Google has announced a new product just a day before I/O 2018 kicks off, the JBL Link Bar, a voice controlled sound bar for your television with Android TV built-in.
The Link Bar works primarily like any other sound bar; you connect your television and other audio sources to it via HDMI and play all your sounds through it. The party trick here is the Android TV and Assistant built-in. You can turn on your television and switch to any particular channel using your voice. You can ask the Link Bar to play videos off YouTube or songs from Pandora. You can ask questions or tell it to control your smart home devices.
We don’t know much about the specs of the sound bar itself, apart from the fact that it has four HDMI inputs, optical, line-in and Ethernet. There is no subwoofer so the unit under the TV is everything. There’s also no remote; you control this thing entirely by voice, which I’m not sure is going to be convenient every single time.
We also don’t know the price yet but it will be available this fall. We should hear more about it during the I/O keynote.