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Polk's SurroundBar SDA IHT sounds sweet, but lacks features

CNET reviews the Polk SurroundBar SDA IHT, finding that it sounds better than most sound bars and puts a focus on simplicity, but its feature limitations and lack of a remote make it less appealing against the competition.

Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA IHT
Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA IHT
Sarah Tew/CNET

Just because you don't want a full surround-sound home audio system doesn't mean you have to settle for the sound coming out of your TV's speakers. That's the pitch behind TV add-on speakers, which are stripped-down versions of sound bar home theater systems that offer minimal connectivity, but promise a significant upgrade over your TV's tinny speakers.

Polk Audio's SurroundBar SDA IHT is the company's entry-level sound bar, and it offers only the bare essentials, with just one analog audio input, no remote, and no front display. If all you need is a dead-simple TV add-on speaker, we did like the SurroundBar IHT SDA's subtle design; the balance between the wireless subwoofer and the surround bar was also well above average.

On the other hand, we found it hard to accept many of the missing features when competitors like the Sony HT-CT100 (three HDMI inputs, $250 street price), and JVC TH-BA1 (three inputs, $300 street price) offer much more for the same price.

Read the full Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA IHT review.