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.
Polk Audio Signa S2 Design
Polk Audio is a well-known brand that is renowned for the budget-facilitating products that do not jeopardize their output by their aggressive price while producing their fair share of high-quality products.
Our team conducted an in-depth testing session for this Polk Audio Signa S2 2.1 Channel reviews. They have found that the mid range soundbar has satisfactory build quality constructed mostly of plastic and some parts aluminum, with a fabric covering much like most other soundbars and speakers such as Samsung.
If you’re looking into buying mirrored finishes, anti-fingerprint metals and other decals for your place, you will be disappointed. The focus of this Polk soundbar is not appearance, but functionality. In general, the Polk Audio Signa S2 is a low cost speaker and doesn’t have much when it comes to it’s looks.
The solid black color with the single Polk logo present on both parts of this combination would blend well into your entertainment unit, considering most audio equipment are of the same color. On the front face there is nothing else to be found except from the clear Polk logo.
The sounding bar has an easy-to-use control panel on the top of the bar with clear and well labeled controls in case you lose your remote control. Polk prides itself on the sleek and slim designs of its soundbars and the Signa S2 has a better slender profile that can fit under most devices and TVs including the 4K QLED TCL50S535 TV.
This sound system can be wall-mounted or simply placed on your home entertainment unit depending on your setup. Even the included sub is slim and slender to slide into in-between spaces.
The Polk Audio Signa S2 doesn’t have an LCD display screen in the front, which is something that can come in handy when you input the settings, but it doesn’t impact the user experience. What this soundbar 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 quite tough to determine the volume level. However, it should show up on your screen.
According to our expert reviews, the Polk sounding bar is a well-designed soundbar with a small sub system that can allow you to get use and enjoy your content at a much better quality.
Polk Audio Signa S2 Features
After a careful Polk Audio Signa S2 reviews, our team has reached the conclusion that it’s an above entry-level and one of the best buy soundbar that comes at a decent price. Let’s take a deeper dive into into the features and performance of Polk Signa S2
Though the Polk Signa S2 2.1 is a low cost soundbar and may not have a ton of advanced and better sound features, it really gives you good value for your money in great sound quality. The Polk specific V.A. Technology works and optimize all the dialogue and speech in your sound to create crystal clear conversations for a pleasant listening experience. You would never miss a word uttered on screen again.
While the soundbar and sub do not feature surrounding sound capabilities, you can simulate virtual surround sound by adjustment of the EQ features. Since it also lacks room correction, the audio may sound different depending on your acoustics. It’s goal is to provide a better audio experience without the need of any calibrations.
The good news is that the Polk Audio Signa S2 2.1 Channel provides flexible adjustments for tuning personalization and volume even without surround or Dolby Atmos features. Better yet, the soundbar also features Dolby Digital decoding, which means any content that will use Dolby Digital can be relayed accurately through the soundbar and its wireless subwoofer, without the help of a cable and port. It seems to be able to decode 5.1 Dolby Digital signals.
Overall, when played at a regular volume level, the surround performance of the Polk Audio Signa S2 sound bar is really impressive, but you will start to notice some minimal bass distortions when you start to pump up the volume. Just don’t expect to get the full kind of immersion that advanced Dolby Atmos and surround enabled soundbars can provide. As for music performance, the sound quality of this audio tab is incredible.
As for sound modes, 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 digital TVs, smartphone tablet, or external device. Many products have three or more of these sound modes, which is why just the movie and music mode on the S2 is a bit of a let down.
Our experts decided to see just how well the S2 can perform on its own in terms of sounds without fancy bells and whistles for a more accurate product review. Upon streaming several action movies with loud explosions and gunfire, the S2 revealed the capability to produce a very wide front soundstage with lots of headroom. (See here for the loudest soundbars.)
Did the Signa S2 2.1 perform just as well for music like the movies? For a more accurate music reviews, our experts played different genres of music via Bluetooth streaming device and the TV itself.
For a sleek and small stereo soundbar with a subwoofer, the S2 performed very well. The highs, mids and lows of sounds works and came together impressively to create excellent surround sound and volume that hits the sweet spot.
