Alexa Speaks through Polk Command Bar

After a few months of living with multiple Alexa-powered speakers, I have come to loathe finding my TV's remote control and hitting the button that turns on the set. Polk knows how I feel. The company bowed to the inevitable tonight by introducing the Command Bar, the first Alexa-powered soundbar.

Two years in the making, this product is a shrewd move for Sound United, also the owner of Definitive Technology, Denon, HEOS, Marantz, Boston Acoustics, and the just-acquired amp maker Classé. The tipping points, we were told, were voice command, the "flight to quality" entertainment sources, and the unsatisfactory sound of thin TVs.

The bar is just two inches tall, topped by the familiar blue Alexa ring. Drivers include 1.25 by 3.25 inch mid-woofers, one-inch tweeters, and a 6.5-inch outboard sub with 60-watt RMS amp. Dual side ports lower the center of gravity enough to mesh with the sub.

The bar is Ultra HD capable with CEC, ARC, Dolby Digital, and DTS. There's a special pocket on the back for your Fire TV stick including the necessary USB charging port. The supplied remote will work with your TV out of the box, no programming needed. A voice adjust function raises or lowers dialogue.

It is claimed that if you have multiple Alexa-powered devices, they will seek out the most "acoustically viable signal" to prevent duplication. Having lived with multiple Alexa-powered devices, I am skeptical of this. See upcoming Ears On blog.

But the Command sure did fill the large conference room impressively in a brief demo.

Polk will start taking pre-orders on April 1. Price of this sure to be influential product will be $299.