Review: Polk Signia S4 sound bar & subwoofer duo

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Picture of Erin Lawrence

Erin Lawrence

Signia S4 sound bar underneath a Frame TV on a teak wood credenza.Sound bars are a device people either love or hate. Lovers know they can take the lacklustre TV audio and make it many times better, while detractors think they’re an unnecessary upsell, since TVs already have speakers, right? I’ve reviewed dozens of TVs and sound bars and I can confirm they do make a big difference. In this post I’ll take a look at the Polk Signia S4 sound bar and subwoofer duo. I got to test them out in my home so I can report back on what they’re like to install, use and if I can recommend them for you.

Polk Signia S4
5

Summary

Polk Audio Signa S4 is the sound bar to get if you are after a very simple setup process and you find that the built-in TV speakers don’t quite project the voices in movies very well. The sound quality is outstanding, and having a sound bar that is Dolby Atmos compatible makes a real difference when you’re watching blockbuster movies.

Pros

  • Dolby Atmos-ready
  • Sounds amazing
  • Low profile design
  • You get both Sound bar and Subwoofer
  • Super fast and easy set up
  • Great bass
  • Physical remote included

Cons

  • Long size won’t fit on all furniture
  • No smartphone app

 Polk Audio Signa S4 review: what you get

Like the more affordable Signia S2, the top-tier Polk Audio Signa S4 system consists of a sound bar unit and a subwoofer, but this version gives ou way more for your money.
The Signa S4 sound bar’s seven-speaker array also boasts Dolby Atmos 3.1.2 listening. With a dedicated center channel for clear dialogue plus left and right tweeters and woofers, Polk promises this sound bar will deliver a huge, wide soundstage. Plus, dual up-firing speakers take advantage of Atmos’ height channels to send sounds over your head, creating the affect of 3D sound.

My hands-on video review


The sound bar measures about 41.2 inches wide and 2.4 inches high and 6.7-inches deep, wrapped in a flattened pill shaped housing., and it only comes in black. It’s lengthy, but Polk has clearly worked hard to make it low profile.

Included in the box is an IR remote control with included battery, a 6-inch HDMI cable, an optical cable, a pair of power cords for the two main components, and a quick start guide.

On-Device and Remote Controls but no app

You’ll find five circular buttons on the top of the Polk Audio Signa S4. These buttons let you power on or off the unit, change the input source, pair with Bluetooth devices, and adjust the volume. If you need to do more fine-tuning, there’s more options on the remote control as you can also adjust the bass, set the music mode, and choose one of the three levels for the VoiceAdjust feature.

Rather, surprisingly, it does not appear that this top-tier Polk sound bar has a companion app.

Setup and Connectivity

Signa S4’s lone HDMI port supports ARC or the audio return channel. But if you have other hardware, the optical and Aux/3.5-mm ports work too.
Connect your preferred cable— in my case HDMI and you’re done—really. The sound bar is smart enough to connect itself to your TV by itself , as it did with my Samsung Frame TV.

S4 sound abr on furniture with subwoofer on the floor beside it.The sound bar and subwoofer even come wirelessly paired to eachother from the factory so you shouldn’t have to set the sub woofer up separately. Just place the sub nearby and on the floor and plug it in. I was set up in less than 5 minutes.

Sound quality

I’m just going to cut right to the trees here and say the sound quality from the sound bar blew me away. The sound stage is absolutely massive and completely filled my open concept kitchen and living space with sound. It has a great ability to reach all corners of the room, while still maintaining detail and intricacy in the audio.

I tried it first on a couple of TV shows, and was extremely impressed with the overall sound. I moved on to a blockbuster Hollywood film to see how it would fare and it created a real theatre-like experience. I had the sound bar paired with my 2021Samsung Frame TV, which does have small speakers built-in. Even so those speakers are barely adequate so I have always had a sound bar connected here.
Since the sound bar is Dolby Atmos compatible, I decided to load up a movie that takes advantage of those overhead channels.
Playing music on the sound bar was similarly impressive; It was a huge upgrade from my small countertop Alexa speaker. Listening to jazz, ambient and rock was a joy on the Polk S4.

The bass is powerful and the sub creates a noticeably bolder low end that you can feel in the floorboards, while at the same time it’s not overpowering. I chalk that up to Polk’s BassAdjust mode which controls bass on both the sound bar and sub ensuring seamless blending.

Other Features

Once you got your sound bar up and running, you can try out some of the key features that improve the audio quality a bit further depending on the content you are playing. The remote control has dedicated buttons for movies and music which are basically EQ presets. To improve audio clarity without raising the volume, you may also use the Night Mode feature softens some of the bass.

Voice adjust

Close up of subwoofer.Anyone who has hearing troubles, or find some selves constantly mashing the volume buttons during quiet dialogue scenes will appreciate this special feature of the Polk Audio Signia S4: VoiceAdjust technology combines with Signa S4’s dedicated center channel to allow you to increase the volume of voices, making them clearer and easier to understand, while leaving the rest of the soundtrack untouched.

Overall Review: Polk Audio Signa S4

The Polk Audio Signa S4 is the sound bar to get if you are after a very simple setup process and you find that the built-in TV speakers don’t quite project the voices in movies very well. The VoiceAdjust technology really works and it doubles as a fabulous Bluetooth music speaker too. The sound quality is outstanding, and having a sound bar that is Dolby Atmos compatible makes a real difference when you’re watching blockbuster movies.

So what are the downsides? I’m reaching for these, because I had a really good overall experience; some users might find the extra long length of the sound bar to be incompatible with their furniture. And there’s no smart phone app. Not that that will create any problems since you can still control things right on the sound bar itself or using the physical remote control.

It sells for about $399US/$549CAD and you can get it from Polk, Best Buy or Amazon.

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