American audio manufacturer Polk Audio has used CES 2018 to unveil the Command Bar, the very first soundbar with Amazon Alexa built-in. By combining a powerful soundbar with Alexa voice control, Polk believes the Command Bar to be the only home theatre device you need.
- Amazon Echo: What can Alexa do and what services are compatible
- Best smart home devices of CES 2018: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant everywhere
A soundbar first and foremost, the Polk Command Bar features two 1.25 x 3.25-inch full-range drivers, two 1-inch tweeters and a ported wireless 6.5-inch subwoofer. Around the back you'll find dual HDMI 2.0 inputs, meaning they support 4K HDR10 and Dolby Vision video, a further HDMI input that is ARC-compatible, so you only need to connect a single cable to your TV and a digital optical input. Polk supplies optical and HDMI cables in the box.
The Command Bar's headline feature though, is Alexa voice control. The bar features built-in far-field microphones, so you can use your voice to adjust the volume, change the source input, select different sound modes and control bass levels. The Command Bar also has an HDMI input designed specifically to be used with Amazon Fire TV devices and other media streaming products with wide form factors.
When a streaming device is connected, it too can be controlled using your voice. For added convenience, a USB port on the back can be used to power Fire TV devices.
The usual selection of Amazon Alexa-supported services feature on the Command Bar, including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora and Audible audio books. Polk Audio has said more music streaming services will be supported later in 2018.
Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United, Polk's parent company said: "For the past year, we worked to develop a soundbar 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 soundbar."
The Polk Audio Command Bar will be available in the US and Canada from Spring 2018 for $300 and the UK, Australia and Germany later in the year.