JBL’s Link Bar is one of the more interesting Android devices to be announced this year: the product first and foremost appears to be a soundbar, but it also has Android TV and Google Assistant functionality built-in. So once it’s set up, you have a voice-activated speaker that can control your TV and do the many other things that smart speakers are capable of doing, while also giving your TV better sound.
The Link Bar was announced back in May, but now we finally know when it’s coming out and how much it’ll cost: Android Police spotted a preorder listing on B&H, where it’s going for $399.95 with the ship date listed as October 16th.
That puts it on the pricier end of smart speakers and soundbars, but if you’re investing in Google’s ecosystem, the combination might just make sense. A soundbar is a simple way to improve your TV’s audio quality; and while soundbars aren’t usually as good as a general purpose speaker system for playing music, the Link Bar’s price is on par with high-end smart speakers, like Google’s $399 Home Max.
For it to add up, the product will have to be good at a lot of very different things. But it could make for a compelling combination if JBL gets it right.