JBL and Google have been collaborating on a soundbar that is powered by Android TV and has Google Assistant integration, and the anticipated speaker is now available to purchase. Harmon, a subsidiary of Samsung and JBL's parent company, announced that the JBL LInk Bar can be purchased for $399.95, along with an optional subwoofer for $299.95.
"The Link Bar transforms any TV into a smart TV, with legendary JBL sound performance. Equipped with the content of Android TV and the helpfulness of the Google Assistant, this soundbar is anything but ordinary. Just start with 'Hey Google' to quickly find the latest blockbuster, control a smart home, and more—all with just a voice command," Harman says.
This is one of the most fully featured soundbars around. Having access to the Google Assistant is a nice touch, and so is the built-in Chromecast functionality, allowing users to stream videos and music.
The Link Bar is outfitted a pair of tweeters and four racetrack drivers. It has a max power rating of 100W, and a frequency response of 75Hz-20kHz. On the connectivity front, there are three HDMI ports with 4K support, and an HDMI ARC output. Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac wireless connectivity are both part of the package as well.
If a speaker with microphones gives you the heebie-jeebies, JBL notes that there is a "PrivacySwitch" feature that mutes the mics when not using the Google Assistant.
The JBL Link Bar can be purchased directly from JBL with free shipping.