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Polk Audio Signa S2 Review — A Universal Soundbar For Your TV in 2020

Polk Audio Signa S2 Review

You don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on a below-average soundbar. Signa S2 is a coveted soundbar, but does it deliver great sound and have a build quality that’s worth your money? Our experts are here to help with an informative Polk Audio Signa S2 review.

Pros

  • Ultra-slim design
  • A soundbar and wireless subwoofer combo
  • 5 full-range drivers
  • Voice Adjust Technology
  • Dolby Digital Decoding
  • Reasonable price
  • Flexible placement
  • Compatible with 4K HD Smart TVs
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • HDMI ARC and Optical connection
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Control panel up top

Cons

  • Auto shutoff after a few minutes
  • No display screen

Polk Audio Signa S2 Design

Our team conducted an in-depth testing session for this Polk Audio Signa S2 review. They have found that the soundbar has satisfactory build quality constructed mostly of plastic and some parts aluminum, with a fabric covering much like most other soundbars and speakers. 

If you are looking for mirrored finishes, anti-fingerprint metals and other decals, you will be disappointed. The focus of this Polk soundbar is not the appearance, but the functionality.

The solid black color with the single Polk logo present on both parts of this combination will blend well into your entertainment unit, considering most audio equipment are of the same color.

The sounding bar has an easy-to-use control panel on the top of the soundbar with clearly labeled buttons in case you lose your remote. Polk prides itself on the sleek and slim designs of its soundbars and the Signa S2 has a slender profile that can fit under most TVs. 

This audio system can be wall-mounted or simply placed on your entertainment unit depending on your setup. Even the subwoofer is slim and slender to slide into in-between spaces.

The Polk Audio Signa S2 doesn’t feature an LCD display screen, which is something that can come in handy when inputting the settings, but it doesn’t impact the user experience. What the Signa lacks in an LCD screen, it makes up for with LED indicator lights to notify you of your settings.

Unfortunately, with only LED lights to show what the settings are, it can be tough to determine the volume level. However, it should show up on your screen.

According to our expert review, the Polk sounding bar is a well-designed soundbar and subwoofer system that can allow you to enjoy your content at a much better quality.

Polk Audio Signa S2 Features

After a careful Polk Audio Signa S2 review, our team has reached the conclusion that it is an above entry-level soundbar that comes at a decent price. Let’s take a deeper dive into what the Polk Audio Signa S2 offers.

Sound Quality

Though the Polk Audio Signa S2 may not feature a ton of advanced audio features, it does give you good value for your money. The Polk specific V.A. Technology will optimize all the dialogue and speech in your audio to create crystal clear conversations. You will never miss a word uttered on screen again.

While the Polk Audio Signa S2 soundbar and subwoofer do not feature surround sound capabilities, you can simulate virtual surround sound by adjusting the EQ features. Since it also lacks room correction, the audio may sound different depending on your acoustics.

The good news is that the Polk Audio Signa S2 provides flexible adjustments for tuning personalization. The soundbar also features Dolby Digital decoding, which means any content that features Dolby Digital can be relayed accurately through the soundbar and its wireless subwoofer.

When played at regular volume levels, the Polk Audio Signa S2 soundbar is impressive, but you will start to notice some minimal distortions when you start to pump up the volume. 

As far as sound modes go, the Signa S2 offers two. A sound mode is a setting embedded into the soundbar designed to improve the sound quality of certain content from your TV or external device. Many products feature 3 or more of these sound modes, which is why just the movie and music mode on the S2 is a bit of a letdown.

Our experts decided to see just how well the S2 can perform on its own without fancy bells and whistles for a more accurate review. Upon playing several action movies with loud explosions and gunfire, the S2 revealed the capability to produce a very wide soundstage with lots of headroom. (See here for the loudest soundbars.)

Did the Signa S2 perform just as well for music content? For a more accurate music review, our experts played different genres of music through Bluetooth streaming and the TV itself.

For a sleek soundbar with a compact sub, the S2 performed very well. The highs, mids and lows came together impressively to create a thick wall of sound that hits the sweet spot. 

For gaming, the content is less enhanced than what can be heard on certain movies or TV shows. To be thorough with the review, our team also hooked the sounding bar to a desktop and laptop for further results.

