SurroundBar 6000 – Another Fine Addition to Polk Audio’s Sound Bar Line-ups

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Bottom view of Polk Audio IHT Surroundbar6000

Long gone are the days when the only worthy sound system that you’d find would make you $10-$20 less because you had to go to the cinema to enjoy a decent movie. Nowadays, a home theater is a necessary addition to a home entertainment system. For me, however, I had to go through a bunch of Polk Audio Surroundbar IHT 6000 reviews to know what really inspires me in a “home theater”.

For starters, let me draw the line between sound bars and home theaters. While home theaters are becoming increasingly complicated, sound bars boast with simplicity and ease of use. They can thus be regarded as miniature home theaters. Affordability is also another merit of sound bars over home theater systems.

What Polk Audio SurroundBar IHT 6000 is All About

Well, you can think of the Polk Audio SurroundBar IHT 6000 as an all-in-one solution that features a compact array of speakers coupled with a wireless subwoofer system. The whole system weighs about 10 pounds, quite a lightweight when you compare it to the 50-pound home theater system. It also measures 11″ high, 10.25″ wide, and has a depth of 12″.

Other than that, this sound bar has four, 2.75″ polypropylene drivers that can handle high and midrange frequencies. There exists an internal 160-watt amp that powers the SurroundBar IHT 6000 while an additional 120-watt amp powers the wireless subwoofer. This gives a total frequency response of around 40Hz – 20kHz.

The Polk Audio Surroundbar IHT 6000 features two 8″ analog inputs and one optical input. However, it should be noted that Polk supplies these adaptors, thus enabling its customers to rely on their RCA style analog cables.

Leaving aside the outward look of the sound bar and assessing its performance, the SurroundBar IHT 6000 has a different number of processing modes. These include:
– Digital Logic from Polk
SDA Surround Sound Technology
– 3D Audio

The SDA Surround Sound Technology is Polk’s own patented surround sound algorithm that works with Digital Logic to come up with various channels without necessarily having to rely on multiple speakers. This results into a 3D-like aural performance from just one sound bar. An onboard Dolby Digital decoding and playback system are also included.

Connector view of Polk Audio IHT Surroundbar 6000 SystemRear view of Surroundbar 6000

Inside The Box

The SurroundBar 6000 doesn’t really require more than one person to unpack it from its factory box. Inside the box, I found the SurroundBar, a wireless subwoofer, and a bunch of accessories which included things like:
– All the necessary connection cables and adapters
– A 24V power supply
– A remote controller for controlling the volume and source of the audio (batteries included)
– A well-written manual to make installation easy

Generally, installation would take less than ten minutes especially if you’re familiar with the connections that you have to make. Since I was particularly interested in enjoying my movies with a totally new sound system, I connected the SurroundBar 6000 to my DVD player using the optical cable. I then plugged in the SurroundBar and switched them on.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t greeted with any onscreen menus while I was operating the SurroundBar 6000 for the first time. The only adjustment I made was with the subwoofer bass level which I comfortably changed using the remote control.

Feeling a bit adventurous, I went further to connect the SurroundBar to my HDTV as well, and yet again, I had to use the same optical cable. The whole purpose was to try out different kinds of input and to tell if the result would be the same in each occasion.

Performance Assessment

Since this sound bar was designed for use with TVs and in movie playback, I had to start off with a two channel music playback. While the sound quality came out much as I expected it, the quality was good enough to be a replacement for my HDTV’s internal speakers.

Upper frequencies seemed to lack extension but were still detailed whereas midrange frequencies had a small amount of body. Tuning up the SurroundBar 6000 to work in concert mode, a near-perfect experience of a concert hall kicked in.

The Whole Picture

I’ll be honest and say that even though I really enjoyed a lot of features that came with the SurroundBar IHT 6000, there are some small cons associated with this sound bar. Below, I have listed some of the pros and cons that I personally associated with this sound bar.

Pros

  1. Very easy to setup and connect the sound bar to an audio source. For my case, it took under ten minutes to be completely done with all the connections
  2. Great sound quality for a sound bar. When compared to my HDTV’s sound quality, the SurroundBar IHT 6000 outperformed it in many ways. However, this sound quality is limited to smaller rooms.
  3. Stunning design. Few are disturbed by the thought of how their music systems look like, but for the SurroundBar IHT 6000, I had no complaint when it came to visual appeal.
  4. Great flexibility due to the wireless subwoofer.

Cons

  1. There’s no OSD that shows either the subwoofer level or the general volume level.
  2. It lacks the ability to decode Dolby True HD.
  3. Though it offers great sound quality, it isn’t a true replacement for a surround system.

All in all, there is much to expect from this particular sound bar. You can go through tonnes of Polk Audio sound bar reviews but the decision is entirely yours to make.

If budget is a serious consideration and you find the 6000 model too expensive, you may want to check out SurroundBar 3000, the lower price alternative. Putting brand loyalty aside, you may want to check out which models made it to our list of the best sound bar for LED TVs.

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