Polk Audio’s Command Bar joins Alexa’s multiroom music social gathering

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

Polk Audio’s Command Bar, which options Alexa in-built, was up to date with Amazon’s Alexa multi-room music characteristic (MRM), which the corporate claims makes it the primary Alexa-compatible soundbar to work with the system.

Launched in 2017, Alexa multi-room music was initially designed to present customers voice-based, whole-home management over their Amazon audio system, like Echo, and Echo Dot, permitting every machine to play a special monitor or to play a single monitor in good sync. The highway map included assist for third-party Alexa units inside teams and we’re now seeing among the first merchandise to learn from that assist.

Utilizing the Alexa app, the Command Bar might be added to teams that comprise different MRM-enabled units, together with Amazon’s personal rising assortment of Alexa merchandise. We actually preferred the Command Bar after we reviewed it in 2018, noting that at $300, it provided some options and sound high quality that dearer merchandise couldn’t match. However we have been lower than impressed with its skill to course of Alexa instructions into actions.

In fact, combining Alexa capabilities with multi-room sound isn’t precisely new. Each Sonos and Denon’s Heos programs use their very own proprietary multi-room programs and might be managed by way of Alexa. Nevertheless, neither of those proprietary programs allow you to embody different firm’s units inside their multi-room management. With MRM, Amazon is successfully opening its personal management system to non-Amazon constructed audio system, letting you mix its merchandise with these of corporations like Polk (as long as they’re Alexa and MRM-enabled).

From a sensible standpoint, the Command Bar is the primary third-party audio product that may group with (and play music concurrently from) first-and third-party merchandise.

While you add this new characteristic to the Command Bar’s already spectacular characteristic set, similar to its a number of HDMI inputs, devoted Amazon Hearth TV slot, wi-fi subwoofer, and devoted distant management, it’s an more and more engaging product.

There is no such thing as a phrase but on when the following MRM-enabled merchandise will arrive, however you might be positive we’ll see loads coming within the scene in 2019 as Amazon places rising stress on Google and its Assistant.  With Sonos compatibility already launched, and this new MRM performance underway, Amazon has a commanding lead within the whole-home audio area.

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