Polk's new SurroundBar adds a wireless subwoofer

Polk Audio's latest addition to its SurroundBar line is the SDA Instant Home Theater, which shrinks the size of previous models and adds a wireless subwoofer.

Matthew Moskovciak Senior Associate Editor / Reviews - Home theater
Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.
Matthew Moskovciak
2 min read
Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater

As we mentioned in our CES 2009 home audio preview, the trend in home audio over the last few years has been toward simplicity, and sound bars have promised to deliver the full surround experience from a single speaker. In reality, it never quite sounds that good, but the Polk Audio SurroundBar systems are generally better than most. The newly announced SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater aims to improve on previous models by making the speaker even smaller and adding a wireless subwoofer. Here are the details.

Key features of the Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater :

  • 260 watts of power
  • 31.75 inches long--nearly 11 inches shorter than the original SurroundBar
  • No additional AV receiver required
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Polk claims full front soundstage because of its Front SDA technology
  • Wall mountable
  • A single analog audio input
  • Available in January, $550 list price

Polk Audio SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater subwoofer

While the addition of the wireless subwoofer is a big plus for the SurroundBar line, we're disappointed that connectivity is limited to a single analog audio input. Even a basic home theater system includes at least a cable/satellite box and a DVD player, so the SDA Instant Home Theater is only a good option for the simplest setups. Sure, you can get around its limitations by using an audio switcher or AV receiver, but that defeats the simplicity that makes sound bars attractive in the first place.

We currently have the Polk SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater in for testing, and are expecting to post the review later in the month.