Polk Audio Signa 3 Soundbars can be used for more than just watching movies and TV.
Soundbars can also be used to play music, as models such as the Polk Signa S3 show that a bar can produce a musical sound without spending a lot of money.
A powerful subwoofer anchors the Signa’s exceptional audio performance, helping boost the bottom end of both difficult soundtracks and heavy music.
The Polk also adds essential features such as WiFi streaming and Chromecast streaming, which are not available on cheaper Vizio V21. The Signa lacks the DTS Virtual:X processing of rivals Vizio and Yamaha, however.
Virtual:X creates a convincing surround field without the need for rear speakers. This makes it easier to watch TV.
For users looking for a soundbar that can play music and movies simultaneously, the Vizio V21 may be a better option; however, the Polk will appeal to music lovers who desire a more detailed and powerful sound.
Chromecast is built into the Signa S3 and allows users to stream music from compatible apps such as Spotify, Amazon Music HD, Spotify, and Tidal.
Although it does not have a voice assistant, you can use a separate Google Assistant speaker such as the Nest Mini to control your music.
Polk’s Voice Adjust technology allows users to adjust the volume of dialogue and the Movie, Music, and Night modes.
Although the S3 does not have Dolby Atmos decoding like more expensive soundbars, it does have Dolby digital 5.1 via one HDMI ARC connection.
The Soundbar includes a digital optical in and an auxiliary of 3.5mm.
The main speaker measures 35 inches wide by 2 inches high and is less than 2 inches tall. This means it won’t block your TV’s IR port. The four-driver bar includes two woofers, two tweeters, and two woofers. It can also be mounted on a wall without the need for a bracket.
The subwoofer, which is ported and wireless, is quite large, especially for a budget unit. It’s also made of MDF (Made from wood) rather than plastic, like some other units.
The S3 is easier to use than the Vizio V21. Additionally, the remote features clear markings for all functions and inputs. There is no need to cycle through the inputs or sound modes — simply press the one that interests you.
The Polk Signa S3 was tested against two other 2020 soundbars, the Vizio V21 Soundbar and the JBL Bar Deep Bass 2.1 Deep Bass.
It came out on top in one important aspect: it had the most fun playing music.
The Vizio V21 sounds great on its own, but compared to the Polk, it seemed a bit more boxed in and chesty than the Polk. The Polk delved deeper into recordings and released key details. It made it easy to forget that I was listening to a soundbar.
The Polk Signa S3 sounded natural, whether I was listening to Spotify or watching Netflix, and had a good stereo soundstage.
It also felt powerful when necessary. It was not limiting or distorting and was very compact for its size.
The system produces powerful low-frequency depth in Music mode for tracks with a lot of sub-bass content like “Silent Shout” by The Knife. It doesn’t distort at high volumes or full bass levels.
However, the sub can cause some rattling in your home at these levels. This system is very loud for its price. The bass sound maybe a little more muted at lower volumes.
However, you can adjust the Bass Volume on your remote to increase lows when listening to moderate volume levels.
The Polk Audio Signa S3 2.1 system is solid for $249. It makes up for what it lacks in adjustable EQ bands and subwoofer volume control.
Although the sub doesn’t have the same low, ominous rumble as some, it produces a strong bass presence that will please anyone looking for extra thunder for movies. We also love the $280 SonyHT-S350 in this price range. The $180 TCL Alto 7+, which is even cheaper, is a great deal.
Each system has its strengths, so make sure to read our reviews. If you want powerful sub-bass, meanwhile, you might want to invest in a more powerful system, like the $500 Klipsch Cinema 600, which can often be found for closer to $300, and which can be expanded to a full 5.1 system.
- High-Quality Audio Performance with Powerful Bass and Crisp Highs
- Wireless Subwoofer
- Voice Adjust Mode for clearer Dialogue
- There is no EQ
- There are no visual indicators to indicate which audio mode is being used.