Wireless Wonders: 7 Wireless Speakers Reviewed Polk Omni S2

Polk Omni S2

PRICE $180

Easy-to-use app
Finicky setup
So-so sound

The Play-Fi app worked well, but the Omni S2 sounded less refined than its competition.

The S2 is part of Polk Audio’s Omni Collection of wireless multiroom audio gear, which consists of speakers, soundbars, a wireless adapter, and a streamer/amp. At $180, the S2 is the most affordable speaker in our roundup. It’s also the only one to utilize DTS Play-Fi, an open-source platform that allows you to mix and match Play-Fi-capable wireless speakers from different manufacturers and control them with the same DTS Play-Fi app.

Standing 9 inches tall (it can also be placed horizontally), the S2 comes with interchangeable black and white grilles. Its two 2-inch full-range drivers are powered separately by Class D amps, and there are two passive radiators to augment bass response. The S2 supports playback of FLAC and WAV files up to 192/24, but Play-Fi downconverts those files to 48/16 for streaming. There’s a 3.5mm analog minijack input for an external source, and the S2 can be paired with a second speaker for stereo playback. Supported music services include Tidal, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer, with more expected soon.

Initial setup wasn’t without hiccups. Polk advises that you place the speaker near your Wi-Fi router for best results, and they aren’t kidding. After several failed attempts at pairing the S2s in an adjacent room, I placed them literally right next to my router and was only then able to complete the process. Once that was accomplished, however, I had no further issues. Creating rooms and speaker groups proved to be a snap. Stereo pairing of the speakers was software-controlled, and it carried out with no problem.

The sound of the S2 became strained and boxy at loud volumes. Even with the Beach House track at a reasonable volume, vocals lacked crispness, and the bass was somewhat ill defined. When I cued up “Silent Weapons (The Architects of Manipulation)” from guitarist Mark McGuire’s instrumental album Along the Way, the S2 projected a wide sonic image, but the guitar sounded a bit tinny, and the bass came across as murky. The Floating Points track in stereo was room-filling, and the individual speakers weren’t as localizable when I pushed up the volume, but the lack of treble crispness that I heard on the Beach House track was also apparent.

The Polk Omni Play-Fi app’s usability was well above average (and this app functionality applies to all Play-Fi-compatible speakers). System and music selection all happens in one window, which made navigating the app a breeze. I found it easy to do anything I wanted, from selecting individual speakers for playback and volume control to jumping between the various music services and selecting tracks. The app’s design didn’t get in the way of anything I wanted to do, which is how it should be.

2 in full-range (2) , passive radiator (2)
Inputs: Analog (3.5 mm)
Output: Stereo analog 3.5 mm
Dimensions (WxHxD, Inches): 3.96 x 9.06.2 x 3.92
Weight (Pounds): N/A

Related: What You Need to Know About Wireless Multiroom Music Systems

eugovector's picture

How about, "Anything plus the Chromecast Audio"? Forget 3rd party apps, you want native app support with casting.