JBL Link Bar is the new soundbar developed by Google and JBL (a brand of Harman, now part of Samsung). The first news and the promo video had come out just ahead of the Google I/O 2018. Link Bar is a product created to combine better sound quality and advanced features. The heart of the system consists of Android TV, the platform that we usually find on Smart TVs and on some set-top boxes.
Google defines the product as the first series of hybrid devices capable of combining the functionality of a speaker with a voice assistant and the possibilities offered by Android TV. JBL Link Bar will be a sort of Google Home applied to home cinema. The user can control his audio-video system without having any remote control. Just using their voice to turn on the TV, change the HDMI input or search for content to watch on the big screen. Of course, you can also control other smart devices such as lights, which can then turn off or lower their intensity when using the TV.
The images show a good amount of connectors on the back: we find four HDMI ports (should be three inputs and an output), an Ethernet port, an input on 3.5 mm jack and those that look like a USB Type-C port and an optical input. On the upper side are instead the buttons to manage the volume, one dedicated to Bluetooth, a button to set the “mute” and a dual microphone. There should not be a subwoofer.
JBL Link Bar price and features will be announced at Google I/O 2018 and it will be available starting from the autumn.