Polk Audio Command Bar Review All Features

Built on top of this sound bar is an Echo Dot and a Fire TV Stick, the Polk Audio Command Bar one-stop AV solution could be the perfect accessory for your television. Because the Polk Audio Command Bar is a timely bar for you.

Polk Audio Command Bar Review All Features

Home audio is getting smarter and more attractive. Companies like Sonos are transforming the way we listen to music at home with multi-room speakers like the Sonos One and home theater companies are making their products smarter and more engaging with digital assistants and intelligent audio technologies like Dolby Atmos.

Polk Audio Command Bar Review All Features

One company that has quickly embraced the smart and attractive home theater trend is Polk Audio, with products like the Polk Audio Command Bar reviewed here.

As you might be able to tell based on the sound bar’s design, the Command Bar comes with Alexa, which makes it undeniably smart and attractive. It’s also relatively cheap, coming in at $250 (£249, AU$649) and comes with a subwoofer. 

But with all these features, does it compromise on sound quality and can it be one of the best sound bars? We keep the Polk Audio command bar for testing.

Body and Design

The Polk Audio Command Bar looks as smart and attractive as any other sound bar, a long, black, unassuming speaker. That said, there are a few things about it that we quite like – such as the finish of the material around most of the sound bar which gives it a slightly more homely feel.

One of the more smart and interesting design choices that Polk made is that the device is not uniform – it has the bulb out in the middle. This means it’s not as minimal as some other sound bars, but in general it looks good.

Of course, the crown jewel of the Polk Audio command bar is the ring of blue light you’ll find in the middle of it that’s associated with Alexa.

Given the volume control and microphone management buttons, it almost looks like Polk Audio command bar cut a circle to accommodate an Amazon Echo Dot.

Like the Dot, the light turns blue when Alexa is activated, and it doubles as a way to tell you how loud your audio is when you’re adjusting the volume.

Overall, it’s more intrusive than when the white lights are shining on a JBL Sound Bar Link Series speaker, but it still looks perfectly fine, especially since the lights aren’t always on.

On the back of the sound bar, you’ll find two HDMI inputs and an HDMI-ARC output, though if you have more than two video sources you want to work with, you can just use the optical port for audio from your TV.

If you’re sticking to HDMI ports, you can use Alexa to switch between HDMIs, which can be handy if you don’t have a remote.

The accompanying subwoofer is about 14.5 inches deep and tall and about 7.5 inches wide. It’s not huge but it’s something you need to find a place for. At the top are switches to Night More and mute the speaker, as well as buttons to activate Alexa.

Activating Alexa from the remote also turns down whatever’s playing so Alexa can hear you, which is a nice touch considering Alexa isn’t very good at listening when something’s playing in the background.

Under that, you can switch between HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 and buttons to control TV sources and activate Bluetooth. Then, there are volume controls with separate controls for “Voice” or the center channel and for bass response, then buttons for activating Movie, Sport and Music modes and playback controls.

Setting up the system is super easy: plug the sound bar and subwoofer into a power outlet and they should sync. Of course you’ll want to make sure that the HDMI ARC connection is plugged into the HDMI ARC port on your TV.

If you have one and if not, you can send audio from your TV to your TV using the optical port on the sound bar.

The entire setup process takes about 15/20 minutes, but as we mentioned, it’s pretty easy. Unfortunately, setting up the sound bar works in all apps, it would be nice if you could control the sound bar a bit more from the app, or even use the app to runnel music, but unfortunately that’s not the case here.


The features offered by the Polk Audio Command Bar come in two different categories, Smart Features and Audio Features.

The smart features the Command Bar offers are pretty straightforward: You get Alexa built into the sound bar, which you can use to control smart home devices and ask questions of any other Alexa device.

You can use Alexa here to switch between inputs and control your TV’s volume, which is a nice touch.

As you’d expect from a sound bar in this price range, the audio features aren’t super far-reaching, but they’re not bad either. The speaker boasts 2.1 channels of audio, and has a frequency response of 40Hz – 22kHz, at least according to Polk.

In total, you get 260 watts between the subwoofer and the sound bar, which is on the low end of power compared to other sound bars, but more than enough for most home situations.

All in all, it’s not the most feature-rich system – but it has a lot to offer for the price. On paper, the audio performance looks fine, but of course what you hear is more important than what you see in a specs list.

Audio Performance 

Let’s start with the bass, which, thanks to the included subwoofer, is probably the best frequency range this sound bar has to offer. Not only is the bass response present and generally strong, it can also be adjusted thanks to the bass control on the remote.

The mid-range is decently protected, but as you’d expect from a sound bar at this price, the sound can emphasize the high mids a bit. It’s not a huge problem, and the sound bar still sounds worlds better than your TV’s built-in speakers.

The high-end is probably where the sound bar suffers the most, but we found that the high-end was still quite responsive, clear and detailed. Sure, it doesn’t expand as much as you’d get from more expensive systems, and there’s a certain flash that’s not there as much, but the high-end is generally still quite present.

When it comes to volume, it’s plenty for most listening environments. The sound bar is capable of pumping enough volume for immersive movie situations or whether you want to use it for a party.

Overall, those who want something for a really big room might want to look elsewhere, but for a small or medium-sized room, the Polk Audio Command Bar should be perfectly fine.



  • Alexa built-in
  • Space for a Fire TV stick
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to setup


  • App could do more
  • Audio is mediocre
  • Fire TV not included


If money can buy the best smart sound bar on the market and you have the money to spend, get the Sonos Beam. It’s a bit smoother, will finally get Google Assistant, and sounds a bit better – though you won’t get a subwoofer and as such the bass response is a bit less powerful.

That said, the Polk Audio command bar still has a ton going for it. It’s quite a bit cheaper than the Sonos, for example, and has a defined and powerful low end, some great smart features, and looks pretty good too.

If $300 is your budget cap for a smart sound bar, we recommend the Polk Audio Command Bar for any small or medium-sized living room.

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