Polk Signa S3 Soundbar Review & Comments

Clearandcolour

Active Member
(My) The problem with the sound from modern tv's is that the sound is coming from below. I just bought the philips oled 855 and this tv has good sound.. but,. the positioning of the speakers is against it. I'm in between.. The soundvolume is more than enough for me.. It's even a nice wide tingling detailed sound for movies. And with music when I gear the volume up.. The sound is everywhere..
But for conversations I would like the sound to come more from up, the screen.. I know a soundbar wil be help and be directed more to me. But it stays low/under the tv.
My quest is.. Is there a difference between soundbars that are better in getting the sound up, appearing to give more connect to the talking on the screen ?? mayeb even directing the front of the soundbar up..
I come from a sony crt with a speaker left and right up the screen.. And, Yes, I know.. I know I should have gotten a sony oled for this.. But,.. I ended up with the philips.. In th eend I always read that people also buy a soundbar with the sony tv's.
And A home cinema system is too much for me..
 

AlanX

Active Member
The biggest complaint with the Signa S2 seems to be that it turns off after 10 minutes of no audio (eg pause a movie). This according to Polk is an energy-saving feature, and cannot be disabled. If it's ARC-connected, you'd think it could just turn on and off in sync with the TV it's connected to.
For me this is an issue, because it's for the lounge TV, usually in the hands of my other (non-tech) half. If it dies whenever she has to take a short break, she'll certainly not thank me for the 'upgrade'!
I guess the S3 has the same 'feature'/issue?
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I guess the S3 has the same 'feature'/issue?
Yes it does, although if you own an OLED TV I hope the other half isn't leaving anything on pause for too long.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
(My) The problem with the sound from modern tv's is that the sound is coming from below. I just bought the philips oled 855 and this tv has good sound.. but,. the positioning of the speakers is against it. I'm in between.. The soundvolume is more than enough for me.. It's even a nice wide tingling detailed sound for movies. And with music when I gear the volume up.. The sound is everywhere..
But for conversations I would like the sound to come more from up, the screen.. I know a soundbar wil be help and be directed more to me. But it stays low/under the tv.
My quest is.. Is there a difference between soundbars that are better in getting the sound up, appearing to give more connect to the talking on the screen ?? mayeb even directing the front of the soundbar up..
I come from a sony crt with a speaker left and right up the screen.. And, Yes, I know.. I know I should have gotten a sony oled for this.. But,.. I ended up with the philips.. In th eend I always read that people also buy a soundbar with the sony tv's.
And A home cinema system is too much for me..
I guess it depends on your budget, but a soundbar with a separate subwoofer and three forward-firing drivers is a good start. The dedicated centre speaker will help anchor dialogue to the screen, and psychoacoustic processing can add height (plus Atmos and DTS:X support). The Sony HT-G700 might be worth considering, the review is here.
 

AlanX

Active Member
Yes it does, although if you own an OLED TV I hope the other half isn't leaving anything on pause for too long.
No, that's not my beloved OLED - it's a Samsung LCD in the lounge for family viewing!
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
Still using my Command Bar and very satisfied. Not sure why Polk seem to have dropped Alexa on this.
 

zubeir

Well-known Member
Good sound bar, with decent features but for £20 extra the Sony G700 with Atmos could be a better option.
 

AlanX

Active Member
The dedicated centre speaker will help anchor dialogue to the screen
I guess, Steve, you're not referring to the Polk S3 here, of which you say " The lack of a dedicated centre speaker doesn’t seem to affect the clarity of dialogue ", but referencing the Sony?
 

Clearandcolour

Active Member
I guess it depends on your budget, but a soundbar with a separate subwoofer and three forward-firing drivers is a good start. The dedicated centre speaker will help anchor dialogue to the screen, and psychoacoustic processing can add height (plus Atmos and DTS:X support). The Sony HT-G700 might be worth considering, the review is here.
Thanks the sony Ht-G700 is 333 euro and the sony HTZf9 is 500 euro's.
I was considering the samsung Hw-Q800T, which as I read uses the 2 upper speakers to create some more higher stage.. sound,.. even outside of dolby atmos-tracks.. Steve gave it a 9 overall.
It's prices at starting from 500 euro's..
Yamaha 209 would be okay also I think.. As, dolby atmos will be only played by me on youtube demo's,, I think. As I don't have netflix or other streaming-scources,,..

