Definitive and Polk Debut Wireless Surround

Definitive Technology and Polk Audio demonstrated for the first time the capability of its soundbars pairing with smaller, wireless speakers to form a true 5.1-channel wireless surround system. While company representatives would not confirm the technology being used, one could infer that since all of the speakers involved were from the PlayFi wireless ecosystem, and since one of the recent PlayFi updates enabled the possibility of adding surround speakers, that PlayFi was the underlying wireless technology at play.

The Definitive Technology demo utilized the company’s new W Studio Micro ($899, review in this month’s issue of Sound & Vision) along with two W7 speakers handling rear-channel duty. The W7 is a tri-pole design and did a terrific job of conveying the surround information from the Transformers: Age of Extinction Blu-ray demo material being used. Audio clearly came from behind and to the sides exactly as it would in a traditional, wired 5.1-channel system.

On the Polk Audio side, the demo utilized the new Omni SB1 Plus bar in front ($699, this March) along with two S2 surround speakers ($179). The SB1 Plus includes Polk’s proprietary dialog enhancing technology called VoiceAdjust, designed to isolate dialog and make it easier to understand and also includes Bluetooth.

As a further option, either system could incorporate a single rear speaker such as the Polk Audio Omni S6 ($349) or the Definitive Technology W9 ($699).

This new wireless surround feature is expected to be released in spring.