If you’re a real cinephile, you’d probably love to have a home theater with 9.1.2 Dolby Atmos surround sound. But the reality is, most people don’t have the room and/or budget for something that elaborate. But at the same time, you probably know that the sound coming out of your television’s speakers is far from satisfying, too. So how can you get some of that great theater movie-going experience without breaking the bank or taking over your living room with speaker stands?
Enter the Signa S4.
What Is the Signa S4?
The Signa S4 is a Dolby Atmos-certified 3.1.2 sound bar with included wireless subwoofer from Polk Audio. The retail price is $399, but it is currently reduced to $329 on both Amazon.com and the Polk Audio website.
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H)
|Sound Bar:||41.2 x 3.7 x 2.4”
1046 x 95 x 60mm
|Subwoofer:||7.9 x 12.9 x 11.0”
200 x 328 x 280mm
|Sound Bar:||L/R Tweeter: (2) 1” / 25mm (Round)
L/R Mid: (2) 4.7 x 1.6” / 120mm x 40mm (Racetrack)
Full Range Center: (1) 1” / 25mm (Round)
L/R Elevation: (2) 2.6” / 66mm (Round)
|Subwoofer:||Woofer: (1) 5.9” / 15cm (Round)|
|Inputs||(1) HDMI (eARC)
(1) Optical input
(1) Analog 3.5mm input
(1) USB-A (for firmware updates)
|What’s in the Box:||• Sound Bar
• Remote Control
• Sound Bar Power Cord
• Subwoofer Power Cord
• HDMI Cable
• Optical Cable
• 2x AAA Batteries
• Quick Start Guide
• Registration Card
• Safety Card
• Wall Mount Template
• Wall Mount Spacers
Setting up the Signa S4
Conveniently, Polk includes an optical cable and HDMI cord, in case you need them. So everything is included in the box to connect the soundbar to your TV and get up and running right away.
Setting up the soundbar couldn’t be easier, especially if you have an eARC HDMI connection on your television. Simply plug the power cords into both the soundbar and the subwoofer, and run the HDMI cord or the optical cable into the matching port on your television. If you’re connecting with the eARC, you don’t even have to switch on the soundbar… that will happen automatically when you turn on your television.
The subwoofer is wireless and automatically connects to the soundbar. Because it’s wireless, you can place it anywhere in the room.
Thanks to the low profile of the soundbar, you can place it in front of most televisions that are on standard tabletop stands. However, there are also included brackets for mounting it to the wall, if you have a wall-mounted television.
Signa S4 Performance and Final Thoughts
As this is a Dolby Atmos-certified soundbar, I turned to Digital Trends’ article from earlier this year, “20 of the best Dolby Atmos movies to watch in your home theater,” for films to test out the Signa S4.
I started with Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War. During the opening, when Hulk and Thanos are fighting, I could feel every blow land thanks to the small but powerful 6″ subwoofer. The bass levels are easily adjustable, and while the speaker isn’t strong enough to shake the whole room, it definitely delivers satisfying thumps and bumps. Dialogue came through crisply and clearly, and when the first of Thanos’ ships arrives on Earth, the upwards-firing Atmos speakers made it actually feel like it was hovering on the ceiling.
Moving on, I put on Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 Dune. While Infinity War sounded really good, the audio on Dune was fantastic. I’d watched it before with my old Yamaha soundbar, but the soundtrack came to life with the Signa S4. Dune won Academy Awards for both sound and original score, and you could definitely see why listening to it through this soundbar.
I then went back to Marvel for Black Panther. Again, I was blown away by how good the movie sounded through the Signa S4. Unsurprisingly, Black Panther was also the recipient of several Academy Awards, including ones for the score, sound editing, and sound mixing. It made me want to rewatch the film (not that I needed much encouragement for one of the best of the MCU).
The last movie from the Digital Trends list I put on was Deadpool. Specifically, I played the freeway fight and was impressed with the feeling of three-dimensional sound throughout the sequence.
I’ve also been using the Signa S4 for my regular television and video game playing. The sound has consistently been richer and fuller, even in instances where there isn’t a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. While you won’t get true surround sound with the soundbar as there aren’t any rear speakers, the seven-speaker array provides a nice room-filling effect.
When watching Doctor Who, the notorious bad sound mixing on BBC America afforded me a great opportunity to test out the VoiceAdjust feature, which allows you to raise just the volume of the voices in the soundtrack. There are three different levels (selectable via the remote control). At the highest level, the quality of the voices did sound a little digitally processed, but importantly, the voices were clear and easy to understand.
Playing Overwatch 2 using the Signa S4 has been a joy. While I can’t hear any enemies sneaking up behind me, it’s certainly helped with my spatial awareness within the game and improved my gameplay.
Finally, the Signa S4 has Bluetooth, so you can connect devices such as an iPhone. Pairing devices is easy, and I was soon playing songs from my iTunes library through the soundbar.
On a price-to-performance ratio, the Polk Audio Signa S4 is an excellent addition to your home theater, especially with its currently reduced price. You’ll get great, room-filling Dolby Atmos performance, all with an audio system that takes up very little space. If you’re looking for an affordable soundbar to enhance your home theater, then you’re likely to be very happy with the Signa S4.
For more information on the Signa S4, head to the Polk Audio website.
Polk Audio provided a unit for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission on qualified purchases.