On both, the sounding bar’s performance was superior to most other regular PC soundbars. Thanks to the additional sub, the audio produced was much more resounding. 

Polk Audio Signa S2 Subwoofer

The compact wireless subwoofer included in your purchase of the Polk Signa S2 is capable of deep bass to accompany your TV. The bass performance of the Signa S2 is acceptable, to say the least. 

The build quality of the sub is quite standard, with the subwoofer channel covered by the same mesh fabric found on the soundbar.

It’s quite a small subwoofer that’s capable of big sound, and it connects automatically to your bar wirelessly when you turn it on. However, you do need a power cable to run it so it needs to be kept near an outlet. 

Signa S2 Internal Hardware

The inner workings of the Polk Audio Signa S2 soundbar reflect the affordable price point. It’s a 2.1 channel soundbar, which means there are two points of sound emission. Behind the grille, there are two left and right channel drivers with small tweeters focused at the center.

Knowing this, you can expect the Polk Audio Signa S2 to produce balanced highs, mids and lows that will give you the desired value for your money. Not much is listed about the frequency range, but our experts gather it’s about 45Hz to about 20kHz.

Wireless Connectivity

The Polk Signa S2 features wireless Bluetooth connectivity for music streaming and playing other content from your mobile devices. You can experience enhanced and elevated sound through the audio bar. 

Multi-media Use

The Polk Signa S2 bar is not only an upgrade to your TV speakers to elevate your TV shows and movies, it can also belt out high definition music by connecting to other media devices and stream content from Pandora, Spotify and more.

Not only is the Signa S2 a TV soundbar, but it can also pair quite successfully to your computer and offer added bass and action adrenaline to your gaming.

Polk Audio Signa S2 Bass

The five full-range drivers will pump out the sound accompanied by deep bass throughout the room. The bass levels can be adjusted via the included TV remote to add the right amount of thump and bump to your content.

For a more compact sub, the bass levels propelled from this sounding bar is impressive. As mentioned, the frequency range starts at about 45Hz so if you’re happy with the bass tone starting line, then you will be satisfied with the bass performance of the Signa S2. 

You don’t need lots of extra stuff and mind-blowing specs from the soundbar subwoofer package to experience more realistic audio. Fiddle and experiment with the placement of the sub to find the ideal position in your living room setup. Our experts suggest placing it as close to your entertainment system as possible and angled at a 45-degree slant to your listening spot.

Control Options

Our audio team believes a soundbar that’s easy to use and control is an important feature that will boost its standing. A plug-and-play design is best, especially if it only requires a single cable connection.

The methods of control are pretty standard. The Signa S2 soundbar features a control panel on the surface of the soundbar with clearly labeled buttons, something that even a more expensive soundbar could lack.

On the surface, you will find a Bluetooth button for quick pairing mode, input select, volumes up and down, and of course, the power button. We liked the little amount of pressure and the sensitivity of the buttons.

The soundbar also comes with its own TV remote control. The design of the remote is quite compact, but the buttons could be difficult to press for some as they are spaced pretty closely together. To be honest, the buttons are quite basic and don’t offer much more than the bar speaker control panel with the same volume buttons, power button, Bluetooth and input settings. 

The extra features that the remote offers are the bass control, V.A. Technology customization, and access to quick audio modes such as movie and music.

The remote buttons are also much less satisfying to press as they don’t have that clicking effect. They are just rubber buttons that are soft to the touch. You may need to press a little harder just to be sure the remote detects your intended actions.

Polk Audio Signa S2 Channels

The Polk Audio Signa S2 is a 2.1 channel soundbar. For those who are unfamiliar with these figures, our experts will break down the details.

The first number before the decimal refers to the number of channels the sound is emitted from on the bar. This usually is the same number of speakers or drivers the bar has.

The second number refers to the number of subwoofers your sounding bar has with it. The number of subwoofers can be internal or external. Internal subwoofer soundbars can still project heavy bass, and are a good space-saving option. However, due to the smaller size of the subwoofer in order to be embedded in the bar, they are less powerful than external options.

A 2-channel soundbar is the most basic design. Having a subwoofer included in your home theater bar will definitely elevate the bass tones, but not all 2-channel soundbars have one.

