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Polk Command Bar Soundbar, Wireless Sub, and Built-in Amazon Alexa

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Summary

  • Product Name: Command Bar sound bar and wireless subwoofer
  • Manufacturer: Polk Audio
  • Review Date: January 16, 2018 00:00
  • MSRP: $300
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now

Total Frequency Response (soundbar and sub):     40 Hz → 22,000 Hz

Front Array Driver Complement

     (2)  1.25" (3.18 cm) h x 3.25" (8.26 cm) w (Oval) - Mid/Woofer

     (2)  1" (2.54 cm) d (Round) - Tweeter

Bluetooth: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Wireless Protocol:  802.11a/b/g/n/AC - 2.4GHz & 5Ghz

Audio Inputs

     (2) 4K HDMI

     Toslink Optical

     Audio Outputs

     4K HDMI (ARC)

      Power (soundbar):  160 watts

Amplifier: ClassClass D

Dimensions (HxWxD):  2" x 42.95" x 4"

Weight: 4.95 lbs

Executive Overview

Last year, Polk Audio launched several affordable soundbar and sub units including their MagniFi Mini and their MagniFi Max both of which received high praise for their ease of setup, sound quality for size and price point.  This week at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada Polk Audio announced their newest foray into the soundbar arena dubbed the Polk Command Bar the first voice-controlled sound bar with the Amazon Alexa Voice Service built in.

The Polk Command Bar boasts an integrated far-field microphones atop the sound bar to easily control master volume, mute, bass, sound modes, and source selection with voice commands through the Polk Connect Skill. In addition, the Polk Command Bar includes a dedicated HDMI port designed to fit Amazon Fire TV devices and other HDMI streaming devices with wide form factors. With the Alexa Voice Service integrated into the Polk Command Bar, customers can use their voice to control Fire TV, connected smart home devices and the sound bar.

polk command rear.JPG

As with the other Polk Audio products that we’ve looked at recently, the Polk Command Bar is designed with ease of setup in mind. For example, a built-in USB port in the rear panel can power compatible Fire TV devices. The Polk Command Bar also supports a full set of smart home skills to control lights, locks, and HVAC in addition to a variety of Amazon Alexa-supported music services, including Amazon Music, and can even read books from Audible.

"Intelligent voice services like Amazon Alexa have fundamentally transformed how we interact with our surroundings. However, until now, the home theater was devoid of an elegant solution. For the past year, we worked to develop a sound bar that profoundly changes how we interact with the home entertainment experience. The result is a product that produces Polk Audio-quality sound for movies and music, while simultaneously delivering voice control not yet found in a traditional sound bar.”

 - Kevin Duffy, CEO and president, Sound United.

The Polk Command Bar features Polk Audio’s performance-tuned drivers and sports two 1.25 x 3.25-inch full-range drivers, two 1-inch tweeters and a ported, wireless 6.5-inch subwoofer. Although the sub is light weight and made of hard plastic materials, for the price point the sub does a superb job of adding much needed bass to the system.

.polk command inputs.JPG

Even with the Command Bar playing, Polk says that the Alexa functionality won’t be compromised due to the optimized far-field microphone array.  When audio is playing at the loudest levels, owners can use the duck button in the Polk Command Bar’s remote control to lower playback volume and make it easier for Alexa to hear voice commands. Additionally, the sound bar is cohttps://www.polkaudio.com/sound-barsmpatible with 4K HDTVs and ensures HDR content looks beautiful with dual HDMI 2.0b inputs. Support for Dolby and DTS surround formats should provide you with an immersive room-filling home theater experience.

For just a nickel shy of $300 (including the wireless sub), the Polk Command Bar delivers the power and convenience of Amazon Alexa in what looks to be an excellent home theater solution ideal for movies, music and wireless music streaming. The Polk Command Bar will be available in spring 2018.  Polk "Commands" you to check one out and at this price, we do too.

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About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

gene posts on January 16, 2018 00:54
Polk Audio announced their newest soundbar at the CES 2018 show, calling it the Polk Command Bar. Why Command Bar? How about integrated Alexa support built in! For a sub $300 price point the Polk Command Bar delivers the power and convenience of Amazon Alexa in what looks to be an excellent budget friendly home theater solution ideal for movies, music and wireless music streaming.

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