Polk's Command Bar arrives early to the whole-home Alexa party.
Watch out Sonos: Polk said Tuesday that its Command Bar will be the first third-party sound bar to support Amazon's multiroom music (MRM) ecosystem.
Amazon announced at a press event back in September that third-party speakers, such as Polk, would soon get MRM capability. As far as we can tell, the Command Bar is the first such non-Amazon speaker, period -- sound bar or otherwise. We've asked Amazon for confirmation of this and will update this article if we receive a reply.
A software update for the Command Bar, rolling out Tuesday, will let you group the sound bar with Amazon's Echo speakers for music throughout the house.
MRM lets you listen to music on one or more compatible speakers in a home at once -- aka "Party Mode." You can say something like "Alexa, play System of a Down everywhere" and every compatible speaker on the system would play Bounce, simultaneously. MRM been available since August 2017 on Amazon's own speakers like the Echo and Echo Dot.
MRM competes with Google's Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and manufacturer-specific platforms such as Sonos, Denon HEOS and Yamaha MusicCast. Sonos itself is also rumored to receive MRM capability, but Sonos representatives did not respond immediately to CNET's request for comment.
The Polk Command Bar is a sound bar with built-in Alexa that competes directly against the Sonos Beam. Its included wireless subwoofer gives it better sound quality than the Beam for a lower price, and in my review I called it "the best Alexa-compatible sound bar yet."
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