I
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I guess, Steve, you're not referring to the Polk S3 here, of which you say " The lack of a dedicated centre speaker doesn’t seem to affect the clarity of dialogue ", but referencing the Sony?
Yes I am, sorry I didn't word that very well.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Thanks the sony Ht-G700 is 333 euro and the sony HTZf9 is 500 euro's.
I was considering the samsung Hw-Q800T, which as I read uses the 2 upper speakers to create some more higher stage.. sound,.. even outside of dolby atmos-tracks.. Steve gave it a 9 overall.
It's prices at starting from 500 euro's..
Yamaha 209 would be okay also I think.. As, dolby atmos will be only played by me on youtube demo's,, I think. As I don't have netflix or other streaming-scources,,..
The Yamaha 209 doesn't have a centre speaker, but it is a good soundbar. For €330 the Sony G700 is a great buy, and would probably meet your needs. Even if you don't need Atmos or DTS:X, the Sony can add greater height to the soundstage.
 

Clearandcolour

Active Member
The Yamaha 209 doesn't have a centre speaker, but it is a good soundbar. For €330 the Sony G700 is a great buy, and would probably meet your needs. Even if you don't need Atmos or DTS:X, the Sony can add greater height to the soundstage.
#Steve, Not considering price-difference.. Has the samsung HW Q800T more to bring for everyday-tv watching compared to the sony G700 ? In sound only. I don't care about all modern connections. I just use the cables and I don't have a smartphone.. It's only for the next ten years for everyday tv-watching and music via youtube..
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
#Steve, Not considering price-difference.. Has the samsung HW Q800T more to bring for everyday-tv watching compared to the sony G700 ? In sound only. I don't care about all modern connections. I just use the cables and I don't have a smartphone.. It's only for the next ten years for everyday tv-watching and music via youtube..
The HW-Q800T is the better soundbar, and delivers a superior soundstage regardless of the source. It also gives you a solid platform that you could expand in the future by adding wireless rear speakers to enjoy full 5.1 surround sound, or even 7.1.2-channel immersive audio a some stage.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Another question to anyone with knowledge ! Maybe I should put this in another thread !!
I just got a new tv coming form crt -tv. I watch cable-tv (in the netherlands) via decoder Humax 5200c.
With my old crt tv I had the Humax decoder in the settings in audio on Dolby Digital" ! The other choice was stereo. But Dolby digital had a positive audio-effect on my sony trintron.. This was off course via scart.
With my new Philips oled ( and hdmi) I ran into lip-sync problems and I could not change volume via the remote of the humax decoder.. I had to select tv-channels with the decoder remote and change volume with the philips tv -remote. I also had lip-sync.
Solution was putting the Humax decoder on just stereo instead of the "dolby digital".
Quest is.. This changing from dolby digital to stereo had no effect on sound on the new oled tv. While this made a big difference on the old crt via scart..
The quest is,.. What does a modern soundbar need as input.. To make something of it. If I keep my humax decoder on "just" stereo.. What will this mean ! Do I need to put the decoder on "dolby digital" and correct the lip-sync somehow.. And what with the volume control ?
Hope somebody can tell !
If you're listening to a 5.1 soundtrack on a stereo TV it won't sound any different, but you should notice a significant difference if using a soundbar like the HW-Q800T. The addition of a dedicated subwoofer for a start, and a dedicated centre speaker for dialogue. If you add wireless rear speakers then you can enjoy the full benefits of 5.1 audio. I don't know for sure, I haven't touched a SCART cable in over 20 years, but I suspect your CRT TV sounded better because you went from mono to stereo.
 

