Polk Audio is going small with the MagniFi Mini AX, a Dolby Atmos- and DTS:X-enabled soundbar that’s about the size of a breadbox.
Slated to go on sale for $499, the MagniFi Mini AX isn’t the first pint-sized soundbar to tackle Dolby Atmos. There’s also the LG Éclair, a compact soundbar first unveiled in 2021. But while the Éclair achieves its Atmos height effects using upfiring drivers that bound sound off the ceiling, the MagniFi Mini AX virtualizes the height cues.
Measuring 14.4 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches (WxDxH), the MagniFi Mini AX is much narrower than most soundbars, which tend to be closer to 40 inches wide.
But at 3.1 inches high, the MagniFi Mini AX is also somewhat tall, bucking the trend of lower-profile soundbars that are shorter than 3 inches. Given the Mini AX’s height, there’s a good chance it will block a portion of the bottom of your TV screen, depending on how it’s placed.
The MagniFi Mini AX supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the two big competing object-based 3D audio formats. The soundbar also uses Polk’s own SDA virtualization technology to deliver Atmos and DTS:X height cues, as well as to widen the speaker’s soundstage.
Packed inside the compact soundbar cabinet are five drivers: two 19mm tweeters and two 51mm mid-range drivers for the left and right channels, while the center channel gets its own 51mm mid-range cone.
For low-frequency effects, the MagniFi Mini AX comes with a wireless subwoofer that’s equipped with a 127 x 178mm driver.
While surround speakers aren’t included, you can add Polk Audio’s SR2 wireless surround speaker kit, which retails for $199.
The Wi-Fi-enabled soundbar supports both Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Google’s Chromecast; most soundbars with casting support only get one or the other. Spotify Connect is another option, along with Bluetooth 5.0.
For connectivity, the MagniFi Mini AX comes with a single HDMI-eARC connector (thus allowing for lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats), as well as an optical (Toslink) port and a 3.5mm auxiliary jack. A USB-A port is reserved for firmware updates.
Finally, the MagniFi Mini AX is a Roku TV-Ready soundbar, meaning it can be set up and configured through a Roku TV’s on-screen menus.
We already have a review unit of the MagniFi Mini AX, and we’ll have a full review once we give the soundbar a thorough test drive. Stay tuned.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.