JBL made a splash with it's Android TV-powered Google Assistant soundbar back at Google I/O, but the company wasn't able to ship the speaker before the end of 2018. Despite opening up pre-orders and rumblings of anticipated ship dates in the fall, the Link Bar has yet to make it's official debut. JBL is chatting up the device this week at CES, and part of the details include an updated timeline for when you might be able to grab one: spring 2019. The $399.95 soundbar and an optional $299.95 subwoofer are both expected to ship then.
As a refresher, the JBL Link Bar doubles as an Android TV box with Google Assistant built-in for voice control of compatible devices around your home. Chromecast is also built-in, so you can stream music and video content directly from your phone with ease. There's also a PrivacySwitch feature that will let you disable the microphones when you don't need to summon the virtual assistant. In terms of connectivity, the Link Bar has three HDMI inputs and one HDMI ARC output, plus you can use voice cues to switch between those connected devices.
While it may be disappointing the Link Bar hasn't shipped yet (especially if you pre-ordered), JBL has created a very compelling product -- at least on paper. Of course, we'll have to wait a few months to judge its merits with a full review.