If you don’t have the space for a massive sound bar but you still want better sound for your 4K TV, there is a solution that might surprise you. Meet the Polk MagniFi Mini AX, a super compact sound bar and subwoofer combo with Dolby Atmos. In this Polk Magnify Mini AX review I’ll take a look at what you’re getting with this audio duo, how it sounds, what it’s like to set up and control, what you can connect to it, and if overall I think it’s a good audio solution for your home.
Polk MagniFi Mini AX
The Polk MagNiFi Mini AX sound bar is a solid upgrade to a home audio setup. The sound quality is deceptively powerful and high quality, and the compact design with plug-and-play setup makes it easy to start enjoying right away. If you need to have wall-mounted speakers, this might not be the product for you.
- Excellent, powerful sound quality
- Compact size
- Plug-and-play setup
- Chunky design, cannot be easily wall-mounted
- Shape can be awkward to place
Review: Polk MagniFi Mini AX
The Polk MagniFi Mini connects to your TV using an (included!!) HDMI cable and aims to bridge the gap between great sound and not taking up too much space. When you unpack it and take a look at the sound bar side-by-side with the massive subwoofer, it’s clear how very small the MagniFi Mini AX is.
It’s easy to be skeptical that something so small should actually produce any kind of quality sound. We’ll get to that sound quality shortly. I will also add that I reviewed the original version of this sound bar back in 2018 and had a surprisingly good experience with that, so I’m excited to see what this newer model brings. Seems the key upgrades to this set up are some design enhancements to make it a little slicker, and the addition of Dolby Atmos support.
What’s in the box?
In the Polk Magnify Mini AX Soundbar box , you get pretty much everything you need for your sound bar to work. I love the fact there’s an HDMI cable included. There are no additional cables in there, but in the back of the sound bar are ports for other options if you need them, including Aux and Optical Audio too. You also get a remote control and the batteries are included. Quick controls are also located on the top of the sound bar. The Polk MagniFi Mini is about 14″ wide by 4-inches by 3-inches. I connected the power and the HDMI cable to the sound bar, and plugged in the Subwoofer.
My hands-on video review
Polk MagniFi Mini AX: Set-up
Amazingly this sound bar is smart enough to set itself up with your TV. I am using my MagniFi Mini with a Samsung Frame TV in the living room, and the sound bar and TV were able to establish an instant connection and I didn’t have to do a single thing. Even the sub paired to the sound bar without any help from me. I was also instantly able to use my Samsung TVs remote control to control the sound bar as well.
Like the first version I reviewed, this sound bar was able to wow me with its ultra wide soundstage. The sound bar sounds quite good and does an excellent job at projecting into the room, despite its diminutive size.
In all honesty, it’s a very powerful sound bar and sounds rich and full, and could easily convince someone in a blind test that it’s actually a full size sound bar.
The bass is outstanding too, thanks to the massive subwoofer.
Admittedly some users might find the sound bar is a little too compact for their tastes. I can say I tested this Mini sound bar after testing a full-size sound bar and while I noticed the difference between them back to back, by the next day I had forgotten all about the full size option. The Magnifi Mini AX is that good; it can make you forget how small it is since it keeps dazzling with the audio.
Listening to music on the MagniFi Mini AX is really nice too; it sounds great and can easily rival any dedicated speaker like a Sonos or a Google Nest Audio. It sounds dynamite, and the streaming process is easy and stutter-free. You can use it with Bluetooth or connect a tablet, or computer over Wi- Fi and use Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, and Spotify Connect.
A cool feature of the sound bar is Night Mode. This feature is popping up in home theatre audio more often because it can fix an issue many of us have: watching TV at night without waking the house. Night Mode softens the bass while increasing the voices and keeping the volume more consistent, so you don’t need to wake the family at top volume, or strain to hear your movie.
When I tried it out it, it does noticeably drop the bass level, but things still sound good and clear.
A feature the original MagniFi Mini had and this one carries on is Polk Voice Adjust Technology. This option uses speech-clarifying technology with the sound bar’s center channel speaker to bring up the level of voices without affecting the rest of the audio.
I found in my testing that when watching some programs, this setting did definitely help the voices punch through better. It somehow enhances them and just makes them more noticeable over background scene noise.
How does the Dolby Atmos sound? The Polk audio MagniFi Mini AX has ability to mimic the effects of a fuller surround sound system, using only the sound bar. Dolby Atmos is designed to introduce overhead audio channels into full surround sound systems. And unless you’re in a spot where you are going to be adding overhead speakers to your house (not many of us are), many sound bars will instead use overhead firing channels in the top of the bar to mimic this effect.
There aren’t any up-facing speakers in the Magnifi Mini, so what you’re essentially getting here is a digital illusion.
I’d say there’s no rabbit in this hat, however: while the Magnifi Mini AX gets nice and full and gets loud, and does a really great job at filling the room, it’s got a long way to reach to the ceiling. So can it mimic a true Dolby Atmos system… in a word, no.
I should also point out that the speaker sounds much better if you’re sitting right in front of it. If you’re off to the side, the audio sounds more directional and narrower, where right in front, you do get a wider soundscape.
Polk MagniFi Mini AX: Overall review
Overall there’s plenty to enjoy about the Polk MagniFi Mini AX.
The sound quality is excellent, whether it’s TV audio or music streaming. The compact size of the sound bar is nice, and it’s deceptively powerful. I’m also blown away by how easy it was to set up: quite literally plug and play with no fussing with apps or set-up screens.
If there are any cons, it’s that the shape of the sound bar might be one reason I would opt not to get to it.
Though small, it’s rather chunky. Plus, it can’t be wall mounted without getting highly creative, so it needs a piece of furniture to sit on, meaning if you have a wall-mounted TV as I do (and no furniture underneath) it’s may not be an option, or you may need a shelf.
The size of the wireless subwoofer is also a bit of a conundrum; particularly since the sound bar is so small it may be harder to find a place for the sub that’s out of the way.
While the Polk Magnify Mini AX sound bar may be able to almost pull a disappearing act, the subwoofer is the Statue of Liberty that only David Copperfield will be able to hide.
Even so, I actually really like the Magnifi Mini duo; it’s been an extremely capable audio solution for my living room. I can absolutely recommend it for you if you’re looking for a better sound in a smaller package.
It sells for $699CAD and you can get it from Polk, Amazon or Best Buy.
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