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Polk Audio SurroundBar®50

5-channel home theater speaker (Black)

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Item #: 107SB50B
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Polk Audio SurroundBar®50

by Loren Barstow
Polk Audio

Sound bar speakers: room-filling sound with less clutter

Add big sound to your TV without a roomful of speakers. Sound bars require minimal space and wiring, and their sleek designs complement today's flat-panel TVs. Most sound bars have their own built-in amplification, so you won't need to use a home theater receiver. Some models use advanced surround processing and carefully aimed speaker drivers to simulate the effects of a full home theater audio system.

3D sound from a single slim speaker

Enjoy three-dimensional sound for your movies, TV shows, and video games with the Polk SurroundBar50. It uses the same patented technologies found in the original SurroundBar to deliver room-filling, wraparound audio without the need for rear speakers. Plus, it adds two additional drivers for even more enveloping sound from all your audio sources. This décor-friendly single-speaker solution works with any home theater receiver. And its elegant design matches today's popular flat-panel TVs, especially those with screens 50" or larger.

Grille off shot

Flexible placement

You can wall-mount the SurroundBar50 right below your TV. Or use the supplied cradle to place this video-shielded speaker on your equipment stand or on top of a big-screen television. The included 15-foot speaker cable comes with color-coded wires for all five channels to keep setup simple.

For full home theater impact, pair the SurroundBar50 with a Polk powered subwoofer.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • video-shielded
  • bass reflex (ported) design
  • frequency response 80-20,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • handles up to 20-150 watts
  • sensitivity 90 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • SDA™ Surround technology delivers 360º wraparound sound from just one speaker
  • Dynamic Balance® drivers are laser-tested to help identify and eliminate resonance points for cleaner sound
  • three 3/4" Dynamic Balance dome tweeters
  • nine 3-1/2" Dynamic Balance woofers
  • five sets of 5-way binding posts
  • extruded aluminum cabinet virtually eliminates sound-muddying resonance
  • anti-diffraction grille for open, spacious imaging
  • bracket included for easy wall-mounting
  • cradle included
  • 15-foot, 10-connector, color-coded speaker wire included
  • optional UL-rated speaker cables recommended for in-wall runs
  • 51"W x 4-1/2"H x 5-1/16"D
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Enclosure
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Bass Reflex
Pieces in System
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1
Color
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Black
Tweeter
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0.75" Dome (x3)
Midrange
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---
Woofer
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3.5" Cone (x9)
Separate Subwoofer
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No
Subwoofer Driver
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---
Bluetooth Connectivity
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Wall-mountable
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Yes
Mounting Bracket Included
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Yes
Surface Mount Stand Included
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Yes
Speaker Parts Warranty
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5 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty
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5 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty
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N/A
Amplifier Labor Warranty
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N/A
Specifications
System Frequency Response
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80-20k Hz
Powered System
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No
Sound Bar RMS Power
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---
Subwoofer RMS Power
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Audio Inputs
Mini Stereo Audio Inputs
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RCA Stereo Audio Inputs
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Optical Digital Audio Inputs
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Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs
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HDMI Audio Video Connections
HDMI Inputs
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HDMI Outputs
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Dimensions
Sound Bar (inches)
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4-1/2H x 51W x 5-1/16D
Sound Bar Weight
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15 lbs
Subwoofer (inches)
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Subwoofer Weight
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Not Given
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 1 Black SurroundBar50 5-channel speaker
  • 15' Length of 10-conductor speaker wire (5-channel)
  • Speaker bracket
  • Metal wall mounting plate
  • 2 Sets of cradle mounts
  • 2 Mounting bolts
  • User's Guide
  • Online product registration sheet
  • Warranty information
  • First time setup instructions
  • Polk Audio product brochure

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Overview: The Polk SurroundBar50 is a great solution for surround sound in situations where you can't, or choose not to, run speaker wires for a multi speaker system. Located above or below your TV, five surround channels (front left, center, front right, rear right, and rear left) are housed in this one speaker. Each channel can handle up to 150 watts RMS.

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Connections
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

SDA Surround Technology: Polk's patented SDA Surround technology means there's no need to install rear speakers. SDA Surround creates a completely immersive experience, as if there were dozens of speakers all around you. This technology is based on fundamental research into the way our ears process sound and perceive the direction of sounds. It uses a patented combination of signal processing and acoustical geometry that complements the spacing between your ears to produce surround sound without the need for rear mounted speakers. Since the SurroundBar50 works directly with the hearing mechanism and requires no special room characteristics, it can deliver a room-filling surround experience in nearly any location in almost any type of room.

