Polk Audio Command Built-In Multi-Room Music Soundbar

Last updated date: July 24, 2020

DWYM Score
6.9

Polk Audio Command Built-In Multi-Room Music Soundbar

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Overall Take

In our analysis of 74 expert reviews, the Polk Audio Polk Audio Command Built-In Multi-Room Music Soundbar placed 14th when we looked at the top 14 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 7, 2020:
Checkout The Best Soundbar for a detailed review of all the top soundbars.

Expert Summarized Score
7.2
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
6.4
218 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The soundbar also includes a powered USB port, which is extremely handy for connecting the USB cable that provides power to an Amazon Fire TV or Google Chromecast. The Command Bar comes with a remote, which includes buttons for volume, bass and voice levels, as well as ways to switch sound modes (Movie, Music or Sports). However, you can also just ask Alexa to make the change for you.
- Tom's Guide
September 6, 2018 | Full review
The Command Bar sounds good, with a subwoofer that doesn’t try to overpower you even when cranked to the max. Instead of a treble control, there’s a “voice” control that accents the frequencies of the human voice, seemingly applying some cut to the surrounding frequencies.
- TechHive
The Polk Command Bar offers built-in Alexa control that "hears" your voice more reliably than in competing Sonos speakers. With the help of a wireless subwoofer, sound quality is better than the Beam for both music and movies. A feast of connectivity options includes dual HDMI and the ability to mount a Fire TV Stick onboard.
- CNET
July 20, 2018 | Full review
That ring of light will pop on when you call for Alexa, so you know you’re being listened to. It works well on a smart speaker, but can prove distracting whilst watching a movie. The light ring is a good way to show that updates are happening.
- Trusted Reviews
November 15, 2018 | Full review
This sound bar has an Alexa smart speaker built-in. In addition to the helpful voice control options, the Command Bar also has the best physical remote in our test group. It has separate volume controls for overall volume, subwoofer level and the Voice Adjust feature that allows you to adjust the volume of midrange frequencies such as movie dialogue and vocals in music.
- Top Ten Reviews
October 10, 2018 | Full review
Good sound for the $300 price. Wireless subwoofer included. Alexa setup and operation is a little easier than some speakers, and adds a lot of value if you use Fire TV.
- Wired
July 26, 2018 | Full review
Adding a hands-free voice assistant to a soundbar seems like a natural step, considering any soundbar will likely be the main (or only) speaker system in your living room. Sonos pulls it off admirably with the Alexa-equipped Beam, though it lacks an included subwoofer for real low-end thunder. The Polk Command Bar also features hands-free Alexa voice assistance, along with a wireless subwoofer and a very reasonable $299.95 price tag.
- PC Magazine
July 27, 2018 | Full review
The Polk Command Bar and Sonos Beam are the first soundbars to eliminate the middleman through their built-in microphones and Alexa support. Of the two, the Command Bar delivers a more dynamic, full-range sound. Its inclusion of a wireless subwoofer, Bluetooth, and multiple input options gives it the edge.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Less expensive than the Sonos Beam, two HDMI inputs work with many TV setups and Alexa integration works well.
- The Verge
What experts didn't like
However, I found that I sometimes needed to say, "Alexa," twice before it started listening, and occasionally it would freeze when trying to execute a command. When the soundbar froze, it would take about a minute to become responsive again.
- Tom's Guide
September 6, 2018 | Full review
It can be difficult to get Alexa's attention when the speaker is being used for movies or music. Needs more granular EQ capabilities.
- TechHive
The Polk has a narrower soundstage than Sonos Beam and lacks its ability to add rear speakers. It isn't (yet) compatible with Alexa multiroom. It's big, and not the most attractive sound bar on the market.
- CNET
July 20, 2018 | Full review
No multiroom support, yet
- Trusted Reviews
November 15, 2018 | Full review
It doesn’t sound as good as the best performers in our audio tests.
- Top Ten Reviews
October 10, 2018 | Full review
Sound isn’t as expansive or crisp as some soundbars. Sub can thud a bit. Alexa has limitations and lacks some key Echo features.
- Wired
July 26, 2018 | Full review
Average high frequency response. Doesn't produce a very large or dynamic sound field.
- PC Magazine
July 27, 2018 | Full review
Annoying lights and awkward with a Fire TV 4K.
- The Verge

From The Manufacturer

The Polk Command Bar – The home theater sound bar system with Alexa built-in. • Integrated far-field microphones and Alexa voice services • Automatically updates itself as new features are made available • Use your voice to control the sound bar • Control your smart home devices and stream music — “Just Ask” • Patented Voice Adjust technology for crystal clear dialogue • Wireless subwoofer for deep bass • 4K HDMI ports • Fully compatible with Fire TV (sold separately) • Includes HDMI and Optical cables for quick and easy setup

