Polk Audio SurroundBar 6000


posted 2/7/2011 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
One Page Platforms: AV
Command Center/Remote
The command center on the SurroundBar 6000 is a touch-control system that is centrally located on the top of the front panel of the main bar. It has buttons for power, mute, source, learn and up and down for volume and the sub level. It also has a three-led display that shows which source is being used as well as an LED around the power button that lights up to indicate the status of the bar. Because they are touch-controls, everything is flush, so none of the buttons stick out and the LED lights are bright and easily visible. It does pick up some finger-prints if you use the command center more than the remote, but a quick wipe with screen cleaner and the surface will look pristine again.

The remote is pretty basic and features buttons for power, mute, source (1, 2 & 3), bar volume up and down as well as sub volume up and down. The fact that it exists was a huge win to start with, but its simplicity and direct approach is much appreciated.

There is one very important note regarding controlling the sub volume that needs to be passed along. Out of the box, it appears that the included remote is the only way to control the volume of the sub (without a physical volume knob on the back of it.) Fortunately, you can easily control the sub volume by tapping the “learn” button on the bar command center, and once the led turns orange, use the up and down arrow buttons to change the sub volume. Once it is set, tap the “learn” button again to reset the command buttons to their primary function. This info is actually found on page 10 of the manual in the FAQ section.

After setting up the SurroundBar IHT last year, I didn’t think setting up a speaker bar system could get much easier. Apparently, I couldn’t have been more wrong as the SurroundBar 6000 was up and running in less than two minutes after I had it unboxed laid out. One of the key additions to the unit is also the driving force for a quick install. The included fiber optic cable allows you to hook anything with fiber out directly into the bar for a digital audio connection in the blink of an eye. You can also use either the 6’ mini-to-mini analog or the mini-to-analog audio adapter to hook up additional audio sources in any of the three input jacks (one optic and two mini jacks.)

Once the audio source is hooked up, just hit the “synch” button on the back of the bar, turn on the sub power and they will connect on their own. Somewhat surprisingly, everything is controlled from the bar command center or from the remote provided by Polk Audio. There are no frequency switches on the bar or sub, and you do not have manual controls on the sub other than a power switch located on the back. To move the volume up and down, you can either use the included remote or adjust it through the command center on the bar. I actually like this method, as there is one less thing on the back of the sub to get accidentally “adjusted” or possibly get broken if it is located in a high-traffic area.

There are a few ways to “install” the main speaker bar of the SB 6000. The easiest is probably a table-top position as the SB 6000 bar has two rubber “feet” built right in to the bottom of it. This allows it to be placed on just about any surface. Due to how thin it is, that could be in front of a TV, or on a shelf or mantle. As far as wall mounting, the main bar has a couple of keyhole slots (25” apart) on the far outer edges of each end to easily place it on most wall surfaces. As far as placement, the sub only has a couple of restrictions in that it needs to be plugged into an AC wall outlet and should be within 50’ of the main speaker bar. Otherwise, individual sub placement preferences (such as putting in a corner to enhance bass or place behind furniture to conceal) should be followed.

Setup with the SurroundBar 6000 was such a breeze, that I would be surprised to find another unit on the market that would be easier and quicker to get running out of the box. Polk has done a fabulous of of not just making the audio experience top notch, but making sure that the setup experience is as painless as possible.
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