Polk Unveils Amazon Alexa-Enabled Sound Bar, Captures Industry Voice Control Message
The big trend at CEDIA was companies jamming as many Amazon Echo Dot's into their products as possible, so it makes sense that an industry-trendsetter like Polk would follow suit.
Polk enters the arena with their Alexa ready 'Command Bar' that looks to anchor a consumers entire home theater setup. The new soundbar has the typical suspects in controlling volume, mute, bass, sound modes, and source selection via far-field microphones and Polk's Connect Skill, but there is also an HDMI port for video pass-through. Flanking the two HDR-ready HDMI 2.0b ports is a built-in USB port for powering streaming devices (read Amazon Fire) and comes stocked with 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.
“Voice is an incredibly natural way to interact with your home, and we’re excited to work with Polk Audio to bring customers a new Alexa experience for the home theater,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon. “With the new Polk Command Bar, customers get great sound quality and Alexa voice control for an even better entertainment experience.”
Not only does this new line compliment Polk's MagniFi Max SR soundbar with Google Home, but it is also an indicator that all the voice control hype at CEDIA was on point. Interestingly, it seems that more companies are gravitating towards Amazon's digital assistant, but that doesn't mean that Google has made a presence, including a spirited talk at the Fall Azione conference last year.
However, it is also in direct contrast to Sonos' play at integrating every digital assistant to remain agnostic with their flagship Play:1 speaker. Either way, Polk is launching the Command Bar later this year and will run a $299.95 MSRP price tag. International shipping and pricing is yet to be determined.