Polk Audio MagniFi Mini evaluate

Polk Audio’s teensy, tiny Magnifi Mini doesn’t look very similar to a standard soundbar — extra like a sound brick, or perhaps a sound stub. But, in some ways the Magnifi Mini embodies what soundbars are all about. With it’s forgettable foot print and forceful sound, the Magnifi Mini is a superb answer for these looking for no-problem TV audio enhancement. Add in a price ticket of simply $300, and this little sound blaster makes a critical case because the small-profile soundbar to beat.

Out of the field

Pulling the Magnifi Mini from its field lets the unit’s tiny measurement sink in. Stretching a shade previous thirteen-inches lengthy, the compact capsule seems extra like a Bluetooth speaker than any residence theater answer we’ve encountered. That stated, its hefty weight hints on the array of six drivers and different strong internals inside.

An included down-firing sub is nearly the bar’s actual reverse: Set in a historically sized cupboard, the unit strikes an imposing stature in comparison with its counterpart, but it’s mild as a feather if you decide it up. In consequence, this countertop duo is surprisingly moveable, permitting you to simply pack the items up and take them on the street, ought to that strike your fancy.

Driving alongside within the field is a totally loaded IR distant layered in rubberized plastic on prime, in addition to the required energy cables, HDMI, Optical, and three.5mm cables, and a small setup guide.

Options and design

Small however livid, the Magnifi Mini can also be a good-looking little satan. Its namesake is not any accident, because the unit seems rather a lot like Polk’s original Magnifi soundbar, squashed by magic palms to raised suit your TV stand. Whereas it simply disappears beneath your TV, angular sides and a silver plate set on the middle of the unit’s peppered speaker grill make for a tidy and interesting aesthetic. The bar’s thirteen.four-inch size is matched by a peak and depth of three.eleven-inches and four.25-inches, respectively.

The Magnifi Mini’s extensive soundstage is nearly magical in its expansiveness.

Beneath the floor are six drivers, together with twin 2.5-inch drivers at lifeless middle flanked by a pair of two-inch drivers at each side, that are set at an angle to fireside off a wider soundstage. The lanky subwoofer stands about 14.5-inches tall and deep, and seven.four-inches broad, sporting a 6.5 inch downward-firing driver. Polk Audio dubs the system as a 5.1 encompass answer because of DSP and Dolby Digital decoding, however regardless of providing a a lot wider soundstage than you’d anticipate, efficiency gives a three.1 expertise at greatest. (Extra on that under.)

Inputs on the again embrace HDMI with ARC, digital Optical enter, and three.5mm Aux enter. The hardwire choices are matched by wi-fi connection within the type of Bluetooth, in addition to Wi-Fi connection by way of Google Forged. The unit’s huge sound is due partially to Polk Audio’s SDA encompass sound DSP, whereas Voice Regulate permits you to crank up the middle channel for clearer dialog. There’s additionally an evening mode to restrict dynamics when the household is sleeping and a selection of three DSP modes for movie, sports activities, and music.

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini In contrast To

A piece of LEDs on the entrance of the bar point out quantity, bass, or Voice degree, whereas coloured LEDs point out supply. Primary controls relaxation atop the unit’s rubberized management panel, whereas the loaded distant permits for fast and straightforward adjustment of bass and voice quantity management, primary quantity, enter, and DSP choice. It’s a easy and intuitive setup, and ARC connection permits your TV distant to take the wheel as properly.

Setup

The simplest and highest-high quality connection is completed by way of ARC HDMI, which permits for high quality digital sound and helps the system “hand-shake” together with your TV’s CEC info, permitting you to regulate energy and quantity by way of your TV’s distant. Alternatively, you’ll be able to merely join your TV’s optical audio output, or join any three.5mm supply into the Aux enter. Bluetooth pairing is completed by urgent the Bluetooth key on prime and pairing in your supply system, whereas connection to Wi-Fi is completed by way of Google’s Forged app.

