After many months of delays, the Android TV-powered JBL Link Bar finally went up for sale two weeks in the past. Neither Google or Harman/JBL acknowledged that reality, however, have now completed so today. Android TV is officially out there on a soundbar.
As a refresher, the JBL Link Bar is undoubtedly a soundbar that features full Android TV. It connects to your TV through a single cable to offer the Android TV experience you might get from a box, just like the SHIELD TV. In fact, like a soundbar, you get the additional benefit of it that includes sound as well to enhance your TV’s audio experience hopefully.
That audio experience implies you get Google Assistant installed, so not only do you have an Android TV-powered soundbar, you get a Google Home-like speaker too. When your TV is off, the speaker and an Assistant portion nonetheless work too, so you may fire off “OK Google” instructions without turning your TV on.
For specs, the JBL Link Bar has WiFi and Bluetooth, Chromecast built-in, 3 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI ARC output (in your TV), and far-field mics (and a privacy switch). It features a power cable, HDMI cable, and remote control within the box. At $399.95, you can own one today.
Not in the JBL Link Bar? Google’s announcement today concerning the JBL Link Bar is more of a generic “Android TV is on the market on soundbars” statement than anything. Sure, they put a focus on the Link Bar as the first, however, it sure seems like we’ll see additional soundbars with Android TV before long. That’s excellent news.