For gaming, the content is less enhanced than what can be heard on movies, music, or TV show streaming. To be thorough with the product review, our team also hooked the sounding bar to a desktop as well as a laptop for further results.
Overall, the sounding bar’s performance on both was at best and superior to most other regular PC soundbars. Thanks to the additional wireless subwoofer, the sound and volume produced was more resounding and had clear dialogue.
Polk Audio Signa S2 Subwoofer
The wireless subwoofer that will be part of your purchase of the Polk Signa S2 is capable of deep bass to accompany your TV with HDMI port. The bass performance of the Signa S2 is acceptable and good, to say the least.
The build quality of the subwoofer is quite standard, with the front of subwoofer channel covered by the same mesh fabric found on the soundbar.
It’s a small subwoofer that’s capable of big, full sounds and volume and it has automatic wireless connectivity to your bar when you turn it on. It uses a front firing 5.25″ (165mm) driver. However, we recommend 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, just like top-graded 2.1 channel speakers, the Signa S2 there are two points of sound emission. Behind the front 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 get good and balanced highs, mids and lows that would give you the desired quality and value. Not much is listed about the frequency range, but our experts gather it’s about 45Hz to about 20kHz.
This low-cost soundbar works best with a good wireless Bluetooth connectivity device to stream music and plays a movie. Without needing a port, it can play content from your mobile phone or device and smart TV via Bluetooth. You will be able to experience enhanced and elevated performance in terms of sound quality.
The Polk Signa S2 2.1 Channel bar, a soundbar that comes and powered with Dolby Digital decoding, is not only an upgrade to your digital TV speakers or stereo to elevate your TV shows and movies. It can also belt out high definition music when you connect 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 be paired and connected successfully to your computer or other device and offer added full bass, complemented by a soft treble, for an action adrenaline to your gaming or movies.
Polk Audio Signa S2 Bass
The five full-range drivers will pump out the sound accompanied by deep bass throughout closed surroundings. The adjustment of the bass levels can be done via the remote to control the right amount of thump and bump to your content and amp the relaxed treble.
Even though the Signa S2 2.1 Channel isn’t equipped with surround or Atmos activity, the bass levels propelled from each driver of this sounding bar is impressive. As mentioned, the frequency starts at about 45Hz so if you’re happy with the bass tone starting line, then you would get satisfied with the bass performance of the Signa S2 depending on what you listen to.
Overall, you don’t need to get a lot of better stuff and mind-blowing specs from the soundbar subwoofer package which supports Dolby Digital decoding to experience more realistic audio. We recommend to fiddle and experiment with the placement of the sub to get a better and ideal position in your living room setup.
Our experts recommend placing the Polk Signa S2 2.1 Channel as close to your entertainment system as possible and angled at a 45-degree slant. This will offer you the best listening spot and convenience to access every port. Polk is a reasonably priced competitor worthy of consideration.
Our team believes a soundbar that’s really easy to use is an important features that will boost its standing. A plug-and-play design is best, especially if it only requires a single cable for a port.
It comes with a panel on the surface of the soundbar with clearly labeled buttons, something that even a more expensive soundbar could lack.
On the surface, you would see a Bluetooth button for quick pairing mode that will instantly connect to your preferred device, 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 to control the various sound levels and modes. The design of the remote is really compact, but the buttons could be difficult to press for some as they are spaced pretty closely together. To be honest, the remote buttons are quite basic and don’t offer much more better than the bar speakers panel with the same volume buttons, power button, Bluetooth connectivity and settings on inputs.
The extra features that the remote offers are the bass adjustment, Voice Adjust Technology customization, and access to quick audio modes like movies and music. Also, the Signa S2 is HDMI-CEC enabled, which means, that if you link it to a TV via the HDMI port, you can use the remote to access the soundbar.
Overall, using the TV remote buttons are also much less satisfying as they don’t have that clicking effect. They are just rubber controls that are soft to the touch. Very basic that get the job done. It requires to be pressed 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. If you’re a customer who is 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 driver the bar has.
