Out of the Box
Like most Polk Audio products I have reviewed, the SurroundBar 6000 made a great impression as soon as the box was opened. The surround bar itself was neatly packaged in a soft-cloth bag, which was itself wrapped in a plastic bag. It was securely supported by multiple cardboard braces and each end was capped with cardboard. The paperwork and accessories were also packaged neatly, with the former laid on top of the bar and the latter in their own cardboard box tucked into a corner of the package. The sub itself was centered in the middle of the box (which made for a balanced, albeit long package) and was also double-wrapped like the bar. Included accessories are a remote, power cords for the bar and sub, a 6’ mini-to-mini analog cable, 6’ digital optical cable, mini-jack to analog adapter, quick start guide, owner’s manual and registration card and remote programming guide.
As much as I liked the look and lines of the SB IHT from last year, the first thing that struck me was how sleek and sexy the SurroundBar 6000 IHT was when I pulled it out of the box. Unlike its predecessor, the SB 6000 does not have the shape and feel of a traditional center channel speaker. The new design is slimmer and features a metal mesh grill instead of cloth. The overall look and feel works really well with flat-panel TVs that have gone to a more high-gloss black finish in recent years.
In addition to the changes in the design, the back of the main bar is now flush (as opposed to a round back) and has two keyhole slots near the outer edges to wall mount. Another change (for the better) is that the back panel now accepts cabling from underneath the bar instead of being recessed on the back panel. This helps immensely when trying to access the connections once it is installed.
Even the sub has gone more stylish, with a taped design on all sides instead of the 12” cube that the SB IHT had last year. It still sports the classic satin black finish with the Polk logo prominently displayed in the top center, but has a more updated and cooler look. You will also find that the back has a power switch and an AC plug input, and that is it. All other controls (volume) have been integrated into the remote and command center of the SB 6000. Initially I wasn’t so sure about this, but after reviewing the SB 6000 in full, I really like this change.
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