Pre-Orders Now Being Taken For Polk Command Bar With Built-in Alexa Control
Sound United is now taking pre-orders for the Polk Audio Command Bar, a premium sound bar with wireless subwoofer and built-in Amazon Alexa voice-powered AI capability. The Command Bar was an HD Guru Best Sound Bar of CES 2018 award winner.
The Polk Command Bar, which is launching at a $299.95 retail price, is positioned as a “premium solution” for flat-screen TV users with limited space or funds to install a complete multi-channel surround sound speaker package and AVR.
Customers can pre-order the unit now through the Polk Audio website or on Amazon.com in order to receive shipments as soon as they become available.
In addition to delivering dynamic home theater sound from a compact speaker array, the innovative sound bar is the first of its kind to accept and execute verbal commands using the Amazon Alexa system. Customers can control a variety of connected devices as well as the sound bar by simply asking Alexa. The process is very similar to the way one of Amazon’s dedicated Alexa speakers, the Echo or Echo Dot, perform, but with the full sound support of a premium Polk sound bar.
A Polk Connect Skill lets users easily control master volume, mute, adjust bass, apply sound modes, and change source selections. In addition, the AI control system will extend control to a variety of compatible smart home devices and appliances, by providing control skills for lights, locks, HVAC etc.
The Command Bar is outfitted with Polk Audio’s performance-tuned drivers, including two 1.25 x 3.25-inch full-range drivers, two 1-inch tweeters and a ported, wireless 6.5-inch subwoofer for big, dynamic sound.
The sound bar measures just over 2-inches tall to comfortably fit below most TV screens using table-top placements or mounted on a wall. It connects via wireless Bluetooth to a subwoofer. The Command Bar is also Wi-Fi enabled and includes a full suite of wired inputs including 2 HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs (supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision) and an HDMI ARC (out) port, optical digital in and Ethernet port.
Being an Amazon compatible product, Polk designed the HDMI port and power source on the back of the soundbar to accept a connected Amazon Fire TV stick to access a plethora of streaming services, including Amazon’s own Prime entertainment services.
This allows Alexa to control the Fire TV functions as well as control the soundbar functions. A connected television will still require a separate remote control.
Using Alexa, users will be able to simply call out commands to execute program searches and then call up and play the program on the home theater system. Voice commands will also trigger switching input sources, adjusting volume, call out the time, weather forecasts or tell a joke.
Amazon Alexa supports access to Amazon music services as well as Pandora, iHeart Radio, Sirius/XM, Spotify, and others.
By Greg Tarr
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