You then have 3-channel soundbars that feature the same left and right channels with an extra center channel. A center channel on a soundbar is usually dedicated to enhancing speech. The V.A. Technology in the Signa S2 sounding bar makes up for this.

5 channels and above are the industry definition of true surrounding sound. But any soundbar that has advanced audio technologies and a powerful subwoofer can create virtual 3D sound.

Night Mode

Night Mode is an extra audio feature on the Polk Signa S2, but our team didn’t consider it a sound mode because it doesn’t add to the sound quality of your TV speakers. What it does do is reduce the volume when it’s late at night and you don’t want to disturb members of your household or the neighbors with intense sound effects.

The S2 does this by lowering the bass and increasing the dialogue without any adjustments needed to the master volume controls on your part. This is a great feature because even at reduced levels, the soundbar optimizes the speech so you won’t miss anything that’s happening.

To access this mode, you can directly find it on the remote. The symbol on the button is a half crescent moon with a little star. Unfortunately, this sound mode cannot be accessed on the control panel.

Easy Setup

No matter how good the soundbar is, it will be hard to appreciate all the fancy features it has to offer if it’s difficult to set up. (See here on how to set-up Polk soundbars.) In this category, our experts lay out the installation of the Polk Audio Signa S2.

The soundbar subwoofer package is easy to hook up. The soundbar features HDMI ARC, which automatically earned it bonus points. 

HDMI is the most reliable form of connection for high definition content relay. HDMI ARC also supports video passthrough and HDMI CEC offers some customization. HDMI is also a very easy option as it only requires one cable. 

The soundbar also features a digital optical connection, which is the second-most desirable connection. Similar to HDMI, digital optical can also support digital content and advanced audio technologies such as Dolby and DTS.

You will also find analog connections such as a 3.5mm mini jack and AUX connections. A 3.5mm jack is also used to connect headphones to your products other than offering a wired connection. Analog connections can be used to hook up amps and an extra speaker to your system but they can also support your content.

However, in this day and age when our content is usually in digital format, digital connections are the better choice.

There are also speaker options that provide more than one HDMI port. Having more than one HDMI port will allow you to plug in more things at once to enjoy improved audio. Everything you need, including the HDMI cable, is included with your purchase.

You can find the connection ports on the back of the soundbar. We will advise that mounting the soundbar on the wall could hinder the use of the back ports. When considering mounting, leave enough room between the wall and the back of the soundbar to allow easy access to the connection ports. (See here the difference between HDMI and Soundbar Optical

Polk Audio Signa S2 Price

Our expert team has tested many products over the years and accrued invaluable data from the reviews. One of the most prominent things these product reviews have revealed is that the price doesn’t always reflect the features.

For example, the Signa S2 has a decent price for a soundbar, but there are many other options on the market that offer more controls, a more high-tech system design, and advanced audio technology features such as Dolby and DTS for a more affordable price.

Then there are also the more expensive options, which are soundbars listed at a higher price that come with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi [1], voice control features, and even brand-specific audio technologies that take advantage of the room. The bottom line is, the S2 is a decently-priced soundbar for what you get, but it doesn’t offer as many things as some other soundbars do.

This Polk soundbar has all the basics with a few added features to set it apart from the rest. If you are not a picky cinephile or audiophile, the Signa can do the trick.

Need to take your device outside? These waterproof soundbars may be a better choice.

FAQ

How do I reset my Polk Signa s2 sound bar?

To reset your Polk Signa S2 soundbar, locate the “power”, “source” and “volume up” buttons and hold them down together. These buttons can either be found on the control panel or remote. Press all three of them down together for 10 seconds to erase all the settings.

Polk Audio Signa S2 Review Conclusion

After careful review, our audio team has found the Polk S2 system to be a mid-range soundbar that does the job for movies, TV shows, and music enhancement. The audio frequency is also at an acceptable range. It’s nothing that will shatter your windows, but the highs, mids and lows are well-balanced.

While the soundbar may not feature advanced audio technologies, it does come with V.A. (Voice Adjust) and night mode to tune the sound but keep the clarity of the dialogue. The soundbar subwoofer pair have a slender and compact profile that can be flexibly placed around the room or on the wall.

Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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Polk Audio Signa S2 Review — A Universal Soundbar For Your TV in 2020
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