Polk Audio Command Bar $249.99
Add dimension to your television’s sound
As televisions get thinner, with barely any bezel around the screen, speakers and their placement have almost become an afterthought. Adding a good sound bar can really make a difference.
Sound bars are a group of speakers housed in a low-profile, wide enclosure that sits right in front of your television. Some sound bars have a subwoofer and can connect to rear speakers to provide surround sound.
The Polk Audio Command Bar combines a sound bar with a wireless subwoofer and has Amazon’s Alexa built in.
The Command Bar isn’t just a long black box full of speakers. Polk has designed it with gentle curves that almost resemble an airplane wing. Planted in the center of the top is what appears to be an Amazon Echo Dot.
It looks like a Dot, but the Alexa built into the Command Bar has far-field microphones that are very good at picking up your voice when the TV sound is turned up.
When you say, “Alexa,” the Command Bar’s sound lowers its volume so it can hear your request clearly.
The Command Bar is pretty easy to set up. Unbox the Command Bar and its companion wireless subwoofer and plug them both into power. They should pair with each other automatically. A green light on the subwoofer will show the connection status.
You can connect the Command Bar to your television via HDMI or optical audio cables (both cables are included).
Once the sound is coming from the Command Bar, you don’t have to do much else. The Command Bar has its own remote control that has buttons to control the treble and bass and activate different audio modes to enhance the sound for movies or sports.
If you like, the Command Bar has two HDMI inputs so you can connect a DVD player or video game console that will pass through to your TV. You use the Command Bar remote to change those inputs.
There’s a USB port on the back to provide a handy place to power up a streaming device or antenna.
The addition of front-facing speakers and a subwoofer make a huge difference. Even the intro music on the local news took on a new dimension with actual booming bass.
Once you have things running, the remote will help you get the sound adjusted to your liking so you can just forget about it and enjoy your movie or TV show.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS