Best Polk Audio Signa S3 Soundbar Reviews and Specifications

Best Polk Audio Signa S3 is a 2.1 soundbar system that aims to bring stage-style rumble into your home for a very affordable $250. That’s a low  sufficient price that it’s fair to wonder just how much thunder.

The wireless subwoofer can muster when the entire system is less costly than plenty of soundbar-only models we test. Surprisingly, the  Polk Audio Signa S3 delivers some serious power—there’s real bass depth here, as well as regular mids with crisp, clear highs.

Multiple listening modes add some versatility, and albeit not without some minor flaws, however the system is a bargain.

Best Polk Audio Signa S3 Soundbar

Polk Audio Signa S3 Specification

  • Channels: 2.1
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Multi-Room: No
  • Physical Connections: HDMI, Optical
  • Portable: No
  • Water-Resistant: No
  • Speakerphone: No
  • Built-In Voice Assistant: Google Assistant

Body and Design

The Best Polk Audio Signa S3 soundbar measures roughly 2.0 by 35.0 by 3.2 inches (HWD). Can either rest above a flat surface, or be mounted on the wall. 

Wall-mounting guide is  covered, as well as wall mount spacers. The front panel is all ashy cloth grille, while internally the soundbar features dual front-firing 1.25-by-4.40-inch midrange drivers, and dual front-firing tweeters that are 1-inch in diameter. The system delivers a frequency of vibration range 45 Hz to 20kHz. 

The back panel is angular, with connections for HDMI ARC and optical, as well as the included power cable, there’s also a reset button on the back, as well as an LED that turns white when connected to Wi-Fi.

There are also multiple status indicators on the front, in the form of an LED that glows green when Dolby Audio decoding is in use, blue for Bluetooth, white for Chromecast Audio and yellow for USB playback. (There’s a USB port on the bottom panel for playing audio from a thumb drive.)

Built-in Chromecast Audio and Google Assistant support means you can issue voice commands and stream audio from Amazon Music, YouTube and more via Wi-Fi.

The included remote control runs on a single AAA battery (included) and offers controls for power, mute, sound source (including Aux, Bluetooth and TV, which is really HDMI ARC input), volume and bass level (there are eight buses). Level, displayed by LEDs on the front panel when they are adjusted).

There are also buttons for Voice Adjust, which isolates the frequency range of dialogue for movies and lets you raise or lower dialogue relative to the rest of the mix sound.

To make switching between sound modes confusing Polk assigns a single LED indicator to blink for each new mode. It’s the same color—pink—for all of them, so you never get visual confirmation of which mode you’re in, only that you’ve pressed a new mode button.

Obviously, if you know you’ve pressed the movie mode button, it’s not a big deal, but this system could be clearer and clearer. There’s no quick way to tell which mode you’re currently in, for example.

The Best Polk Audio Signa S3 is compatible with HDMI CEC control devices, and comes with preloaded IR codes and the ability to learn IR codes for compatible devices.

What is missing? For this price, not much, but some adjustable EQ beyond the subwoofer volume knob would be nice. And while we’re thrilled that the system ships with both HDMI and optical, the power cables for both the sub and soundbar seem a bit short.

But we’re nitpicking here—for $250, the top-of-the-line Polk Audio Signa S3 offers plenty of features and comes with all the necessary cables.

All Sound Performance (Movie & Music)

We did the majority of our testing with the subwoofer set to the middle Best Polk Audio Signa S3. In Movie mode, Blade Runner 2049 crash scene, in which Ryan Gosling falls from the sky in what looks like a military-grade flying Lamborghini, features multiple explosions.

We get plenty of bass from the subwoofer, as well as some deep dal from the film score. The Best Polk Audio Signa S3 delivers high-mids and highs ideal for dialogue and effects, even without the Voice Adjust feature in play.

For those who really want bass, the sub doesn’t disappoint when boosted, but there’s plenty of low-end to be had at medium sub levels as well.

Dialogue even in these fight scenes is fettle and crisp. The Voice Assist button line also brings out the high-mids to a degree, but we found it sounded better when set to the middle mode.

In all Music mode, on tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s Silent Shout, the system delivers strong low-frequency depth.

At top volumes and full bass levels, it does not distort, though the sub is liable to because of some rattling in your room at these levels—this is an impressively loud system for the price.

At extra moderate levels, the bass sounds perhaps a bit dialed back, but this is where the Bass Volume on the remote comes in handy—you can adjust it to low boost when listening at medium volume levels.

Bill Callahan’s Drover, a track with much less deep bass in the mix.  Gives us a better sense of the Best Polk Audio Signa S3’s general sound signature.

The drums on this track can sound thunderous on bass-forward systems, but the Best Polk Audio Signa S3 allows you to determine the level of rumble. There’s plenty of treble side to Callahan’s vocals and brightness to the acoustic strums, and you can dial up the subwoofer dramatically.

However doing so seems to boost Callahan’s baritone vocals far more than the drums. The overall sound performance seems most balanced and dynamic with bass levels at the halfway point, or just slightly above.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s No Church in the Wild, the kick drum loop gets a lot of yoga thump. Especially if the bass is boosted, while the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with less intense subwoofer thunder than you’d expect.

Best Polk Audio Signa S3 Price in USA, UK and Europe

For $249, the Best Polk Audio Signa S3 is a solid 2.1 system What it lacks in user-adjustable EQ bands. It makes up for in specific listening modes, as well as subwoofer all volume control.

The sub itself doesn’t really get down to the low, ominous rumble that some might handle. But it does provide a clear bass presence that anyone looking for extra thunder for movies will be satisfied with.

In this price range, we’re also fans of the $280 Sony HT-S350 , though for even less, the $180 TCL Alto 7+ is a solid bargain—each has its own strengths, so you should check out our individual reviews.

If you want a really powerful sub-bass, meanwhile, you might want to invest in a more powerful system, like the $500 Klipsch Cinema 600, which is often available for around $300 and can be expanded to a full 5.1 system.


Good Side

  • Strong audio performance with deep bass and crisp highs
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Voice Adjust mode for clearer dialogue
  • Chromecast Audio and Google Assistant support voice commands
  • Ships with both HDMI and optical cables

Bad side

  • No EQ
  • Lacks visual indicators for various audio modes

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