Pros Great look and sound. Amazing quality for a small package.
Cons Really too expensive
Summary Really terrific looking and sounding system for less clutter areas and not too big of a room where you want speakers to actually surround you. What is the problem with CNET? Who cares if there is no Blu-Ray? You wont buy it if that is what you want. It will be a near-dead format in 5 years anyway once high speed streaming improves even more.
Pros (1) One speaker, one control unit, zero clutter
(2) Excellent center sound with clean dialogue
(3) Nice base response even without sub
(4) Immersive theater experience
(5) FM/AM tuner a welcome bonus
(6) Low profile fits nicely under most tv's
Cons (1) Immersive yes, but hardly 5.1
(2) No HDMI in, just HDMI out
(3) Needs to be Blu-ray at this price point
(4) Pathetic setup screen with limited controls (treb/bass)
(5) Sound field cannot be customized like with Yamaha YSP
Summary After my horrible experience with the Bose 321 GS Series lll, and frustrating fling with the Yamaha YSP-900 sound projector, the SurroundBar 360 was a very pleasant surprise.
Let's just get this out of the way first ... this is NOT going to give you a 5.1 experience. At best this is a nice 3.1 setup. You're not going to turn around thinking sounds are coming from behind you. But ..... dialogue is very clean and well centered. Action scenes in movies and the roar of the crowd while watching sports feels genuinely full and dynamic without drowning out actors' voices or the play by play. Bass response is absolutely fantastic! I think adding a subwoofer would actually ruin the nice treb/bass balance.
There are 3 digital optical audio connections, which is great, but why not HDMI? It already has HDMI out. This could have been a great media hub with my PS3, XBOX 360, and Comcast DVR. At this price point I'm shocked Polk didn't go with Blu-ray. The best output is 1080i from the standard dvd player. Upscaling was just so-so. I'll stick with the PS3 if I'm playing my old dvd's.
If you like having full control of your audio equipment, the set up screen for the 360 will disappoint you. No equalizer. No gain adjustment. Just treble and bass. That's it. Pretty sad if you ask me, but luckily the system sounds great without the need for tweaking. It'd still be nice to have sound field presets (movie, tv, sports, concert, etc.) to choose from to customize each input.
One of the problems I had with the Yamaha soundbars is that they are too high and fat to fit properly in front of my tv. Unless you have a nice wide shelf under/over the tv, or unless you plan to wall mount it, they just look out of place. The Polk soundbars are all low profile and look great underneath any tv. The 360 speaker does not have feet, instead relying on small stands to support the whole bar. Not the most elegant solution, but it works.
Overall I am very happy with the 360. Is it perfect? No. But now I have an awesome theater experience without all the wires of a 5.1 system. Sound quality is fantastic. Much fuller than a Bose 321 (God that Bose sucked so bad!). Better than the Yamaha YSP series for irregular shaped rooms where sound reflection technology would not work right. Throw in Blu-ray, HDMI and a graphic equalizer and this system gets 5 stars.
Pros - best surround sound reproduction i have heard to date
- no subwoofer needed, bass sounds true!
- easy to set up, easy to configure, easy to use
- excellent price compared to other high end virtual surround sound systems
Cons - could use a few more notches of volume
- lack of equalizer and presets (no fine tuning of sound)
- no HDMI inputs for audio or video passthrough
Summary I had previously owned a Philips Soundbar and always seemed to want more from it - better 5.1 surround sound reproduction, more inputs, and better sound quality. I looked at the Yamaha's but the price and its lack of compatibility with my apartment layout (works best with square room, solid walls on all sides) kept me away. Along came the Polk SurroundBAR 360. It did everything my Philips Soundbar did, but better.
The sound from the system is fantastic. You obviously are not going to be tricked into thinking you have a set of rear speakers, but the processor in this system got the reproduction right. There is a near perfect balance of the various simulated speakers (center, front right and left, rear right and left and subwoofer). Other "soundbar" systems I have tested had problems with voice and center channel sounds, almost always being hollow and full of reverb and echo. Standard PCM or Stereo sources also provide a full, rich sound spectrum - something the Philips lacked. Another amazing thing about this system is the lack of a subwoofer. For an average sized apartment like mine, plenty of full bass is output through the single speaker unit. For those wanting to add a subwoofer, there is an input.
As well as the system reproduced sounds from all types of encodings (Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM) I still wish I had the ability to tweak a little more. Maybe this system is playing all of the audio tracks as the producers have intended it, but it?s always in my nature to tweak.
The system is extremely easy to setup. The video quality from the DVD player is very good (not the best I have watched). The remote is simple (although I have a Harmony Universal Remote).
Hopefully CNET can throw up a full review sometime soon. In the meantime, check the manufacturer?s website for the full specs of this unit and explanations of the technology behind it. As somewhat of an video and audiophile who is limited by his living arrangements on what he can setup in a hometheater, I highly recommend this system.
Pros *Easy set up
*Easy of use
*Several inputs for Gaming systems, blu-ray, MP3's, etc
*USB side input (just love it)
*Amazing sound and bass (for one single speaker)
*Onscreen programming instructions for TV and Aux funtions
*Perfect for bedroom
Cons NO successor from Polk to this unit yet.
Summary I purchased the Polk 360 in 2009 and still have it hooked up in my bedroom and never had any issues with it.
This was one of cnet's best home audio product in 2008 and to me it's still one of the best.
I also own a Denon s301 and the Polk is easier to set up and to use (and cheaper).
*No Blu-ray... Well in 2008 they were really expensive, so Polk kept the cost down, now they sell for about $80 and you can use the digital optical inputs to hook to this unit.
*No ipod connector. Who cares, get a $7.00 8gb usb stick and fill it with mp3's and plug it to the usb port located on the side.
Pros Sounds great when its working. Looks good and easy to install.
Cons 1. No HDMI inputs.
2. Not BlueRay (see above)
3. Poor video upscaling through video outs(RGB,HDMI,S-Video,composite) With cable tuner(RGB)input.
4. Remote programability has weak product support and visa versa with most other programmable remotes.
Summary I thought this was going to be the next best ting to a wireless surround sound system , It sounded great in the store.It was an install for a handicapped relative. After two weeks the sound bar started to crackle and then the head unit quit working. I isolated it to the sound bar as the problem as the system would actually now boot up and illuminate the face properly with the sound bar unplugged. So I exchanged the sound bar with my retailer and used it for three more days then the head crackled and smoked! Yikes , I had the retailer send their service dept. to my relatives to inspect their install and the system (note without use of the system for a week for service). It turned out to be a fried receiver. alas with most things of this type I expect a few boners to slip through so . The retailer replaces the whole system ,head unit , sound bar , sub woofer, and all connector wires . Working and sounding great for two more weeks then, The DVD tray stops working won't eject or retract.
Bottom line I don't want this poorly constructed thing any more and I will be sure to steer clear of Polk audio products in the future. At least my retailer is going to make it right.