Polk updates its best sound bar

The Polk SB1 Plus adds some much-needed features to its high-end streaming sound bar including Bluetooth and optional wireless surrounds.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

If you're spending over $500 on a sound bar, you'd better make sure you're getting a good deal. One of our favorites in this category is the Polk Omni SB1: not only does it look like a spaceship but it has excellent home cinema presets in addition to streaming music support.

At CES 2016, Polk has announced its successor, the SB1 Plus which offers some much-needed features including Bluetooth support and an Ethernet port (for households with sketchy Wi-Fi performance).

Like its forbear, the SB1 Plus is a 3.1-channel sound bar with a wireless subwoofer with support for Dolby Digital soundtracks and simulated surround sound capabilities.

Like offerings from Sonos and LG, the sound bar will support add-on surrounds (spring 2016) with the addition of the company's own Omni S2 or S2R speakers (or, if you're daring, a single Omni S6 speaker).

The Polk is part of a wide suite of products that support DTS' streaming platform Play-Fi, which offers music playback from network devices as well as half-a-dozen or so streaming services. The SB1 Plus competes with similar products from Sonos and Bose, in addition to newcomers such as the (excellent) new Chromecast Audio.

CNET asked Polk whether the wireless surrounds would be available on the existing SB1 bar and whether any brand's Play-Fi speaker could be used, but the company didn't respond immediately to our queries.

  • Streaming from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Tidal and Amazon Music
  • Wireless 8-inch subwoofer
  • Restreaming of external components from 3.5mm input
  • VoiceAdjust Technology which aims to boost dialogue intelligibility
  • Price: $699.95. Availability and UK/Australian pricing to be announced.