Max AX. Immersion is enhanced, with more powerful and realistic surround effects. The sound distribution still uses the Polk SDA technology to extend the soundstage and create a real sound bubble.
The connectivity of the Polk MagniFi Max AX SR soundbar is also identical, with three HDMI ports supporting 4K UHD streams up to 60 fps, as well as HDR and Dolby Vision signals. Optical, mini-jack, and HDMI eaRC inputs make it easy to connect any TV, while AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Bluetooth are still present for music streaming.
The new Polk MagniFi Max AX SR soundbar is available for €899, which is only €100 more than the version without surround speakers. A competitive price in the wireless home theater market, where 7.1.2 channel models with wireless surround such as the Philips Fidelio B97, Sony HT-A7000 + SA-RS3S + SA-SW3 and Philips Fidelio TAFB1 + TAFW1+ TAFS1 are much more expensive.