The JBL Link Bar is a high end device which combines Google Assistant speakers with an operating system for smart TVs. The new link bar was one among the most thought-provoking hardware announcements at Google I/O, in May 2018. It has an exceptional feature of running continually for Android TVs/smart TVs. As revealed by JBL at CES 2019, its Android TV set-up box and hybrid Google Assistant smart speaker will be out for shipping this spring.
Features of the Link Bar
The features of the new Link Bar are distinctive from those of the presently available set-up boxes or built-in smart TV experiences. It has dual functionality. The functionality of an Android TV as well as a Google Assistant smart speaker are provided by JBL’s Link Bar. This implies that this soundbar has the ability to accept voice commands like a Google Home, and then display content on your TV like a set-up box.
It can perform various functions without having the need to switch on your connected TV screen. These include:
- Accepts Google Assistant voice commands
- Allows installation of different apps from Play Store
- Allows music playback
- Enables its users to manage their content cohesively
- Allows its users to play games
- Provides answers to any queries that the user may have, such as weather report or calendar events
It has built-in Google Assistant and will act similar to any other Google Home speaker. Thus, it lets you say “Hey, Google” or “Ok, Google”, thereby allowing you to perform a number of voice commands. All of these voice commands will work whether your TV is switched on or switched off. When your TV is switched on, you will receive more than just a spoken response from the Link Bar.
The Android TV front is experiencing some new phenomenal devices. The new JBL Link Bar will be one of the very first devices that would be running Android 9, Pie. Google noted this fact at its I/O, back in 2018.
External components of the Link bar
The JBL Link Bar soundbar comes with a Privacy Switch which, when required, helps to disable the far-field microphones. Most of the Google Assistant integrated speakers come with this feature. Audio and video casting is enabled due to the presence of built-in Chromecast. This allows you to cast an audio or video from any device on your network. 4K videos are supported by the Link Bar.
The surface of the sound bar consists of the mic switch. The paired Bluetooth devices and volume can be controlled using the respective buttons provided on the surface of the sound bar. Once the commands are delivered, the four dots present on the front serve as a status indicator.
The Link Bar consists of three HDMI inputs and one HDMI ARC output for the corresponding television. The users can switch between the attached HDMI devices through voice commands. These include game consoles as well as Blu-ray players. The Ethernet and audio ports are present in a secluded compartment on the rear. Google Assistant can be superimposed onscreen and accept commands when any of the three connected devices are in use.
Cost of the Link Bar
The all new JBL Link Bar costs $399.95, as revealed in August 2018. A subwoofer will come along with the Link Bar, which costs $299.95. However, the subwoofer is optional.
The JBL Link Bar was expected to be released last year, in October. However this date was postponed due to certain unknown reasons. And now, the device is finally ready for shipping in spring 2019. This is a new period of time that we can all look forward to!