Clearandcolour

Active Member
If you're listening to a 5.1 soundtrack on a stereo TV it won't sound any different, but you should notice a significant difference if using a soundbar like the HW-Q800T. The addition of a dedicated subwoofer for a start, and a dedicated centre speaker for dialogue. If you add wireless rear speakers then you can enjoy the full benefits of 5.1 audio. I don't know for sure, I haven't touched a SCART cable in over 20 years, but I suspect your CRT TV sounded better because you went from mono to stereo.
So, with my decoder on stereo.. it would give me mono on the sony trintron.. !
I think you convince me to go for the samsung q800T.
I even looked into reviews of the rears. Although I'm not considering buying them now for the content I use now. But I found very different negative reviews of them.. I even wondered that those rears come with another peace... with it !?? I thought just two speakers ! But there are as many people that get no or only soft whispering from the rears ! Others are positive.
The quest is.. When do the rears come in action ? What signal do they need from,... the tv, (decoder) if you only watch via cable and internet like youtube..
I fyou get movies via normal cable,.. what signals are sent compared to maybe nettflix or blue-ray players..
But as I said.. I start with a samsung hw q800t which will be more than enough for me.. Thanks..
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
Another question to anyone with knowledge ! Maybe I should put this in another thread !!
I just got a new tv coming form crt -tv. I watch cable-tv (in the netherlands) via decoder Humax 5200c.
With my old crt tv I had the Humax decoder in the settings in audio on Dolby Digital" ! The other choice was stereo. But Dolby digital had a positive audio-effect on my sony trintron.. This was off course via scart.
With my new Philips oled ( and hdmi) I ran into lip-sync problems and I could not change volume via the remote of the humax decoder.. I had to select tv-channels with the decoder remote and change volume with the philips tv -remote. I also had lip-sync.
Solution was putting the Humax decoder on just stereo instead of the "dolby digital".
Quest is.. This changing from dolby digital to stereo had no effect on sound on the new oled tv. While this made a big difference on the old crt via scart..
The quest is,.. What does a modern soundbar need as input.. To make something of it. If I keep my humax decoder on "just" stereo.. What will this mean ! Do I need to put the decoder on "dolby digital" and correct the lip-sync somehow.. And what with the volume control ?
Hope somebody can tell !
This seems to be off topic in this thread @Clearandcolour . I suggest you post the question in another forum - TV or set top box seems to be the area of the issue?

edit - ah I see Steve has brought it on topic. Apologies :)
 

ssbib

Distinguished Member
The biggest complaint with the Signa S2 seems to be that it turns off after 10 minutes of no audio (eg pause a movie). This according to Polk is an energy-saving feature, and cannot be disabled. If it's ARC-connected, you'd think it could just turn on and off in sync with the TV it's connected to.
For me this is an issue, because it's for the lounge TV, usually in the hands of my other (non-tech) half. If it dies whenever she has to take a short break, she'll certainly not thank me for the 'upgrade'!
I guess the S3 has the same 'feature'/issue?
Hi Alan. I’m considering buying the S2 myself at the moment. How do you rate it? Thanks.
 

AlanX

Active Member
Hi ssbib,
I don't have the S2, but was considering it. I'm looking at the reviews and comments on soundbars, and the most common gripe about the S2 was the obligatory power-down after 10 minutes of no input, and the fiddle to get it going again. I was hoping the S3 might be different, hence my question to Steve.
Now homing in on the Yamaha YAS-207 instead, which is quite a bit more expensive, but has a 15% cash-back until 31 December with some dealers (including RS). Haven't yet found any functional drawbacks, and folk seem to think it's a pretty good performer in its price bracket.
 

ssbib

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the reply alan. I thought you had one but never mind. The reviews for the 2 do seem good for an entry level sound bar. Think I’ll grab that from Richer Sounds. Hope you get your Yamaha and enjoy it. Merry Christmas.
 

AlanX

Active Member
Don't forget the Wharfedale Vista 200S. Got a good review here on AVF recently. Richer Sounds have just put it up from £179 to £199, perhaps in preparation for heralding a price drop after Christmas.
 

AlanX

Active Member
Just realised the review of the Wharfedale Vista 200S was not recent, but back in March 2019. Still looks good value today, however.
 

ssbib

Distinguished Member
Just got the Polk today and I’m impressed with it so far. However I didn’t realise it couldn’t have Atmos through it. I knew it wasn’t advertised but I thought it would still be able to get it as the LG C9 can decode it and pass it through ARC. Only now I’ve realised that you need to have eARC to pass Atmos and the Polk only has ARC. However am I right in thinking that Atmos on 2.1 channel soundbar isn’t going to make much difference anyway as there aren’t enough channels??

thanks
 

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