Set-top box meets soundbar meets smart speaker in Google and JBL’s Link Bar

Voice control for your viewing sessions
08 May 2018 / 15:55BST
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It’s not often we see a whole new product type introduced, but that’s exactly what the JBL Link Bar (£TBC, available autumn 2018) seems to be: ostensibly a soundbar, but one invested with powers you won’t find on any other soundbar. Powered by Android TV and carrying Google Assistant, it turns any screen it’s connected to into a smart TV capable of running apps and responding to natural voice commands, not just for basic TV controls but for music playback and other Google-compatible smart home devices. While we have a while to wait for the Link Bar’s launch (we don’t even know how much it’ll cost yet, let alone how good it’ll sound), it’s clear that it’s the first of what may well become a popular hybrid product type in the coming months.

Smart home