Now that the JBL Link Bar has finally made it to the market after months of secretive delays, Google can officially say that Android TV is now available in soundbars. Or at least this particular brand of soundbar. This also means that OEMs can now support Android TV for their future similar products, which will be convenient for users who are looking for an all-in-one product that can make their TVs both smarter and sound better.
With just the trigger phrase “Hey Google” or “Okay Google”, you’ll be able to bring the Android TV and Google Assistant experience to your TV, even if it’s technically not a Smart TV. And even when you’re not using your TV and it’s turned off, you will still be able to use the soundbar as a regular smart speaker. This means you can play music, ask questions, set timers, have it read out your agenda for today, and other things your Google Assistant can do for you on a regular basis.
Google says you can also ask it turn the TV back on so you don’t need to use your actual remote. And if you have other devices connected to your TV, you can switch it to the other HDMI output, like from your gaming console. And since you have Android TV features, this means you’ll have access to all the videos and movies, live sports events, news, music, and all the media that you’re subscribed to. And of course, you can access apps and games that are on the Google Play Store too.
Chromecast is also built-in for the Android TV soundbars so you can stream, cast, and view content from your smartphone and tablet. The setup is also much simpler this way since you only have one cord that connects your soundbar to your TV and it is already your hub for your HDMI inputs so you can switch easily between your other connected devices.
Right now, the JBL Link Bar is the only Android TV soundbar but this opens up a lot of possibilities for other OEMs. Having Android TV, Google Assistant, Google Play, and Chromecast all through just one device is highly convenient for users looking for a simple setup for their home entertainment system.