The JBL Link Bar is now available to pre-order from at least one major retailer in the US. While that in itself is of note, what is equally of interest is the price as the retailer currently has the JBL Link Bar up for pre-order for $399.95. With the listing also suggesting the JBL Link Bar will become available to buy from October 16, 2018.
While this is yet to be confirmed as the actual price of the JBL Link Bar, it should be assumed it is likely to be around this figure, if not exactly. As while soundbars in general start at a couple of hundred dollars and go up, this is no ordinary soundbar. Yes, it has the Google Assistant, like some others, but unlike all others, the JBL Link Bar also comes with Android TV built-in. As a result, those in the market for a new way to test out Android TV and also on the hunt for a new home entertainment setup audio solution, now have both products available in the one unit. The JBL Link Bar was first announced by Google at the company’s developer-focused event, Google I/O and immediately caught the attention of the media as this marked the first time Android TV had become available in a product like this. In fact, it arguably is showcasing where Google sees possible avenues of growth for its TV-focused platform, as in addition to its more direct box-based solution and TV sets powered by Android TV, smart speakers and audio solutions are proving to be big business. With Google already having done deals with a number of manufacturers to include the likes of Google Assistant in their devices, if the same deals can be done with Android TV, then it’s likely adoption levels for the platform could increase dramatically.
Besides the fact that it features Android TV and of course, the Google Assistant, this is also a traditionally soundbar. Which in this case results in a 100-watt system. This is somewhat low compared to competing products although that is largely to do with the JBL Link Bar lacking a subwoofer which normally bumps up the watt count. So on its own, the overall power output is not that low compared to other options. Not to mention, this is a JBL product and so will come with the company's signature sound.