Review: Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater

Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA IHT Review

Gamers all across the globe spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to maintain their hobby of gaming. Buying the latest and greatest television, the latest gaming consoles, and the latest games will without a doubt make your pockets hurt. Although gaming is already expensive as it is, most gamers seem to forget about one other type of technology that will greatly enhance your experience, being sound. Read more for the full review.

Gamers tend to look at sound systems as something that is not needed and only provides a large benefit for hardcore movie watchers. They tend to focus on the latest and greatest television and games leaving sound behind. Now do not get me wrong, a nice television is essential to your gaming experience as it provides the video aspect of gaming, but that is only half of it.

Using the speakers that come built-in with your television is going to provide you with the worst sound quality possible. With no true subwoofer and the lack of high wattage, the sound coming out of your television is not going to sound anything like it was intended to. Now I know many of you guys are thinking: “What if I have a small room and do not want to run speakers and wires to the back?” That is why I am here with you today to introduce you guys to Polk Audio’s SurroundBar SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) Instant Home Theater.

The masterminds behind Polk Audio have developed a way to bring gamers the surround sound experience with the lack of wires and speakers. Polk Audio’s SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater is more than just any average sound system or soundbar out there. With a self-powered speaker bar and a wireless 6.5-inch subwoofer (up to 50ft.), you are sure to get an amazing sound experience without rear speakers or speaker wire.

As many of you guys know, most 5.1/7.1 surround sound systems require that you buy a receiver to hook you speakers into. The receiver’s purpose is to provide power to the speakers to produce the sound. With this soundbar, there is no need to go out and buy a receiver because it’s conveniently self-powered. This means all you have to do is plug the included RCA cable from your soundbar to your television, plug the bar and wireless subwoofer into an electrical outlet, and then place the soundbar in front of your television. After you have done those steps, just press the power button and your ready to rock!

When I first heard about soundbars, I automatically assumed they were low powered and would not put out the sound I would enjoy, and boy was I wrong. I am lucky enough to test out Polk Audio’s SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater and man it is an experience.

When playing games like Modern Warfare 2 and the recently released, MAG, I felt like I was actually in the war. When I first heard the sound this product could output, I could not believe what I was hearing from something that takes five minutes to hook up and barely any space at all. I also decided to test out sport games like Madden NFL 10 and music titles such as Rock Band. Once again, I was amazed by what I was hearing and it felt like I was truly in the game. I also noticed in most of my games that I was hearing things I had never heard before. As someone who just had a set of computer speakers, I feel like I am experiencing something totally different with all of my games.

Now although this soundbar is great for gaming, it is also amazing for watching movies. Being a huge fan of Blu-ray, watching movies has become my second hobby over the past couple years. I am still amazed by the video quality I am receiving from my new television and the latest movie releases, but I never realized what I was missing until I hooked this baby up.

Polk Audio’s SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater does a great job of making the viewer feel like they are in the scene with the actors and actresses. The first movie I tested with the SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on Blu-ray. I cranked this system up and instantly became a part of the movie experience. Every sound I heard came out perfectly crisp and I found myself diving into the movie. I also tested the soundbar with The Dark Knight on Blu-ray and found myself imagining I was actually in the scene with the characters.

As with anything else, this product does have one drawback. There is an obvious optimum position for the viewer. What I mean by this is unless you have the soundbar mounted above your television, the optimum sound experience comes from the dead center of the soundbar. While using this product, I noticed when I moved from the center of my room to another side, the sound seemed to level off. It is not to the point to where it is no longer enjoyable, but you will hear a difference.

Now the obvious solution to this issue is to just sit in the middle of your room, like I do, but if you are someone who sits off to the side, be sure to position the soundbar accordingly.

Overall, Polk Audio’s SurroundBar SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) Instant Home Theater is a force to be reckoned with. With exceptional sound quality without the need of rear speakers and speaker wire, Polk Audio’s SurroundBar SDA IHT is a must buy for any gamer/movie watcher who wants great sound without running speaker wire and hanging rear speakers.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Written by: Nick McCandless

51 Comments Added

Join Discussion
  1. Wessam February 22, 2010 | Reply
    9.5, WOW!!!!!

    LOL, just kidding I just said that cause of what you guys said on the gen X people just see the score and call it a day lmao

    I really need a surroundsound I currently use a PC speakers plugged in to my no-speaker-built-in HD 1080P SAMSUNG Monitor. So this doesnt need a receiver like the 5.1/7.1, that's good. That's the feel I want to get, feeling that I'm in the game like you said you feel like your in a War when you played MW2/MAG man I can't wait to get a surround sound! I like it, great review.
  2. Wessam February 22, 2010 | Reply
    9.5, WOW!!!!!

    LOL, just kidding I just said that cause of what you guys said on the gen X people just see the score and call it a day lmao

    I really need a surroundsound I currently use a PC speakers plugged in to my no-speaker-built-in HD 1080P SAMSUNG Monitor. So this doesnt need a receiver like the 5.1/7.1, that's good. That's the feel I want to get, feeling that I'm in the game like you said you feel like your in a War when you played MW2/MAG man I can't wait to get a surround sound! I like it, great review.
  3. Wessam February 22, 2010 | Reply
    9.5, WOW!!!!!

    LOL, just kidding I just said that cause of what you guys said on the gen X people just see the score and call it a day lmao

    I really need a surroundsound I currently use a PC speakers plugged in to my no-speaker-built-in HD 1080P SAMSUNG Monitor. So this doesnt need a receiver like the 5.1/7.1, that's good. That's the feel I want to get, feeling that I'm in the game like you said you feel like your in a War when you played MW2/MAG man I can't wait to get a surround sound! I like it, great review.
  4. Wessam February 22, 2010 | Reply
    9.5, WOW!!!!!

    LOL, just kidding I just said that cause of what you guys said on the gen X people just see the score and call it a day lmao

    I really need a surroundsound I currently use a PC speakers plugged in to my no-speaker-built-in HD 1080P SAMSUNG Monitor. So this doesnt need a receiver like the 5.1/7.1, that's good. That's the feel I want to get, feeling that I'm in the game like you said you feel like your in a War when you played MW2/MAG man I can't wait to get a surround sound! I like it, great review.
  5. Nick McCandless February 22, 2010 | Reply
    Trust me dude! You would think this soundbar could not output anything great, but give it a try and you will be blown away!
  6. Nick McCandless February 22, 2010 | Reply
    Trust me dude! You would think this soundbar could not output anything great, but give it a try and you will be blown away!
  7. Nick McCandless February 22, 2010 | Reply
    Trust me dude! You would think this soundbar could not output anything great, but give it a try and you will be blown away!
  8. Nick McCandless February 22, 2010 | Reply
    Trust me dude! You would think this soundbar could not output anything great, but give it a try and you will be blown away!
  9. JSkyWalker February 22, 2010 | Reply
    i was thinking about getting a surround sound system. i also want to try out the tritons as well. sound really does impact the gaming experience.
  10. JSkyWalker February 22, 2010 | Reply
    i was thinking about getting a surround sound system. i also want to try out the tritons as well. sound really does impact the gaming experience.
  11. JSkyWalker February 22, 2010 | Reply
    i was thinking about getting a surround sound system. i also want to try out the tritons as well. sound really does impact the gaming experience.
  12. JSkyWalker February 22, 2010 | Reply
    i was thinking about getting a surround sound system. i also want to try out the tritons as well. sound really does impact the gaming experience.
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