The soundbar has traditionally been considered a home theater compromise solution designed to save space and delight the eye. And the miniature, relatively inexpensive option did not seem worthy of attention at all. Acquaintance with the MagniFi Mini from Polk Audio began, I confess, without much enthusiasm and hope for any revelations.
The first surprise awaited when unpacking. The device does not give the impression of a budget product at all. The case is surprisingly well-made, weighty, well-made from good materials. We also encountered more expensive equipment, made less carefully. The design of the entire MagniFi line, in deviation from the already familiar minimalism, is diluted with an aluminum frame on the front side and is characterized by smooth lines. It is a matter of personal taste to applaud or criticize this approach. It seemed to us moderately neutral and not boring at all.
In the modest size of the soundbar, the developers managed to fit four mid-range speakers with a diameter of 6 cm and a pair of 2.5 cm tweeters. The switching arsenal is impressive too.
There are HDMI, optics, analog stereo 3.5mm minijack and an Ethernet port. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi were found in the wireless arsenal. The latter supports the AC protocol at a frequency of 5 GHz and is equipped with an auto-connect button, there should be no problems with Apple routers. The remote control deserves a separate mention. With its compact size, it is so competently organized that blind control is mastered, without exaggeration, instantly. A trifle, but an important one.
The device does not give the impression of a budget product at all. The case is surprisingly well-made, weighty, well-made from good materials. We also encountered more expensive equipment, made less carefully.
Part of the sound range of 40-110 Hz, which is physically difficult for compact acoustics, is given to an active subwoofer. It is much larger than the central unit, it is equipped with a radiator with a diameter of 16 cm and is assembled in a black plastic case of a bass-reflex type. The port, as well as the woofer, is directed towards the floor, which, along with the wireless link, simplifies the placement of the bass module.
There is no need to pull any wires other than the power cable to the subwoofer. The utilitarian, inconspicuous design tends to hide the device from sight. The upper region of the spectrum it fulfills, however, the human hearing is able to localize and place the subwoofer at a considerable distance from the soundbar is impractical. The installation of the kit is simple and linear.
It is not necessary to delve into the abundance of functions for a long time due to their standard small assortment. There is a choice of source, sound processing programs (music, movies or sports), you can activate the night mode, adjust the bass and voice levels.
The latter works effectively in the case of a multi-channel movie track and increases the volume of the virtual center. In quiet evening sessions, this feature has an extremely positive effect on dialogue intelligibility. In large-scale scenes, it is better to reduce it, which will have a positive effect on the stereo effect.
A full range of streaming services are available with a network connection. When working with mobile gadgets, in addition to the usual Bluetooth, you can use the Google Chromecast function. For a soundbar, which in most cases is a banal speaker, this is a nice bonus.
When watching a movie, it seemed that a pair of serious speakers was hidden somewhere in the room, the performance is felt so voluminous and rich in low frequencies. The image does not fit at all with the dimensions of the device.
The sound of the Polk MagniFi Mini surprised us even more. When watching a movie, it seemed that a pair of serious speakers was hidden somewhere in the room, the performance is felt so voluminous and rich in low frequencies. The image does not fit at all with the dimensions of the device. For cinema, this impression is perhaps the most important. Action movies and computer games are properly supported.
If, however, a meticulous approach to the analysis of the sound picture, then it is noticeable that in many respects this effect is due to ingenious digital processing, traces of which appear in synthetic notes, especially perceptible in the mid-frequency range. The timbres are tuned to the feeling of being in a cinema hall, and a perfectionist music lover is unlikely to find this apparatus musical in the classical sense.
But, in fairness, this class of devices was initially created with different inputs, and here the balance of inevitable compromises in the target is almost one hundred percent. As an addition to a modern TV, the device fully justifies itself. Superiority over standard speakers is obvious, and the hassle of allocating space and the entire installation process is minimal.
Also, MagniFi Mini successfully replaces the trendy wireless candy bar for listening to music from mobile gadgets. There is no symphonic accuracy here, but most of the pop music genre will not suffer from this.
Type – soundbar with active subwoofer
Name – Polk MagniFi Mini
Disc formats – no
iPod docking station – no
USB – 1 (service connector)
Supported audio codecs – no
Bluetooth – yes
Network interfaces – RJ-45 Ethernet, Wi-Fi
NFC – no
Audio inputs – HDMI, optical S / PDIF, 3.5mm minijack
Tuner ranges – no
Speakers – 4 x 6 cm MF, 2 x 2.5 cm HF, 1 x 16 cm LF
Power, W – 150
Frequency response, Hz – 40 – 20,000
Dimensions, cm – 8 x 34 x 11 (soundbar), 37 x 19 x 37 (subwoofer)
Weight, kg – 1.76 (soundbar), 3.7 (subwoofer)
It would seem that there are no competitors for this Polk Audio Magnifi Mini. But it is precisely this combination of a two-piece kit with an ultra-compact main unit, relatively rich functionality and convincing sound that is rare in this price category. Accordingly, if there is room for a subwoofer, but the area under the TV and the budget are limited, then the MagniFi Mini is a good solution. It copes well with the voice acting of movie shows, musicality is on the sidelines here, but it is also quite adequate.