Polk Lend a hand: A gap have a look at Polk’s resolution to the Google House
The Polk Lend a hand sensible speaker represents the corporate’s newest try to wreck into the rising marketplace for voice assistants with synthetic intelligence (AI), hands-free keep watch over and multiroom functions.
Polk has already made its first foray into this area within the form of the Polk Command Bar, a soundbar with integrated Amazon Alexa, however the corporate has taken an agnostic technique to sensible assistants.
To that finish it has additionally advanced the Lend a hand, a two-way speaker with integrated Google Assistant. Polk hopes to leverage off their audio enjoy, and construct a speaker that provides the similar advantages however awesome sound high quality when in comparison to Google’s personal Google House sensible speaker.
Polk Lend a hand – Worth
The Polk Lend a hand has a instructed value of £179.
Polk Lend a hand – Liberate date
The Polk Lend a hand will likely be to be had in July 2018.
Polk Lend a hand – Design
The Polk Lend a hand is a small bookshelf speaker that’s particularly designed to be used in kitchens, bedrooms and circle of relatives rooms. The Lend a hand is available in a selection of Middle of the night Black or Cool Gray, and has a wrap-around grille. One of the crucial widespread puts for a wise speaker is the kitchen, so the grille is comprised of a stain-resistant cloth. Will have to it turn into grimy, the grille can also be got rid of and washed, and even changed totally.
Polk considers sound high quality to be a very powerful side of this speaker, however in spite of appearances, it isn’t omni-directional. As a substitute, it makes use of a two-way design. There’s a 1-inch (25mm) tweeter and a three.Five-inch (89mm) woofer, which might be pushed by means of a integrated amplifier that may ship 40W steadily and a height of 80W. Polk claims the Lend a hand can ship room-filling sound that’s higher than Google’s personal House sensible speaker.
The highest of the speaker is angled to be sure that the integrated far-field microphones can pick out up your vocal directions when on a desk or kitchen floor.
Despite the fact that the Lend a hand is basically designed for hands-free operation, there are 4 controls at the most sensible: the Google button, play/pause and quantity up and down. There also are indicator LEDs at the most sensible panel to turn when Google Assistant is doing one thing. Setup is discreet due to the unfastened Google House app, which is to be had for iOS and Android.
Polk Lend a hand – Specifications
- Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- Bluetooth four.1
- 1 x 1-inch (25mm) tweeter
- 1 x three.Five-inch (89mm) woofer
- 120mm x 191mm x 120mm (WHD)
What’s within the field
- 1 x Polk Lend a hand speaker
- 1 x energy adapter with 10-inch (3m) twine
- 1 x quick-start information
Polk Lend a hand – First impressions
The principle promoting level of the Polk Lend a hand is the inclusion of Google Assistant, this means that you’ll be able to use voice instructions to play tune from web streaming products and services akin to Google Play Tune, Spotify and TuneIn. You’ll be able to additionally use the AI assistant to reply to questions, prepare conferences, set timers or alarms, and order items on-line.
Because the Lend a hand helps Nest and Philips Hue merchandise, you’ll be able to additionally keep watch over all your sensible house the usage of voice instructions. The sensible speaker can shape a part of an built-in keep watch over machine, providing vocal comments mixed with a voice person interface.
The Polk Lend a hand has Google Chromecast in-built, so you’ll be able to even create a whole voice-controlled multiroom tune machine, together with different Chromecast-enabled audio system such because the Polk Magnifi soundbar.
Those are all nice options, however the luck of the Polk Lend a hand will in large part rely on its sound high quality. Polk feels its audio experience supplies it with a possibility to ship a awesome degree of sound high quality when in comparison to competing sensible audio system such because the Google House and Amazon Echo.
So it used to be relatively disappointing that during my time with the Lend a hand that it didn’t get a possibility to polish. This used to be basically because of the instances of the hands-on, with the speaker top up on a small shelf. Because of this, the far-field microphones have been on the fallacious top to successfully listen my voice instructions. This used to be obviously because of my restricted stature, as a result of a taller journalist had extra success.
The Lend a hand is designed to be situated at a decrease top, on a desk or kitchen floor, and at that degree the instructions will likely be aimed at once on the most sensible of the speaker, making sure the microphones can pick out up your voice. On the other hand, the excellent news is that once it might listen the instructions, the speaker and particularly Google Assistant labored rather well.
Some other downside with the demo used to be that the small shelf on which the Lend a hand used to be sitting presented restricted strengthen, and there used to be no cast wall in the back of the speaker. The ensuing loss of any boundary acquire restricted the bass reaction of this small speaker, and in consequence there used to be little low-end presence.
As soon as once more, I believe that once situated correctly on a cast floor with cast partitions in the back of the Lend a hand, it might be able to a greater efficiency.
Because it used to be, the Lend a hand delivered a legitimate that retained some extent of readability and element, however lacked intensity in relation to the bass efficiency. There used to be an inexpensive sense of mid-range and the upper frequencies appeared smartly represented, however total the sound used to be somewhat underwhelming. It used to be additionally suffering to sound room-filling in what used to be a somewhat huge house – however as I’ve already discussed, this speaker used to be designed for smaller rooms.
At the plus aspect, the Lend a hand felt cast and rather well made in my arms, and the end used to be superb. There used to be an outstanding consideration to element, and Polk has surely delivered some very good audio system previously.
This leads me to consider that the Polk Lend a hand will sound very other when setup accurately and used within the prerequisites for which it used to be in truth designed. We’ll to find out, when we in truth get in a pattern for assessment.