The Link Bar, JBL’s $400 soundbar / smart speaker / Android TV set-top box hybrid, is finally available to buy, a year after it was originally supposed to release. Android Police reports that the soundbar is listed as “ready to ship” from JBL’s US store, while on the other side of the Atlantic JBL’s UK store says the soundbar should be in stock on July 18th.
JBL’s Android-powered soundbar has been a long time coming. It was originally announced back at Google I/O last year, when Google announced a summer release date for the device, billing it as the “first in a series of hybrid devices that delivers a full Assistant speaker and Android TV experience.” However, its planned summer release date came and went without any official word from either Google and JBL. In January this year, JBL said that it would release the Link Bar this spring, before pushing its release once again a month later.
It’s a shame that we’ve had to wait this long for the Link Bar to see the light of day. Although it tries to combine the functionality of an ambitious number of devices, it has some clever ideas about how to make it work. Now, finally, we’ll get to see if these ideas actually work in practice.