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Alexa, it’s all about that bass… and that treble, and, maybe movie mode

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Cover Photo by Vania Shows on Unsplash

Amazon recently updated their Echo devices to compete with some of the more premium speakers on the market. Audio snobs not only need voice control for their music but they also need to be able to adjust the bass, treble, and midrange to their liking. No, this isn't the only reason Amazon added an adjustable equalizer to their Echo speakers and select third-party speakers (mostly soundbars).

As Alexa gains popularity among third-party manufacturers we are seeing more integrations into soundbars and home theater devices. This means that Alexa and the speakers 'she' controls need more control over the audio settings. More specifically she needs to know what you're listening to. Or watching. Here is what the Brand Director for Polk Audio had to say:

Consumers want simplicity and performance from their audio products. By adding the EQ API and Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to the Polk Command Bar, our consumers can control sound bar functions like setting or changing sound modes (e.g. Movie, Music, Night and Sport), bass volume and volume levels with just their voice. It also simplifies the installation and setup process and makes the value proposition of the Polk Command Bar stronger than before.

Obviously Polk Audio has skin in the game with their Polk Command Bar that has Alexa built-in. The main difference between what Polk is offering though is that it's designed as a soundbar for the living room. That is, it's meant to also be the speaker for your TV. Hence why they would like 'Movie, Music, Night, and Sports mode' just like the Audio Receivers of the past.


The other big third-party speaker is Sonos and their Sonos Beam soundbar. Like Polk, they need this to act as your only speaker in the living room or combined with their many other wireless speakers.

Some examples of how you might interact with this new feature:

  • Alexa, turn up the bass
  • Alexa, set Sports mode in the game room
  • Alexa, set movie mode
  • Alexa, turn down the treble

We expect these features to be added to the Routines feature soon. That way you can add Movie mode to your Movie night routine.

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