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JBL LINK BAR Review Rundown

JBLPublished on 21 Mar 2021Last Edited on 27 Sep 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*

Overview

Photo of JBL LINK BAR Soundbar
Neoscore* 65%
  • Android TV and Google Assistant integration
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa
  • Doesn't sound as good without subwoofer

Summary

JBL Link Bar is the only sound bar with a full media-streaming operating system built-in. It works fine as a regular sound bar, but it also has its own streaming apps (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and so on). In addition to Google Assistant, the other main method of interaction is via your TV and the Android TV interface.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.

Rundown

androidauthority[1]

Sentiment Score[*] 66%
Reviewers from androidauthority have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar is a Chromecast-enabled smart speaker with full Android TV functionality. You can access the virtual assistant by saying, “Hey Google,” and the soundbar's microphone array will register your command. Just like using Chromecast, though, the process is slow: command execution can take as long as three seconds.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Android TV integration
  • 4K streaming with Chromecast and Android TV
  • Easy-to-use remote
  • Easy to use
Cons[**]
  • Can't be grouped with other Google Home speakers

cnet[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 47%
Reviewers from cnet have found the following[***]:
The $400 JBL Link Bar is the only sound bar with a full media-streaming operating system built-in. The Google Assistant integration should be the glue that binds the product together, but in practice the system lagged too much or simply failed to respond to my voice commands. With some further updates it's possible the Link Bar could succeed where the Google Nexus Q failed.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Good sound quality
  • Google Assistant built-in
Cons[**]
  • Doesn't respond to voice commands
  • Can't adjust audio settings without exiting app

digitaltrends[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 69%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar is an Android TV and Google Assistant-based soundbar. It has three different HDMI inputs, as well as digital optical, 3.5 mm, and Bluetooth connection. The on-board system doesn't support high dynamic range content, so you'll need an outboard streaming device to get the most out of 4K HDR TVs.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Android TV and Google Assistant integration
  • Easy to use
Cons[**]
  • Expensive compared to subwoofer-less soundbars
  • Doesn't support HDR

pcmag[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 66%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
JBL's $399.95 Link Bar is a smart soundbar that essentially doubles as a media streamer with Android TV, Chromecast, and Google Assistant. It delivers crisp, clear sound and rich, boosted lows and low-mids, but there is no sub-bass really. The music is with bright, clear highs, and the dialogue is crisp and easy to understand.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Clear, clear audio
  • Supports Android TV, Chromecast, and Google Assistant
  • Easy-to-use remote control
Cons[**]
  • Lacks sub-bass

rtings[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 63%
Reviewers from rtings have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar is part of JBL's 2018 soundbar lineup. It's one of the simplest options from their soundbars with a 2.0 speaker configuration. This soundbar has a decent audio reproduction but is a bit light on bass. It won't be the best option for bass-heavy music, but other than that, the well-balanced sound profile is fairly versatile for all types of music.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Decent sound quality with stereo content
  • Good for dialogue and TV shows
  • Decent for movies and music
Cons[**]
  • Mediocre bass response
  • Lacks subwoofer

techradar[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 61%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar is a smart sound bar that comes with Android TV built-in. With better sound and quick access to popular streaming apps, it comes off as a win-win... except for the choppy performance along the way. JBL didn't include support for Dolby Vision or DTS:X, nor enabled a method with which to pair the Link Bar with other speakers.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Good sound quality
  • Android TV built-in
  • Easy to set up and use
Cons[**]
  • Lacks Dolby Vision or DTS:X

whathifi[7]

Sentiment Score[*] 82%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar is a soundbar that doubles as a video streamer. It combines a 100W speaker system with Android TV, making it a one-box sound and smarts upgrade. Google Assistant is built-in and enables voice control via the microphone integrated into the bar itself. On board are Netflix and Google Play TV & Movies, as well as Plex and VLC for streaming locally stored files.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Android TV doubles as a video streamer
  • Google Assistant and Chromecast support
Cons[**]
  • Android TV doesn't support higher-bandwidth audio

references

1. ^ JBL Link Bar review: The smartest speaker in its class. androidauthority. 2019-08-22 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
3. ^ JBL Link Bar soundbar review: The sin of ambition. digitaltrends. 2019-09-12 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
4. ^ JBL Link Bar Review. pcmag. 2019-08-21 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
5. ^ JBL Link Bar Soundbar Review. rtings. 2019-11-19 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
6. ^ JBL Link Bar review. techradar. 2019-10-04 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
7. ^ JBL Link Bar review. whathifi. 2019-09-20 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.

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