Polk Audio today announced its latest smart sound bar, Polk React with Alexa built-in. It will sell for $249 as standalone sound bar or can be combined with SR2 wireless rear surrounds ($199) and a wireless React Sub ($199) subwoofer to create a Dolby Digital, DTS 5.1 virtual surround sound system. Together, that brings the total speaker system price up to $647.
Polk says you can still get a detailed and expansive surround sound home theater experience without the need for dedicated rear speakers. So there’s an upgrade path for customers that want to try out the sound bar first. The sound bar itself features proprietary Voice Adjust technology to precisely tweak voice levels and make dialogue crystal clear without needing to crank up the volume. One-button preset sound modes ensure movies (“Movie Mode”) and music (“Music Mode”) sound great, while a dedicated “Night Mode” prevents the sound from disturbing family or neighbors by reducing bass levels and enhancing Voice Adjust to deliver clearer dialogue. React also includes Bluetooth for music streaming.
SR2 Wireless Surround Speakers
The Polk Audio SR2 wireless surround satellite speakers claim to provide life-like home cinema surround sound performance to Polk React from a powerful internal amplifier and custom-tuned drivers. The SR2 speakers are said to offer superb dispersion and additional dimensionality for surround effects. Because the speakers connect wirelessly to the React sound bar, there is no need to run speaker wires across the room. The Polk Audio SR2 surround speakers are compatible with the React sound bar as well as the Polk Magnifi 2 and future Magnifi and React series sound bars.
Polk says the new React Sub wireless subwoofer delivers deep, impactful bass and is the perfect companion for the React sound bar when watching movies or TV. The React Sub features a 7-inch, long-throw woofer mounted in an unassuming, finely tuned enclosure that blends into any home décor. The React Sub’s unique low-turbulence, flared port tube ensures tight, responsive bass performance with plenty of impact. Polk’s innovative Bass Adjust EQ feature automatically adjusts a React series sound bar’s settings to accommodate the React Sub’s additional bass output. Because React series sound bars are controllable using Amazon Alexa, users can turn up or down the React system’s bass level with their voice. Setup is effortless—simply plug the React subwoofer into a power outlet, push two buttons—setup is complete.
Polk React users can ask Alexa to execute simple sound bar tasks like adjusting volume and bass levels, and selecting listening modes. However, to expand voice control for the home theater, React also works with other Alexa devices like a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Blaster. Syncing a Fire TV Stick with React lets users queue up and play movies or TV shows without touching a remote, while pairing React with a Fire TV Blaster enables voice control of TVs, cable boxes and other devices. Plus, automated over-the-air software updates ensure React stays up to date with new Alexa capabilities and sound bar features for future enhancements.
Polk’s React also supports Alexa’s Communication feature, which gives users the ability to sync their contacts in the Alexa app and use voice commands to communicate with eligible friends and family in the US, Canada, and Mexico from the sound bar at no cost. Additionally, React supports Alexa Multi-room Music, enabling listeners to pair multiple Alexa-enabled speakers with the sound bar for whole-home music. To hear commands clearly even at higher volumes, React boasts four far-field microphones and Amazon’s proprietary wake word detection and echo cancellation software to augment performance.
“Polk Audio was the first audio company to partner with Amazon and create an Alexa-controlled sound bar in 2018. While the fruit of that initial effort—the Polk Command Bar—was a big success, we learned a lot about how to enhance a sound bar for an even better voice-controlled home theater experience. Polk React is the realization of the learnings we gained from the Command Bar. We worked even more closely with Amazon to improve compatibility with other Alexa devices, create a simpler set up process, and make it more seamless to operate within the Alexa app. Also, since it’s a Polk Audio product, listeners can be assured it will always make their TV sound excellent. Great audio is all Polk does.”Michael McCole, senior marketing manager for sound bars at Polk Audio.
React is easy to install and integrates with almost every flat panel TV display and its remote control for intuitive system operation and setup. Given its low-profile design, React does not block remote IR sensors and looks great on furniture or wall mounted.
Pricing and Availability
The Polk Audio React sound bar ($249), SR2 wireless surround speakers ($199) and React Sub ($199) are currently available on the Polk Audio website, Amazon and other authorized resellers.
About Polk Audio
Polk Audio is an award-winning designer of high-performance audio products and the largest audio brand of Sound United. Founded in 1972, Polk is the market share leader in premium home theater speakers in North America, and is a leading manufacturer of sound bars, headphones, wireless speakers, mobile and marine speakers and amplifiers, and other high-performance audio products. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About Sound United
Sound United was founded in 2012 with a simple mission – to bring joy to the world through sound. Today, we’re one of the world’s largest portfolio audio companies and home to several legendary audio brands—Bowers & Wilkins™, Denon®, Marantz®, Polk Audio, Classé, Definitive Technology, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics®. Each brand boasts its own philosophy and unique approach to bringing home entertainment to life.
With centuries of collective experience, Sound United oversees the design and manufacture of a diverse array of premium audio products, including loudspeakers, sound bars, AV receivers, wireless speakers, amplifiers, turntables, and headphones. We create distinct and memorable listening experiences for a wide range of consumers in more than 130 countries.