106

Polk Audio Magnifi MAX SR Review

True Score

79
76
2

Experts

83
1,204

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The Polk Audio MagniFi Max SR is a bargain for its price thanks to the low latency, outstanding surround, clear dialogues, and customizable EQ for enhanced immersion during dialogue-heavy and action-packed movies. But cinephiles may find the subwoofer’s bass overwhelming and no Dolby Atmos disappointing.

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Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR is a mid-tier sound system that was first made available in 2017. It consists of a soundbar, two wireless satellites, and a subwoofer and is fairly compact in size and design.

Its subwoofer contributes a lot to its boomy sound profile, but movie buffs might be a bit disappointed with its lack of support for Dolby Atmos, a central feature among most highly rated speakers.

Its soundstage doesn’t quite compare to what the best soundbars in the market have to offer, but it can get loud enough for crowded parties. In terms of physical inputs, it has one HDMI ARC port, one HDMI out port, three Full HDMI ports, and an AUX port.

The soundbar also supports Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and has Chromecast built-in. It is only missing support for Apple AirPlay, which is present in our Samsung HW-Q850A review.

Rankings (recommended in)

Best For

  • Dialogue

Consensus

our Verdict

The Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR securely connects via Full HDMI In, Optical, and HDMI ARC, while its subwoofer and satellites connect wirelessly.

Audio streaming is seamless through Bluetooth, WiFi, and Chromecast built-in, and the latency is good (tested at 99ms through ARC and -11ms through Full HDMI In).

The fairly wide soundstage and the surround satellites boost immersion, but the subwoofer’s bass-heavy notes are overpowering, and there’s no Dolby Atmos support.

While accurate mids offer clear dialogue, and the U-shaped sound profile accentuates bass and treble (good for rock music), the audio often sounds unnatural.

You get an EQ-enabled sleek remote, and the all-plastic bar feels sturdy. It has three customizable EQ settings, but connecting to the Google Home app over WiFi is taxing for firmware updates.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Excellent sound quality
    • The Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR offers clear dialogue for TV shows with its accurate mids, and rock fans will appreciate the U-shaped sound profile that accentuates bass and treble. It also boasts a fairly wide soundstage and comes with surround satellites for boosting immersion.

  • Multiple connectivity options and low latency
    • It has plenty of stable connectivity options, like  Full HDMI In, Optical, HDMI eARC, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Chromecast built-in. Compared to all the products tested, its 99 ms latency through eARC is quite high while -11 ms through Full HDMI In ranks among the best we’ve tested.

  • Good design and durability
    • Its all-plastic exterior can withstand some rugged handling, and at just 2.0” tall, it won’t obstruct your TV’s IR sensor. 

  • Simple user interface
    • The bar has three customizable EQ settings, and the top of the bar has physical buttons for controlling basic functions, like power, input adjustment, and volume. For managing more advanced features, simply switch to the user-friendly remote.

Reason to Avoid

  • No Atmos support
    • The lack of Dolby Atmos support diminishes the immersive experience, especially during layered action scenes.

  • No display
    • Understanding the current settings becomes challenging without a dedicated display, which contributes to a less intuitive user experience.

  • No smart features
    • It’s missing a handy companion app and a built-in voice assistant for easily controlling various functions. Plus, if the remote goes missing, there’s no backup option to manage the soundbar.

Polk Audio Magnifi MAX SR Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth3.8"
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement FeatureYes
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
HeightHeight2.1"
SubwooferSubwooferIncluded
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Digital, DTS
Voice AssistantVoice AssistantGoogle Assistant
Wall MountableWall MountableYes
WeightWeight6 lbs
WidthWidth43"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer ConnectivityYes
Works WithWorks WithBluetooth, Google Assistant

All Specs

Test Results

Low End Roll Off (Hz)35.125
High End Roll Off (Hz)15,565.829
Max Volume Test (db)97.6
Latency (ms)99
THD @ 80dB0.35

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Product Comparison

Polk Audio Magnifi MAX SR Review

JBL Bar 5.1 Review

JBL Bar 5.1 Review

True Score

79
89
NR
79

Ranking

#

106

/

149

#

3

/

149

#

/

8

#

106

/

149

Market Context

The Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR is a mid-tier sound system that was first made available in 2017. It consists of a soundbar, two wireless…

The Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR is a mid-tier sound system that was first made available in 2017. It consists of a soundbar, two wireless satellites, and a subwoofer and is fairly compact in size and design.

Its subwoofer contributes a lot to its boomy sound profile, but movie buffs might be a bit disappointed with its lack of support for Dolby Atmos, a central feature among most highly rated speakers.

Its soundstage doesn’t quite compare to what the best soundbars in the market have to offer, but it can get loud enough for crowded parties. In terms of physical inputs, it has one HDMI ARC port, one HDMI out port, three Full HDMI ports, and an AUX port.

The soundbar also supports Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and has Chromecast built-in. It is only missing support for Apple AirPlay, which is present in our Samsung HW-Q850A review.

The Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR has a better surround sound performance than the Samsung HW-Q800A, thanks to the two extra back satellite speakers it…

The Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR has a better surround sound performance than the Samsung HW-Q800A, thanks to the two extra back satellite speakers it ships with. The MAX SR also includes a Digital Optical Cable in its packaging that you won’t find with the HW-Q800A, but the Samsung soundbar supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, while the Polk Audio system does not.

While the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR features dialogue enhancement technology while the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround soundbar does not, the JBL soundbar supports Apple…

While the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR features dialogue enhancement technology while the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround soundbar does not, the JBL soundbar supports Apple AirPlay, a feature that the MAX SR does not support. The JBL soundbar also has a digital display, which is lacking on the MAX SR.

The most significant difference between the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR and the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX is that the SR ships with an additional…

The most significant difference between the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR and the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX is that the SR ships with an additional set of two surround speakers, making the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX SR a 5.1-channel setup and the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX a 3.1-channel setup.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depth

3.8"

4.5"

3.8"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

Yes

Yes

Yes

Energy Star Certified

No

No

No

HDMI ARC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Height

2.1"

2.4"

2.1"

Subwoofer

Included

Included

Included

Surround Sound Supported

Dolby Digital, DTS

Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS TruVolume, DTS Virtual:X, DTS:X

Dolby Digital, DTS

Dig Deeper

Samsung HW-Q800A Review →

Polk Audio Magnifi MAX SR Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

76

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

83

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

79

Any product with a True Score above 80 is a Absolutely Fresh

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Rating

    77
    With its ‘Music’ preset, the Polk Audio MagniFi MAX has a somewhat U-shaped sound profile… Read More

    By:

    Jake Thauvette
  • Best Views Reviews
    12.35

    Category Trust Rating

    72
    “No bottom line found for this product” Read More

    By:

    Unknown