After months and months and months of delays, the Android TV-powered JBL Link Bar finally went up for sale two weeks ago. Neither Google or Harman/JBL acknowledged that fact, but have now done so today. Android TV is officially available on a soundbar.
As a refresher, the JBL Link Bar is indeed a soundbar that includes full Android TV. It connects to your TV through a single cable to provide the Android TV experience you might get from a box, like the SHIELD TV. Of course, as a soundbar you get the extra benefit of it featuring sound as well to hopefully improve your TV’s audio experience.
That audio experience means you get Google Assistant embedded, 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 Assistant portion still work too, so you can fire off “OK Google” commands 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 (for your TV), and far field mics (and a privacy switch). It includes a power cable, HDMI cable, and remote control in the box. At $399.95, you can own one today.
Not interested in the JBL Link Bar? Google’s announcement today about the JBL Link Bar is more of a generic “Android TV is available on soundbars” announcement than anything. Sure, they put a focus on the Link Bar as the first, but it sure seems like we’ll see additional soundbars with Android TV before long. That’s great news.