The second number refers to the number of subwoofer your sounding bar has with it. The number of subwoofers can be internal or external. Internal subwoofer soundbars can still project heavy bass balanced by smooth treble, and are a good space-saving option. However, due to the smaller size of the sub 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 will really elevate the bass tones and quality, but not all 2-channel soundbars and speakers have one.
You then have three-channel soundbars that features 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 sounding bar makes up for this.
Our experts recommend 5 channels and above for the industry definition of true surround. But any soundbar that has advanced audio technologies, Dolby Atmos, and a powerful subwoofer can better create virtual 3D sound.
Night Mode is like an extra audio function on the Polk Signa S2, but our team didn’t consider it a sound mode because it doesn’t add to get the sound quality of your TV speakers or stereo. What it does do is reduce the volume when it’s late at night. This way, you wont disturb members of your household or the neighbors.
For Night Mode, the S2 lowers the bass from every full-range driver and increases the dialogue without any adjustment needed to the master volume controls on your part. This is an excellent function because even at a reduced level, the soundbar optimizes the speech well so you won’t miss anything that’s happening.
To access this, you can directly see it on the compact remote. The symbol on the button is a half crescent moon with a little star. Unfortunately, this cannot be accessed on the on-board panel.
Based from our previous reviews, no matter how good the speaker 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.
First, you need to connect the Signa S2 to your TV either through the HDMI or Digital Optical port. Connect both the soundbar and the subwoofer to the power socket, and turn it on.
The subwoofer package is easy to hook up. The soundbar features HDMI ARC input, which automatically earned it bonus points.
HDMI ARC is like the most reliable form of connection for high definition content relay. HDMI ARC also supports video passthrough and HDMI CEC offers some customization. HDMI ARC is also a great option as it only requires one cable and a port to set up.
The soundbar also features a digital optical input, which is the second-most desirable connection. Similar to HDMI ARC cable, digital optical can also support digital content and advanced audio technologies such as Dolby and DTS.
You will be able to also find great analog connections and inputs 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 speakers to your system but they can also support your content. (See here for the best soundbars with headphone jacks.)
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 be helpful to plug in more things in to another port to enjoy improved audio with ease. Everything you need, including the HDMI cable and optical cable and the HDMI CEC is included in your purchase.
You can see the connection ports and inputs on the back of the soundbar. We find that placing the soundbar on a wall mount could hinder the use of the back ports. The soundbar has universal mounting holes if you want to wall-mount it. When considering mounting the Polk Signa S2, we recommend to leave enough space to allow access to the ports. (See here the difference between HDMI and Soundbar Optical)
Polk Audio Signa S2 Price
Our expert team has tested many products, including soundbars and speakers over the years and accrued invaluable data from our reviews. One of the top and most prominent aspects these product reviews have revealed is that the price doesn’t always reflect the features and performance.
For example, the Signa S2 has a decent price for a soundbar, but there are many other speaker, or stereo options in the market that offer better controls, a more high-tech system design, and advanced audio technology features such as Dolby and DTS for a more affordable price.
Based from our reviews, there are also the more expensive options listed at a higher price that use Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi , 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 stereo soundbar for you, but it doesn’t offer as many pros as some other soundbars do like Samsung’s.
This Polk soundbar has all the basics with a few added features and good quality to set it apart from the rest. If you’re not a picky cinephile or audiophile, the Signa can do the trick. Though the performance is great too but then, the simplicity in its appearance and the kind of quality it boasts of is good.
Polk Audio issues a manufacturer’s warranty extending to 2 years for electrical devices and 5 years for passive Loudspeakers from an authorized distributor.
Need to take your device outside? These waterproof soundbars may be a better choice.
How do I reset my Polk Signa s2 soundbar?
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 product review, our audio team has found the Polk S2 system to be a mid-range stereo soundbar that does a good 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 low profile soundbar may not feature advanced audio technologies, it comes with V.A. (Voice Adjust) to tune the sound quality but keep the clarity of the dialogue. Overall, the soundbar subwoofer pair set have a slender low profile that can be flexibly placed around the room.