As a minimalist sound answer, the Magnifi Mini doesn’t embrace a number of HDMI inputs, which means all HDMI supply elements have to be related by way of your TV and, subsequently, will depend on your TV to decode the encompass sound codecs (until your TV helps encompass sound cross-by way of). This isn’t the optimum sounding answer in most setups, however contemplating the worth and measurement of the Magnifi Mini, we’ll give it a move — this technique isn’t designed for audiophile-grade playback.

Efficiency

The very first thing you discover concerning the Magnifi Mini is simply how massive it truly sounds, particularly with regards to the width of its stereo picture. Whereas it definitely doesn’t attain 5.1 stature, because of its angled design and a few DSP trickery, this unit’s soundstage is nearly magical in its expansiveness. You possibly can take pleasure in always shocking those that stroll within the room as you reveal the sound supply: “That a lot sound is coming from that little speaker?!”

Polk Audio Magnifi Mini soundbar review

Invoice Roberson/Digital Developments

It’s not simply the broad soundstage that impresses right here, both. The close to-uncanny stability between the sub and the bar is a sonic partnership made in heaven. The proficiency of any soundbar/subwoofer combo depends upon the effectiveness of mixing the decrease frequencies to mould two distinctive sound sources into one, and the Magnifi Mini’s twin models have this partnership down pat. The sub fills up the bar’s decrease midrange brilliantly, permitting for a heat and punchy thump that seems to return from lifeless middle, whereas the bar is free to fill within the prime aspect with readability and a few spectacular element.

The system is at its greatest enjoying again primary TV, out of your favourite Netflix streams to the NFL playoffs. The sub reaches down into the decrease bass with simply sufficient authority to create vibrancy and pleasure within the mandatory moments, whereas the bar provides wealthy resonance in dialog, combined with some sparkle within the higher midrange that lets by means of simply sufficient element to maintain you transfixed on the topic at hand.

The compact capsule seems to be extra like a Bluetooth speaker than a soundbar.

In relation to highly effective cinematic moments, the Magnifi Mini will not be the baddest bar round, nevertheless it will get the job achieved. The fury of fantasy flicks like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is recreated with loads of verve — the pounding drums of struggle, the singing arrows flying by means of the air, and the thunderous spells of excellent and evil beings are all nicely captured, whereas dialog floats on prime with readability. We did discover a couple of moments once we needed to journey the quantity a bit; Softer scenes didn’t have as a lot midrange presence as we’d like, forcing the quantity up, whereas the motion scenes got here again in with explosive drive that jolted us to decrease the quantity once more.

One other quibble we’ve is a spindly tone within the higher midrange that sometimes borders on distortion. That is particularly current with motion movies pumping at full drive, as explosions and different jolting results are likely to trigger a bit breakup in that sparkly higher register. The identical problem impacts music playback, washing out crash cymbals, particularly on brighter recordings. The Police’s Synchronicity is a specific offender, as Stuart Copeland’s cymbal play is consistently preventing the ideas of these small tweeters.

Nonetheless, so long as you don’t anticipate audiophile reverie right here, the Magnifi Mini is a welcome companion for on a regular basis TV and music playback. Utilizing the system as our every day sound machine for weeks, we have been always amazed that each one that heat, detailed sound was coming from such a tiny system.

Our Take

Providing large sound in a tiny package deal, Polk Audio’s Magnifi Mini is likely one of the most reasonably priced and intuitive sound options within the soundbar style, and one nicely value contemplating for these trying to enhance their TV’s sound with out even nudging the furnishings.

How lengthy will it final

The DT Accent Pack

Polk Audio is a veteran model with a strong monitor report, and the Magnifi Mini’s easy and strong design ought to make it a stalwart piece of your audio assortment for years to return.

What are the options

Whereas not almost as compact, Yamaha’s YAS-203 is a go-to soundbar on the $300-four hundred worth level, and a strong various. These in search of richer, extra detailed sound — particularly for music playback — can also need to take a look at Pioneer’s Andrew Jones SP-SB23W, although that may doubtless value you extra. For the second, few options at this measurement, worth, and high quality degree exist.

Do you have to purchase it

Sure. For those who’re trying to shrink down your system’s profile, or just improve your TV audio with a minimalist answer, the Magnifi Mini is among the greatest decisions obtainable.

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