Overall Product Rankings

Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar & Universal Remote Control
1. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar & Universal Remote Control
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Expert Reviews: 3
VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar
3. VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
4. JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
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Expert Reviews: 8
Sonos Playbase Soundbar
6. Sonos Playbase Soundbar
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
VIZIO 2.1 SB2821-D6  Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
7. VIZIO 2.1 SB2821-D6 Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 2
Sony HT-Z9F Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
8. Sony HT-Z9F Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
Samsung Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
9. Samsung Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 5
Sonos Playbar Mountable Soundbar
10. Sonos Playbar Mountable Soundbar
Overall Score: 8.0
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LG Electronics SJ9 5.1.2 Channel Soundbar
11. LG Electronics SJ9 5.1.2 Channel Soundbar
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4
Sony HT-CT290 Ultra-Slim 300W Soundbar
12. Sony HT-CT290 Ultra-Slim 300W Soundbar
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 2
Polk Audio Command Built-In Multi-Room Music Soundbar
14. Polk Audio Command Built-In Multi-Room Music Soundbar
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Soundbars

Now that you can order a film at the press of a button, movie night has moved from the cineplex to living rooms. For that reason, it’s likely no surprise that consumers report they’d rather watch a movie at home than leave the house. But getting the same experience at home as you do in a theater can be challenging.

Even if you take advantage of the low prices on high-quality big-screen TVs, duplicating true movie theater surround sound can get expensive. In recent years, soundbars have advanced to the point where they now can simulate surround sound for a fraction of the cost of a speaker set. But one soundbar can differ dramatically from another, so it’s important to do your research before you buy.

Soundbars can range in price, but you’re sure to find one that fits within your budget. When shopping for soundbars, pay close attention to the range of tones you’ll get. Some soundbars can’t handle bass as well as others, even when they’re promising the best sound quality.

Once you get your soundbar home, you’ll generally be on your own to make it work with your existing systems. One of the best things you can do is take note of the equipment you already have and make sure the soundbar you choose is compatible. Many of today’s speakers use Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to eliminate unsightly wires. So if you have an older TV or receiver, you may find the soundbar you’ve bought won’t connect.

Finally, stop to think about where you’ll set up your new soundbar, as well as any speakers you plan to add on to it. There are soundbars you can mount on the wall, while there are many others that can set on your furniture in front of your TV. Whichever option you choose, note the dimensions of your soundbar in advance to ensure you know how much room it will take up.

DWYM Fun Fact

As you set up your home theater, it’s important to consider the size of your room. Soundbars are more than adequate for smaller rooms. But if your home theater is in a large basement or an oversized bonus room, you’re likely going to find that you need additional speakers to truly immerse your audience with sound. This is also true if you’re a movie buff who expects to feel like you’re on the Millennium Falcon, not just watching it on a screen. But many soundbars are designed for add-ons, so you should be able to build your home theater gradually if you aren’t quite ready to jump in fully just yet.

The Soundbar Buying Guide

  • If your soundbar doesn’t sound good, there’s no point in even having one. If you’re going for the best sound, consider either the Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar & Universal Remote Control or the TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Soundbar. Both have great sound and great ranges. However, the Bose Solo performs better in the deeper ranges, with bass you can feel in your chest.
  • For those interested in building a true home theater, adding on extra speakers is the key to success. Some models allow you to easily buy extra speakers to connect to your soundbar.
  • Setup can be intimidating if you don’t consider yourself a tech guru. The VIZIO 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar is among the easiest to use, whether you’re wiring it up or using its Bluetooth-pairing capabilities. Some models can be tricky to set up, especially when it comes to pairing with other equipment.
  • One of the biggest concerns when shopping for any speaker is where it will be. Some models are designed to hang on a wall, but they can also rest in front of your TV. Others can be mounted, but they looks great in front of your TV. If you’re limited on space, you may want to avoid any soundbar that comes with a separate subwoofer that you’ll need to place.
  • If you’re looking for the smallest soundbar, the TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Soundbar is the shortest, at only 2.4 inches tall.
  • One size benefit to smaller models is that they can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically, with the sensor automatically adjusting the sound depending on how you’ve oriented it.
  • If you have an Amazon product that uses Alexa, look for a unit that you can connect to your device, so that you can play music on command.
  • With some soundbars, you’ll have access to an app that you can then use to control your speakers. However, they may not come with a remote control, which means you’ll need a universal remote if you can’t connect it to an existing smart remote. The TaoTronics soundbar comes with a remote, but it’s a bit bulky. You’ll also need to have two AAA batteries on hand since they aren’t included in the box.
  • The TaoTronics soundbar is built to last with durable ABS plastic beneath the soft cloth cover. Be aware that that some models can scratch easily.
  • When it comes to price, you’re going to pay much more for some soundbars than other speakers. Be sure to consider whether you’ll also need to pay for separate speakers. In some instances, the price may also include a subwoofer, so keep that in mind.