“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Polk Audio Wireless Surround F/X Rear Speaker First Look

Polk Audio Wireless Surround F/X Rear Speaker

Polk Audio Wireless Surround F/X Rear Speaker


  • Product Name: Wireless Surround F/X Rear Speaker
  • Manufacturer: Polk Audio
  • Review Date: February 03, 2010 04:50
  • MSRP: $399.95
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

Four 2.5" full range drivers

One 5.25" woofer

Powered by a compact multichannel channel DSP amplifier

We've all heard of the new wireless surrounds. It seems that every company is coming out with some. The promise of wireless surrounds is, well, a lack of wires. What people may not understand (not you since we keep harping on it) is that you always need power. That requires at least one wire. The problem comes in when you have two or more rear speakers that you want to hang fairly high. You end up with the convenience of not having to run speaker wire across the room to your rear speakers but you still need to deal with unsightly wires.

While Polk Audio doesn't have all the answers to this problem, they do have an innovative partial solution. The Wireless Surround F/X builds on the SurroundBar technology Polk has be using for years, but puts it in the back of the room. SurroundBars simulate surround sound either by bouncing sound around a room or by using Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Polk's bar does the latter. DSPs use multiple drivers (generally) while adjusting the phase of the transducers to trick the listener's ear into thinking that the sound is coming from somewhere other than the speaker.

Now, obviously the Wireless Surround F/X bar is wireless. What really intrigued us was its form factor. A smallish half oval shape seems perfectly suited for table placement. Polk's "Polk Digital Logic" DSP is used to simulate the surround speakers for a 5.1 or 7.1 system. While this might seem to be a bit ambitious, remember that surround bars are usually trying to completely enclose the listener in sound. The Wireless Surround F/X only has to cover half that area which should be considerably easier.


The Wireless Surround F/X has four 2.5-inch "full range" (take that with a grain of salt) drivers and a 5.25" woofer. A small receiver connects to a transmitter that is connected to your receiver's surround channels. It is unclear if you will need RCA-style pre-outs for these channels (we're betting you will) or if you will be able to use your speaker terminals. There is a switch to indicate placement (and adjust the DSP) of the speaker - floor, table, or shelf. The Wireless Surround F/X is self powered (of course) by a multi-channel digital amplifier. Look for this one in stores in the second quarter of 2010.


We are very intrigued with the Polk Audio Wireless Surround F/X rear speaker. The trend in recent years has been more and more toward large open living spaces. Too often we take one look at those spaces and realize that we are either going to have to install small satellites on stands near a couch or in-ceiling speakers. Generally, these both seem like compromises to us. We say: If you are going to compromise, do it with the least amount of pain possible. The Wireless Surround F/X certainly is painless. We can't tell you how many living rooms we've seen set up with a TV on a wall, a couch in the middle of the room, and a table behind the couch. That table is just begging for one of these speakers. At $400, it's a healthy purchase but one we think many would be interested in. Polk looks to have a winner on its hands with this one.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

View full profile