Polk Audio has announced a voice-controlled sound bar with Alexa built-in. Polk envisions the Command Bar to be at the heart of the smart home theatre that provides “rich audio” for movies and music. Polk Audio’s parent company is DEI Holdings (its sound division is known as Sound United), which also owns audio brands Definitive Technology and Marantz. Polk has previously introduced sound bars that work with Google Home while supporting 5.1 surround sound.
This new Command Bar features integrated far-field microphones on top that can control volume, mute, bass, sound modes, and source selection with voice commands through Polk’s Connect Skill. There’s an HDMI port that’s designed to fit Amazon Fire TV and other HDMI streaming devices with wide form factors. The rear panel also has a built-in USB port, which can also power Fire TV devices. With Alexa, the Command Bar can also control lights, locks and other smart home gadgets, as well as Amazon Alexa-supported services like Amazon Music and Audible. Polk says support for more music services will be announced later in the year.
If you’re playing loud music and you want to activate Alexa, there’s an Amazon Action Button (also called a duck button) on the Command Bar’s remote control that can lower the volume so Alexa can hear your commands. The bar is compatible with 4K HDTVs and has dual HDMI 2.0b inputs and support for Dolby and DTS surround formats. The Polk Command Bar will be available in the US for $299.95 from Spring 2018, with preorders starting on April 1st from Amazon. The Command Bar will be available in the UK, Germany, and Australia later in the year.