US-based audio firm Polk has unveiled its latest React soundbar as the world’s most advanced when it comes to Alexa-integration.
While many soundbars on the market support Amazon’s digital assistant, the Polk React can do more than rivals. The firm puts this down to its long-term relationship with Amazon and could make the speaker the best soundbar for Alexa fans.
Soundbars with Alexa allow you to do certain things with your voice like adjust the volume, ask questions and control other smart home devices like lightbulbs. However, the Polk React has additional features.
For starters, it supports Alexa’s Communication feature meaning you can add your contacts to call people and also drop in on other Alexa devices around the home like the Echo Show 8. This means you could call your kids down for dinner without shouting up the stairs.
The React also has Alexa Multi-room Music, a rare feature outside of Echo devices which, as the name suggests, means you can group speakers together to listen to music in sync around the house similar to the way Sonos works.
Enabling all this voice control are four far-field microphones along with “Amazon’s proprietary wake-word-detection and echo-cancellation software to augment performance.”
The React supports Dolby Digital and STS 5.1 virtual surround sound just like the Polk MagniFi 2 we just reviewed on Tech Advisor. It can be used standalone or paired with SR2 wireless rear surround speakers (£159/US$199) for true surround sound as well as the React Sub (£179/US$199).
It’s a lot cheaper than the MagniFi 2 (which comes with a subwoofer), though, as it will retail for half the price at £249 or US$249.