At I/O 2018, JBL and Google introduced a new hybrid device called the Link Bar. In addition to being a premium soundbar, the two companies worked together to pack the Google Assistant and Android TV into this one device.
Unfortunately, pricing and availability weren’t announced at the time, but a later pre-order listing for the JBL Link Bar set the price at $400. Those pre-orders were eventually canceled, and we heard little about the device again until July 2019, when it finally became available for orders.
As you can see from our hands-on video above, the Link Bar can act like a standalone Google Assistant speaker and a set-top box running Android TV. But just like the Assistant integration in the Nvidia Shield, users can direct Android TV to open specific apps and play various pieces of content with vocal commands. It also works as a Bluetooth speaker and a Chromecast.
JBL Link Bar release date and availability
The JBL Link Bar finally went up for sale from JBL directly on July 10, 2019. That’s roughly 14 months since the device was first announced in May of 2018.
That on-sale date only applies to the United States, however. In the United Kingdom and most areas in Europe, the device is still listed as a pre-order, with a ship date of July 18. In Canada, the Link Bar still has no listing so it’s unavailable for now.
JBL Link Bar price
In the United States, the JBL Link Bar costs $400. In the United Kingdom, it sells for 349 pounds (~$438) and in Europe, the device goes for $399 euros (~$450). You’ll need to check JBL.com for pricing and availability in other countries.
The Link Bar itself operates as a standalone product. However, you can also buy an optional subwoofer specifically designed for the Link Bar. This will add some deeper bass to your music listening as well as enhancing low-end sounds when you’re watching movies or TV shows.
The 10-inch subwoofer — officially called the JBL SW10 — is available now from JBL for $300. That means the Link Bar and its companion sub will cost you over $700, which is certainly not cheap. However, you won’t need a media streaming box or a Google Home smart speaker in your media room, considering the Link Bar will replace both those items.
Click the buttons below to grab your new Link Bar and subwoofer!