Polk Audio announced that they have developed a new soundbar and headphones in conjunction with Microsoft for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. These new products are designed specifically around the sound experience of video games. Polk is currently the market share leader for Home Theater speakers in North America.
The sound bar, the N1, has been designed to go with the Xbox One and 360 down to it’s physical design, either black and black or white with wood. The two gaming settings are based around the typical environmental sounds, music, dialogue, and sound effects of FPS and racing games, respectively. Suiting the Xbox One’s all-in-one purpose, the bar comes with modes dedicated to movies and music as well. The addition of a preset for a type of game other than FPS is a welcome move and should hopefully mark a step towards more such modes in the future. Information on a possible release date is unfortunately not available at this time.
Polk’s new headphones are essentially two iterations on the same model, designed for the Xbox One and the other for the 360. The model for the former is called the 4 Shot while the latter is called the 133t. Each model can come in white, blue, or black; though presumably most people will choose the version that matches the system the headphones were designed for. The main features besides being designed directly for the specific systems are a near-field microphone that can also work for phone calls and a spring steel headband with pivoting ear cups. These headphones are currently planned to release sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.
Microsoft Director of Strategic Alliances, Branden Powell, had this to say about the deal: “Polk brings a reputation for product excellence and a passion for sound that makes them an ideal collaborative partner for innovating new audio accessories for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. These new products are customized for all-in-one entertainment and will immerse users in brilliant sound, whether they are using the console to play a game, watch TV or a movie, or listen to music.”