Polk Audio and Microsoft to partner for Xbox 360 premium audio gear

by: Dan -
More On: SurroundBar 5000 IHT Xbox 360
The folks at Polk Audio and Microsoft announced today that they are forming a partnership that will result in Polk Audio producing premium audio options for the Xbox 360.  The initial product to be marketed as part of the agreement will be the Polk Audio SurroundBar 5000 Instant Home Theater (IHT), which is a 31” long and 2.25” deep sound bar that sports Bluetooth connectivity and a wireless sub with 6.5” driver for deep bass.  The current MSRP of the SurroundBar IHT (non-Xbox 360 collaborated) is $399.99, but official pricing and availability have not been announced as of yet.

The release also indicated that Polk Audio products will not be limited to just their SurroundBar lineup, as Kevin Duffy, President of DEI Holdings (Parent company of Polk Audio) was quoted as saying “…we're working together with the Xbox Third Party Accessories Team to develop new, groundbreaking gaming and streaming sound solutions for 2013 and beyond."   If you read into that a bit, it sounds like we could see new headsets, headphones and other audio gear announced by next year.

We have reviewed several Polk Audio products in the past, including the Polk Audio SurroundBar 6000 IHT, (which is one model and size up from the 5000 IHT) and were very impressed with it.  Check out the review to get a taste of what the SurroundBar IHT 5000 can deliver.

Polk Joins Forces with Microsoft As Premium Audio Solutions Partner for Xbox 360

-- New Partnership To Promote Polk Audio Products As A Preferred High Performance Sound Solutions For the World's Best Selling Gaming And Media Console --

BALTIMORE, Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Polk Audio®, the Speaker Specialists®, and Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business jointly announce a new collaboration that will position Polk as a strategic premium audio solution partner for Xbox 360. Nearly 70 million consoles have been sold worldwide, and a recent Strategy Analytics study shows that 65 percent of US-based Xbox users under the age of 25 rely on it as their go-to device for online TV show and movie streaming. ("Multiscreen Connected TV: Assessing Device Usage and Ownership," November 2011) The Xbox 360 isn't merely the best-selling video game console of 2011; it's also one of the most popular digital media hubs on the market.

"The Xbox 360 offers an immersive experience with a host of streaming services like Netflix, HBO GO, and MLB.TV, and unparalleled interactive features like voice control and cross-platform search, so in looking for a Premium Audio Solutions partner, we wanted a company with an equally innovative approach to sound," said Branden Powell, Director of Strategic Alliances for Xbox Accessories Team.  "We chose Polk not only for that, but also for their leadership position in the speaker market, as well as their superior engineering capabilities."

The first product from Polk to be licensed for Xbox 360 will be the new SurroundBar 5000 Instant Home Theater, a compact, easy-to-setup, easy-to-operate sound bar. Measuring just 31 inches wide and 2¼ inches deep, with a 6½ inch wireless subwoofer, the SurroundBar 5000 is the perfect match for the Xbox 360 and a mid-sized flat panel display. With over fifty times the power of most built-in TV speakers, the SurroundBar 5000 IHT is perfect for delivering Xbox 360 owners with a superior and immersive audio experience, whether gaming, watching movies, or listening to music, all without the need for surround speakers or additional amplification. In addition, the SurroundBar 5000 is the first Polk Audio SurroundBar to include Bluetooth for easy streaming of digital audio content from any smartphone or tablet.

"We believe Xbox 360 offers the most versatile home entertainment experience for every member of the family," said Kevin Duffy, President of Polk parent company DEI Holdings, Inc. "Whether you use it primarily for streaming, gaming, or watching DVD's with the kids, Xbox 360 together with Polk's superior sound will provide a feast for the eyes and ears. And this is just the start; we're working together with the Xbox Third Party Accessories Team to develop new, groundbreaking gaming and streaming sound solutions for 2013 and beyond."