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JBL LINK BAR Review Rundown

JBLPublished on 21 Mar 2021Last Edited on 14 Nov 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Overview

Neoscore* 0%
Pros**
  • Android TV and Google Assistant integration
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa
Cons**
  • 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[*] 51%
Reviewers from androidauthority have found the following[***]:
JBL teamed up with Google to afford users full Google Assistant integration. 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[**]
  • Sleek design
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Built-in Google Assistant
Cons[**]
  • No support for Chromecast or Android TV
  • Can't be grouped with other smart speakers

cnet[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 36%
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[**]
  • Very good sound quality
  • Google Assistant built-in
Cons[**]
  • Lags behind rivals
  • Doesn't respond to voice commands

digitaltrends[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 65%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar is one of the best sounding subwoofer-less soundbars we've spent time with. The 40-inch Link Bar offers a bold and dynamic soundstage, bringing an enjoyable depth and nuance to the on-screen action. Despite the above-average sound, unfortunately, you aren't getting the best value in this context.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Excellent sound
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, and Chromecast built-in
  • Easy-to-use interface
Cons[**]
  • Lacks high dynamic range (HDR) support

pcmag[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 54%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar is a bright, clear, sculpted soundbar with some very rich lows, but no real sub-bass. Particularly with music, the Link Bar can get quite loud. The experience wouldn't feel limited if other, screen-free options were just as easily accessible and controllable.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Powerful audio performance with deep bass depth and clear highs
  • Supports Google Assistant and Google Play
Cons[**]
  • No subwoofer
  • No Google Assistant or Google Play support

techradar[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 55%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
JBL's Link Bar runs Android TV, but not all apps are available. Google Assistant is slower here than it is on other devices using the same platform. The sound bar would be an upgrade to any TV's audio, simply because it's clearer at louder volumes and spreads sound better at all times. The included remote is pretty easy to learn.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Great sound quality
  • Android TV support
Cons[**]
  • No Chromecast support
  • Lack of apps

whathifi[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 77%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following[***]:
The JBL Link Bar combines a 100W speaker system with Android TV. Google Assistant is built-in and enables voice control via the microphone integrated into the bar itself, and Chromecast allows you to stream content via your phone's apps. Amazon Prime Video is due to be added shortly and JBL is working on getting iPlayer on board, but it's a shame they're not there from the off.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Punchy, punchy sound
  • Android TV integration
Cons[**]
  • No Dolby Vision or DTS:X
  • Limited app selection

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 review. techradar. 2019-10-04 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
6. ^ 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.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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