It’s been the subject of a few delays over more than a year, but JBL’s website now shows the Link Bar in stock and ready to ship – if you’re in the USA.
Link Bar dazzled us with a simple idea in 2018 – your HDMI-connected soundbar could actually be your TV’s “smart” heart rather than just occupying the HDMI-ARC port, and Android TV could run it all, paired up with the powerful booming sound performance we’ve come to expect from JBL.
Link Bar ends up a little different to your standard soundbar. It’s got multiple HDMI inputs to switch between, and its own ARC port potentially allowing other devices to control it – just like your TV. There’s no antenna input for live TV though.
It was a great idea. It still is a great idea, it’s just… well, it’s just been so long. In the time between we’ve seen a number of other soundbars launch at the Link Bar’s target price point. I’m not sure I find the Link Bar as compelling as I once did. My own TV has a Sonos Beam under it, and a Roku-powered Telstra TV box running all my streaming apps, and I’m not really looking to change any of that.
Link Bar is only on JBL’s USA site at the moment, listed at USD$400. We’re enquiring with JBL’s local reps about an Australian release.