Polk Com­mand Bar

SmartHouse - - CONTENTS - Writ­ten by Orlaith Costello

Polk Au­dio’s Com­mand Bar, with built-in Ama­zon Alexa, now op­er­ates Ama­zon’s Alexa multi-room mu­sic fea­ture (MRM), which Polk claims make it the first Alexa-com­pat­i­ble sound­bar to work with the sys­tem.

The Polk Com­mand Bar ar­rived on our shores in Au­gust 2018 as one of the first sound­bars to be in­te­grated with Ama­zon Alexa, and this lat­est up­date again marks it as a trend­set­ter in the home au­dio depart­ment.

Alexa MRM was launched in 2017 with the aim to pro­vide voice-based con­trols over Ama­zon speaker in the en­tire home ecosys­tem, there­fore al­low­ing each de­vice to play a dif­fer­ent track in a dif­fer­ent room or play the same mu­sic in per­fect sync across the home­group.

It was ex­pected that Ama­zon would roll out MRM sup­port for third­party Alexa de­vices and now these prod­ucts are reach­ing the mar­ket.

Through the Alexa app, the Polk Com­mand Bar can be added to groups that in­clude other MRM-en­abled de­vices — for ex­am­ple Echo Dot etc.

Polk’s Com­mand Bar is the first third-party au­dio prod­uct that can con­nect with and play mu­sic from both first-and third-party prod­ucts.

Sonos and Denon’s Heos pro­pri­etary multi-room sys­tems can be con­trolled by Alexa. How­ever, nei­ther of their sys­tems al­low users to con­nect third-party de­vices to their multi-room con­trol. This new fea­ture only in­creases the Com­mand Bar’s al­ready im­pres­sive fea­ture set which in­cludes mul­ti­ple HDMI in­puts, wire­less sub­woofer, and 4K HDR com­pat­i­bil­ity.

It’s likely that Polk will not be alone with this new fea­ture, as Ama­zon and Google con­tinue push­ing their voice assistants and re­spec­tive fea­tures into more and more prod­ucts.

Polk Com­mand Bar is avail­able now from JB Hi-Fi for $649.

Polk's Com­mand Bar is the first third-party au­dio prod­uct that can con­nect with and play mu­sic from both fir­stand third-party prod­ucts.

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