Gadgets for humans

Polk’s Alexa-enabled soundbar now supports multi-room music

The best sounding Alexa-enabled soundbar just got better

Polk Audio today announced its Command Bar, an Alexa-enabled soundbar, will receive a software update adding Amazon’s multi-room music (MRM) protocol. It’s the first third-party smart speaker to do so.

The Command Bar is among the best sounding speakers featuring Alexa support, but it suffers from a lack of features when compared to Amazon’s first-party products.

Until now, it was an isolated speaker (plus sub-woofer) that sounded great, but couldn’t join the party if you wanted to make the whole house jam to the same tunes.

Amazon’s MRM is one of those features you don’t know you need until you experience it. It’s triggered by telling Alexa to play the music you want … everywhere. For example, you can say “Alexa, play 1990s hip hop everywhere,” and it will literally play a song by Tupac on every single smart speaker in the entire world.

That’s a lie. It’ll actually only play music on the Alexa-enabled smart speakers on your network that support MRM.

But if you’re like me, and you’ve got an Echo Dot or similar device in every room but the bathroom (because Dots aren’t waterproof), this is music to your ears.

There’s nothing quite like the joy I experience waking my family up at 0600 every morning by shouting “Alexa, play ‘Mmmbop’ by Hanson everywhere” at the top of my lungs. Now my Command Bar can join the choir.

The update begins rolling out today. For more information check out our review of the Polk Audio Command Bar here.

We reached out to Polk Audio and Amazon for comment and will update this story as necessary.

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Published January 15, 2019 — 22:44 UTC