Polk Audio describes the Polk Audio Omni S2 wireless speaker as “The First Great-Sounding Wireless Music System.” That’s a bold claim for a wireless speaker that costs under $180 and comes with multiple grills. If the claims ring true the S2 is a great deal. The key of course is, “If the claims ring true…”
“The Omni S2 is an ultra-compact speaker that lets you put Polk’s widely respected signature sound in any room of your home. The Omni S2 comes with both black and white swappable grilles for supreme flexibility. It can sit horizontally or stand up to fit in small spaces like bathroom countertops. The speaker uses two 2” (50mm) full-range drivers powered by a two-channel amplifier, while the two passive radiators create fuller bass response.”
“All the music you love, anywhere in your home: The Omni S2 is part of the Omni Collection, a series of wireless products that allow you to control what you want to listen to from your phone, tablet or computer and stream it wirelessly to any room. Plus, you can start with one and then add throughout your home.”
In other words, the Polk Audio Omni S2 is something akin to the familiar Sonos wireless audio system, except that it uses DTS Play-Fi Technology for creating a multi-room wireless audio system. It also costs less than the least expensive Sonos speaker. (The Play: 1 has an MSRP of $199 vs the Omni S2’s MSRP of $179.99. The Omni also offers a better value for the lower price. We’ll come back to that.)
It can also stream from a NAS.
Setting up the speaker was rather simple. I downloaded the Polk Audio app to my iPhone, started the speaker and pushed the setup button on the back. I then went to the WiFi settings on my iPhone and selected the Polk audio WiFi that soon appeared. I returned to the app and followed the step-by-step instructions that let me connect the speaker to my wireless system. From there I renamed the speaker and selected some music. Within seconds the music-in this case Adam Lambert’s “Whatya Want From Me”-was playing.
And I’ll be damned if Polk Audio wasn’t telling the truth. The small speaker kicks out huge, excellent sound. I mean, this speaker gets LOUD and sounds fantastic! The stream from the phone was solid and the audio quality was superb.
That, however, is just the beginning. You see, the Polk Audio Omni can stream music from a variety of sources and does so quite elegantly.
“Music Services: Stream the most popular online music services including Spotify, Pandora, and Songza. Services like KKBox, QQMusic, and Deezer are available in select countries.”
Here’s where things get interesting. With my Sonos system I had to go through multiple steps on my computer to connect to things like Spotify and Beats Music. It was a pain in the ass. And while the number of services with which the Omni S2 works is currently more limited than those offered by Sonos-Beats Music, for example isn’t available-connecting to Spotify was accomplished right on the phone in the app. That kind of simplicity is awesome.
“The free Polk Omni App allows you to mix-and-match speakers with the open DTS Play-Fi Technology standard and future-proof your home music solution. Stream the same music to every room or stream different songs to different rooms.”
Key here is the fact that speakers from a variety of companies can be used together with the DTS Play-Fi Technology, and the app serves as the bridge between the speakers. With Sonos you can use any speaker you want…so long as it is a Sonos speaker. I like the more “open source” approach taken by companies opting for the DTS Play-Fi Technology. I will admit though that I missed the sleep timer and alarm clock functionality built into the Sonos system. That alone makes Sonos the preferred speaker for the bedroom in my opinion.
The Polk Omni S2 is small enough to fit anywhere.
When you purchase the Polk Omni S2 you can also receive an additional designer grille when you register. And additional grilles can be purchased for $24.95 USD. That means you can purchase one speaker and then customize it to your liking.
A single Polk Audio Omni S2 delivers enough sound to fill my apartment’s living room/dining room on it’s own. If, however, I wanted an even bigger and more immersive experience I could get a second S2 and create a stereo pair. And it all comes at a great value. For example, I could have a stereo pair in the livingroom, a speaker in my bedroom, a speaker in my office, and a speaker in the bathroom for under $900. And, at the time of this review being written, you can save $30 on a speaker!
Check it, and their other Polk Audio multi-room speakers.