Woofers: The SurroundBar50 utilizes nine 3-1/2"  Dynamic Balance composite woofers to provide clear, distortion-free midrange, even at high volume levels.

Tweeters: The SurroundBar50 utilizes three high-performance 3/4" Dynamic Balance Silk dome tweeters to deliver clear highs and lifelike imaging.

Enclosure Design

Enclosure: The SurroundBar50 features a stylishly curved extruded aluminum enclosure in either a black or titanium finish to match today's flat-panel televisions. The shape of the heavy-duty non-resonant aluminum enclosure breaks up internal standing wave resonance to give you pure, lifelike sound.

Dual Front Ports: The SurroundBar50's enclosure utilizes dual front ports for superior clean, low distortion-free bass.

Anti-Diffraction Grille And Bezel: The SurroundBar50's anti-diffraction grille and bezel help create open, spacious imaging.

Connections

Speaker Terminals: The SurroundBar50 has five high-quality 5-way binding post input terminals, one each for front left, center, front right, rear right, and rear left channels. In addition to pin, spade, banana, and dual banana connectors, bare wire up to 11 gauge will fit. You will need to remove a plug inserted in the center of each post if you wish to use banana plugs.

Color Coded Wiring: The included 15-foot 10-conductor speaker wire is color-coded to match the SurroundBar50 terminals and clearly marked for easy hookup.

Mounting Options

Video Shielded: The SurroundBar50 is magnetically (video) shielded for safe placement near your TV or computer monitor without causing picture interference.

Cradle Mounts: The speaker can be placed above or below your TV using the supplied speaker cradle mounts. The SurroundBar50 comes supplied with two sets of cradle mounts. While on the cradle mounts, the speaker can be aimed up or down slightly toward the listening area. The smaller set of cradles lift the speaker approximately 1/2" above the surface on which it sits while the larger set of cradles lift the speaker up approximately 1-1/4".

Wall Mounting: The wall mounting system consists of two pieces; a wall mounting plate and a speaker mounting bracket. First, the metal plate is mounted to the wall, it's 20" long and has multiple holes so you'll be able to mount it to at least one stud (use two if possible). Mounting screws should be used with a wall anchor if not in a stud. Next the Speaker mounting bracket is bolted to the SurroundBar50 using the supplied 10mm bolts. The speaker can be tilted up or down approximately 15° when mounted on the bracket. The bracket mounts the speaker approximately 11/16" away from the wall. The two 10mm" threaded inserts are 13" apart and can be used with different mounting brackets if you prefer.

 
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Polk Audio SurroundBar®50 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Filter by rating:
4 out of 5

Good option

Written By AdBar, New Mexico on Monday, August 29, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Coupled with a good subwoofer and a good receiver, the SurroundBar 50 produces excellent audio. Compared to my old AV speakers, the SurroundBar reproduced clearer dialogue for movies (e.g., blu-ray Avatar, the Fifth Element, We Were Soldiers) and a better defined sound stage (e.g. the Dark side of the Moon, Swing Live).

The SoundBar speakers are all in the front do not produce the same sound as a set of 5.1 speakers. For example, audience applause on Swing Live did not come from the rear. No surprise here; just don't expect true surround sound unless surrounded by speakers. I deducted 1 star for this limitation.

The limitation is in depth not width of the sound stage. For example the footsteps in The Dark Side of the Moon clearly run across the stage. So with the SoundBar you give up hearing a helicopter fly over from the rear, in exchange for not running speaker wire to the sides and rear of the room.





















1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Crisp and clean

Written By Kris, Atlanta, GA on Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was very skeptical at first of soundbars but now am very happy with the purchase of this one. The sound is crisp and clean. It is an awesome alternative to putting speakers everywhere in the room. It actually does make the sound wrap around you and it fills the room. I paired it with the polk pro 550WI sub and together you can't beat the sound quality. I now have the crisp highs and the vibrating lows that i wanted. Thanks crutchfield for all the work you do. I am a research junkie and crutchfield was a huge help in deciding what to buy.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

great deal!

Written By mikemin, augusta, ks on Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
our home theater room is small (12x12), This was the perfect solution to take back the
floor space eaten up by the 6 tower speakers (we had the center channel mounted on
the wall already). Our plasma, the polk soundbar, two polk owm 3 (for rear surrounds)
and all of our componets mounted on the wall. it really cleaned up our room!

