Judging by its enthusiastic adoption by consumers, voice control has a significant role to play in the future of home entertainment. At CES 2018, Polk proudly introduced the first soundbar to integrate Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, the Command Bar
Now, this exciting and affordable audio appliance is available for preorder on Amazon and it true Polk fashion it’s priced very affordable considering its capabilities with an MSRP of $299.95.
The Command Bar’s implementation of Alexa is the real including the ring of blue LEDs and the farfield microphones that allow Amazon’s computers to understand what you’re saying, even when you’re some distance away.
For $300, you get an HDMI-equipped soundbar with a wireless sub that’s capable of a surprisingly robust audio output. Anecdotally, Polk had the guts to actually play the Command Bar in the hotel ballroom where the press conference was held.
Polk’s Command Bar soundbar was one of AVS Forum’s “Best of CES 2018” award recipients. Based on prior experience with the company’s Magni-Fi soundbars, I have every reason to believe that the Command Bar will prove to be a price/performance champion, even without the added functionality that Amazon Alexa brings to the table.
Of course once you consider what Alexa brings to the table—from playing music and movies to controlling home appliances and much more—it becomes clear this is a new class of appliance. By putting voice recognition and control front and center in the living room, it creates a new paradigm for interfacing with the computer that is more Star Trek than anything—ask for what you want using natural English and there’s a decent (and ever-improving) chance you shall receive.
Anyhow, this post is really just a heads-up for those who may be interested in early adopting this promising soundbar. It really does look promising for the price.