Polk Signa S3 review: Affordable and effective

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The Polk Signa S3 is an affordable offering from a company that’s really made a name for itself in the soundbar market. This bar’s 2.1-channel system sports a low-profile cabinet so as not to block your TV screen, includes high-quality drivers, plus a beefy wireless subwoofer with plenty of low-end kick.

Features are limited to help keep the price down, but you still get HDMI-ARC, Polk’s Voice Adjust technology, Bluetooth, Chromecast, and the ability to work with Google Assistant. As a result, the Signa S3 might be the ideal solution for boosting the sound on your new big-panel beauty – without breaking the bank.

Keeping a low-profile 

  • Soundbar: 898 x 56 x 83mm
  • Subw: 171 x 311 x 343mm
  • Available in black

The Polk Signa S3 keeps things simple with an unassuming and low-profile cabinet that’s designed not to block your TV’s screen or IR sensor. The chassis itself is fairly well made, considering the price, and it’s finished in black with a fabric grille across the front and top.

The soundbar lacks a proper display, instead using a row of four LEDs to provide status information like source, volume and sound modes. But good luck trying to remember the different combinations of lights and colours without resorting to the manual.

The Signa S3 is wide enough to complement TVs with screen sizes of 55- to 65-inches, and you can choose between stand- or wall-mounting the soundbar. If you decide on the latter, there are holes at the rear. Polk also provides wall mount spacers, along with optical and HDMI cables.

The included wireless subwoofer is also well-made, and uses the same styling as the soundbar, with a black finish and fabric at the front. The sub is front-firing, with 80W of amplification to power its driver and a forward-facing bass port for added depth.

Adjusting the voices

  • 2.1-channel configuration
  • 2x 40W; 1x 80W
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Voice Adjust

The Polk Signa S3 targets a competitive price, and in order to hit it the features have been stripped back. What you do get is a pair of decent speakers, each composed of a 1-inch tweeter plus 1.25- x 4.4-inch mid-range driver, and powered by 40W of grunt. There’s no centre speaker for dialogue, but throw in the sub with its 80W of low-end power, and you have a solid system.

Polk Signa S3 review photo 3

The Signa S3 is limited to 2.1 channels, but able to decode 5.1-channel Dolby Digital. It also includes Polk’s patented Voice Adjust technology, allowing you to choose from three distinct levels to reproduce clear, crisp dialogue and never miss a single word of your favourite movie or TV show. There are also three self-explanatory sound modes: Movie, Music, and Night.

Connections and controls

  • HDMI output with ARC
  • Optical digital input; Aux input
  • Bluetooth; Chromecast
  • Works with Google Assistant

The Polk Signa S3 houses its connections in a recessed area at the rear, and frankly there aren’t many. You get an HDMI port with ARC (audio return channel to push audio without needing anything else), an optical digital input, and an auxiliary input. That’s it for the physical options, but there’s also Bluetooth and Chromecast.

The last two allows you to wirelessly stream music from your favourite apps including Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music HD, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, TuneIn Internet Radio and more, as well as access your own music collection over Wi-Fi.

There are some basic touch-sensitive controls on the soundbar itself, which allow you to power the system on and off, cycle through the inputs (ARC, optical, AUX, Bluetooth), pair a Bluetooth device, and change the volume up and down.

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The included remote is small but it gets the job done. All the necessary controls are present and correct, with the buttons sensibly laid out. The remote also works with leading TV manufacturers’ remotes to control volume as well as most CEC-enabled TVs.

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