The speaker cable that comes with this is great: all wires loomed up and neat. very easy
to hide.

The sound is great!, no dissapointments. i recommend a sub for best sults. this
soundbar was used to replace an infiinity 7.1 system.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Wow great sound in a sleak package

Written By Karl D, Detroit, MI on Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
If you have a small space or in my case a spouse who didn't want speakers all over the
family room, This is some of the best sound you can get for the size and money.
Installations was easy and programing the receiver to maximize the sound wasn't too bad
either. cannot wait to pair it up with a sub.
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4 out of 5

Polk Soundbar

Written By SWolf, Pasadena MD on Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Good clean sound from a well made enclosure. Makes HD Audio all it should be. Not the Ideal stands for the unit, in my opinion, but they work.
3 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Easy to connect, very good sound!

Written By Freddie, Lumberton,NJ on Monday, September 29, 2008
 
This is the path to 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, without breaking a sweat.No need to run wires under the carpet,through the attic or in the basement to connect your speakers.When connected to a high quality audio/video receiver and subwoofer all you have to do is take a little time to calibrate your system. You will be rewarded with a home theater sound experience that is superior to 95% of the movie theaters you will ever go to! This could be the most cost effective route to surround sound in the market place today!
27 out of 29 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Polk Audio SurroundBar®50

Written By Aaron, AL on Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Received everything promptly from Crutchfield and very easy to setup. Sounds like I thought it would, not quite as good as true surround sound theater systems but much better than the TV speakers. I recommend using the manual for speaker setup instructions, sounds much better than the auto setup on the receiver. Also purchased the Polk DSW Pro 600 subwoofer, great combination. A great compromise if not wanting the obtrusiveness of full surround sound speakers.
15 out of 17 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Polk Audio SurroundBar®50

Written By Charlie, Jeannette, PA on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Received the sound bar very quickly from Crutchfield, installation was a no brainer, sits in front of my 50" plazma. That is where I failed to see that the IF port for my remote was going to be blocked by the sound bar. Now I have to hang the 50" from the wall or get a remote extender. No big deal, but still I have to deal with it. The sound bar really sounds good. I don't get the surround sound like you would with satellite speakers, but with the subwoofer it has really made a big difference over the TV speakers.
13 out of 13 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Speaker(s)

Written By Casey, Crystal River, Fl on Sunday, April 27, 2008
 
What a great set up! I have installed this in my master bedroom. I previously had a Bose Lifestyle 45 system in my room, my rear speakers were already installed w/wires run through the ceiling. Polk Audios web site gave some great tips on how to set up your Surround Bar. I purchased a Denon 2308 along with a Polk Audio PRO500 Sub.

The Denon 2308 is a 7.1 receiver. The Surround Bar w/sub accounts for 5.1 of your set up. Which sounds good, but I left my Bose speakers attached to my wall/ceiling mounts and I wired those into the rear surround set up to my Denon. The rear surrounds on my Sound Bar, I hooked those up to the side/rear surrounds on my Denon and I then hooked the fronts and center up normally. I plugged my sub in and what a sound!

I went through my set up on my Denon and it will let you set your output levels to all 7.1 speakers.

I personally have 2 houses and I have a total of 4 rooms set up for surround sound. I love messing w/audio/video set ups. My great room in my main house I have right at $15k plus in my audio/video set up. This Surroundbar set up is phenominal! For my wife to notice it and say something to me said enough.

My bedroom is a more confined area, so I'm not sure how this would sound in a larger area. But for a system under $2800 this sounds great and it sounds better than my $15k system. If I had to do everything all over again I would purchase this set up for every room I have!!

Great sound!
34 out of 59 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Polk Audio SurroundBar®50

Written By Janet, Chicago, IL on Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 is better than I expected. It truly sounds as if there are multiple speakers throughout the room. It is an excellent solution for smaller areas or rooms where running speaker wire is an issue. Combined with the Polk Subwoofer PRO400, it is an exceptional quality surround sound. I do, however, have two suggestions. First, there should be some cut out in the mount to enable the cord from the TV and HDMI cable connected to the receiver to run down the wall and, second, Polk should include bolts/screws to adhere the mount to the wall. These were not included.
114 out of 122 people found this helpful
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Add accessories for the Polk Audio SurroundBar®50

Improve on the included speaker wire for improved sound and durability. See all categories & accessories

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Polk Audio SurroundBar®50, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_107SB50B/Polk-Audio-SurroundBar-50-Black.html ).