JBL BAR 500 vs Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX

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Votes 2 2
Rating 3.5 3.5

BAR 500 vs MagniFi Mini AX comparison chart

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX
Multichannel surround

JBL BAR 500 vs Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX review

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX

Against the background of the increasing popularity of soundbars, the comparison of JBL BAR 500 and Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX takes place. And based on the available data, we can conclude that BAR 500 has better sound and performance than MagniFi Mini AX. According to the results of our comparison, BAR 500 received 8.6 points out of 10 possible, and MagniFi Mini AX was rated 7.6 points.

Advantages JBL BAR 500 over Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX

  • We do not know advantages

Advantages Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX over JBL BAR 500

  • Surround sound with DTS:X support

Audio features

The BAR 500 is rated 7 of 10 against 4 for the MagniFi Mini AX according to the audio features rating.

BAR 500
MagniFi Mini AX

It worth understanding the difference between the two types of amplification: a passive soundbar does not have its own amplifier and receives amplification from the signal source, while an active soundbar has a built-in amplifier. The same active type of amplification is used in the BAR 500 and the MagniFi Mini AX.

There are stereo soundbars and multichannel ones. It is with the help of multichannel devices that you can get volumetric sound. It is worth noting one of the main differences, the BAR 500 has 5.1 channels, while the MagniFi Mini AX has 3.1 channels. Also, the output power of the soundbars under consideration is different, JBL BAR 500 has 620 (overall) W, and 10 (overall) W has the competitor.

BAR 500 MagniFi Mini AX
Built-in channels5.13.1
Amplification typeactiveactive
Output power, W620 (overall)10 (overall)
Separate speaker (in package)00
Separate speaker connectionshas notwireless


Soundbars can have a built-in or external subwoofer. The first type is inseparable from the soundbar body, but for the second, you can choose a good location for deep bass. Both reviewed devices are equipped with an external subwoofer. Competitors support wireless connection to a separate external subwoofer.

BAR 500 MagniFi Mini AX
Built-in subwoofer
Separate subwoofer (in package)
Separate subwoofer connectionswirelesswireless

Multichannel surround

Unlike stereo, when reproducing multichannel sound, each specific direction of sound corresponds to its dedicated channel with a separate independent loudspeaker, which creates a three-dimensional sound stage. The BAR 500 received rating 7 out of 10 for multichannel audio processing, but the MagniFi Mini AX, in the same category, earned 10 out of 10 points.

BAR 500
MagniFi Mini AX

The peculiarity of Dolby Atmos is that this format is object-oriented, that is, each object of the audio signal is sounded separately and linked to its spatial location. If we consider the models in terms of support for Dolby Atmos, then both soundbars can work with this technology.

DTS:X is an algorithm for processing sound scenes by the processor, linking directly to objects, rather than channels, and calculating the optimal distribution of sound output in a room. The manufacturer has implemented DTS:X technology only in MagniFi Mini AX.

BAR 500 MagniFi Mini AX
Dolby Atmos
Dolby (other)Dolby Mono, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos True HD
DTS (other)DTS Digital Surround,DTS-HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS Virtual X

Streaming services

The possibility to listen online to millions of songs from one device has become a reality thanks to streaming services. The streaming services category rating is the same - 10 out of 10 points.

BAR 500
MagniFi Mini AX

The popular Spotify service is available on both soundbars. The streaming audio from Pandora, SoundCloud, it is possible to listen to each of soundbars.

BAR 500 MagniFi Mini AX
Apple Music (AirPlay)
Amazon Music
Other streaming servicesPandora, SoundCloudPandora, SoundCloud


The existence of a sufficient number of current connectors significantly expands the functionality of the device. For example, only through HDMI is it possible to implement the transfer of object-oriented formats, and the presence of a Bluetooth connection will allow remote control, etc. The devices received different ratings for connectivity: JBL BAR 500 was rated 10 out of 10, and Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX was rated 5 out of 10.

BAR 500
MagniFi Mini AX

The presence of Wi-Fi in the soundbar allows you to get rid of wires when connected to a sound source and get minimal audio latency when playing content from streaming services. Wireless connection via Wi-Fi is possible on both devices.

Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for speaker systems, which provides excellent quality and minimal audio latency. The availability of Bluetooth protocol, we can see in both models. The BAR 500 has 1/1 HDMI inputs/outputs, but the MagniFi Mini AX got 1/0 HDMI inputs/outputs from the manufacturer.

HDMI ARC is a very usefull technology that creates a two-way communication channel between a TV and another device. This is convenient since there is no need to use optical and other cables in the system. HDMI ARC is basic for both soundbars. Connecting external devices via USB can be done on both models.

BAR 500 MagniFi Mini AX
Ethernet (RJ45)00
HDMI input/output1/11/0
Optical digital input/output1/01/0
USB1 (USB 2.0)1 (USB 2.0)
Coaxial digital input/output0/00/0
Analog audio input/output (RCA)0/00/0
Headphone output00
Subwoofer output00


Voice control is designed to make operating the device more convenient. This allows you to control basic soundbar functions from anywhere in the room.

Proprietary applications allow you to control your soundbars remotely. This is possible both via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The ability to control the soundbar using the application is implemented in each of the competitors. Both soundbars have a built-in microphone.

Some soundbars can be part of a multi-room system and it is an affordable solution for sounding the whole house. However, it is impossible to create a multiroom system based on each of these soundbars.

BAR 500 MagniFi Mini AX
Voice control
App control
Remote control


BAR 500 MagniFi Mini AX
Size (Wx H x D), cm/in101.7x5.6x10.3/40x2.2x436.6x10.4x7.9/14.4x4.1x3.1
Weight, kg/pounds2.8/6.26.3/14
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