Many of us have allowed ourselves the indulgence of a big -creen TV as process plummeted over the last few years. Whether it’s films or football, big screens have made the livingroom the focal point of family entertainment again. My only bugbear with larger TVs though, is the sound. You just can’t pack great speakers in to a flat screen TV.
Soundbars have supplied the answer and they’re designed to sit below the TV and fill the room with better quality sound, including surround sound to bring movies to life. Polk Audio have launched the Magnifi Mini which is a small home theatre speaker system.
Unboxing the Magnifi Mini reveals the tiny soundbar. Even though it feels sturdy and is well made, it’s about a third of the size of its competitors. At just over thirteen inches wide and four inches deep Polk have still managed to pack in six drivers including. Also included are the power units, a HDMI cable and a small remote control.
Polk also ship the package with an optical cable and an auxiliary audio cable. On the back of the soundbar there is a 3.5mm auxiliary socket, a HDMI ARC cocket and an optical audio port. This gives you multiple options for connecting to your TV. The HDMI ARC input is my preferred method, as the TV can then act as a HDMI hub for all my other devices, with all my sound coming from the Polk, whether cable or satellite or Saorview.
Polk include a 14 inch sub-woofer in the package and it’s light and easy to position around a living-room. The sub-woofer enhances the bass sound of whatever your watching and many systems still require you to trail a cable around the room to connect a sub-woofer. The Polk doesn’t, and they have made this unit WiFi compatible and it syncs with your soundbar for plug-and play performance.
Once I’d connected the bar to my TV and positioned the subwoofer I was ready to go. The Magnifi mini is 5.1 Dolby compatible and I was keen to have a look at program like House of Cards to test this. I needn’t have worried about the diminutive proportions as from the moment the music rolled, the Magnifi Mini filled my living-room with deep rich sound.
Speech was particularly impressive, with wonderful clarity to voices. There are movies, music and sport modes accessible from a single button on the remote and they adjust the levels to suit what you’re watching. They worked well with the sports mode particularly effective at bringing the atmosphere of a ladies world-cup match in to the room.
There is also a night-mode which is a clever addition to home-audio set-ups. This single press reduces the bass and pushes up the voice on whatever you’re watching, so as not to disturb anyone whose gone to bed early.
The Magnifi Mini also has Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s also Google Chromecast compatible and I downloaded the free Google Home app to listen back to my Tidal streaming music. You can play music straight from your phone or tablet straight to the Magnifi.
More info: polkaudio.com