JBL Link Bar Reviews
Love AndroidTV functionality
Rated 5 out of 5
Great sound quality and very cool to have my apps on the soundbar, which is perfect for my minimal setup.
Terrible soundbar from an otherwise fine company
Rated 1 out of 5
I waited and waited for the Link Bar. The idea of getting a soundbar that would act as the Google Assistant from a company whose products I generally like was too good to pass up. So color me surprised when I say this is the worst sound bar I've ever owned.
One - Getting it to work with my older TV is beyond a chore. It doesn't like the idea of letting the TV just feed it sound through optical, and while I usually consider myself fairly technically adept, I'm completely lost on how to get it to work. Specifically, I can only occasionally get the sound bar to work when it's not the sound bar broadcasting through its app. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. It's certainly not a set-up issue as it works a fair amount of the time - but sometimes it just doesn't want to do anything except let you play audio through its interface. Gods forbid I want to use my Amazon Fire Stick, it hates that probably 80% of the time.
Two - I've not had to reboot technology as much as I do this soundbar. I'd say the remote stops working roughly once every three to four days. Unplug and plug it back in again? Works fine until the next time it doesn't.
Three - Holy lag Batman. The Google Assistant is so laggy I had to turn it off because the Home Hub in my kitchen, an entire room over, usually registers the request before the TV does. The primary reason I considered buying the soundbar, to act as my Home Assistant Speaker in my living room is thrown out the window. It cannot work properly in this role.
Four - The sound is pretty good, I'll give it that. When it's working.
Five - The remote is downright terrible. Phantom button clicks when it's sitting across the room. Not registering button clicks when I want it to. It ate the first two batteries in a month of ownership. I honestly thought the remote was broken because what remote runs out of battery juice in a month - of something that wasn't even in the warehouse that long?
I want this gone. My girlfriend has told me to get rid of it because she can't stand seeing my blood pressure rise like this. It's seriously made me reconsider buying anything from JBL that has an interface, the interface is so bad. Honestly, this soundbar just makes me sad.
Doesn't live up to my expectations.
Rated 2 out of 5
Doesn't link up to my other speakers. Fades the black of my TV service.
Great with some minor negatives
Rated 4 out of 5
While I enjoy the advanced features, my main reason for purchasing this model was the multiple HDMI inputs. It's difficult to find a reasonably priced soundbar with more than one HDMI input. The built-in Android TV, Google Assistant, and Chromecast support are just bonuses. So far I'm very happy with it.
-- Sound quality. Audio is very clear and clean, and it has more bass than I expected. I actually dropped the bass level to -1 for regular TV viewing.
-- Streaming. I've only tried a couple of services so far but the streaming quality is quite good. Shows start fast and stream reliably.
-- Android TV. I've seen a lot of complaints about laggy response from the interface, but I find it perfectly acceptable. I've used many different streaming devices, and I would rate it faster than an Amazon Fire Stick but slightly slower than a Roku.
-- Ease of setup. It guided me through using my phone for setup, and in no time it was connected to my wifi and my Google account.
-- Input switching. It's easy and fast.
-- The remote has good button layout and the unit responds quickly to it.
-- Wifi reception. The unit is located in an area in my house where some devices struggle to get a strong wifi signal, but it has a strong connection.
-- The unit has no power light. If your Link Bar is not controlled by your TV via ARC (as mine isn't), it's easy to forget to power off the Link Bar when powering off the TV, and there's no way to tell if the Link Bar is on without turning the TV back on.
-- 4 orange LEDs stay on the front of the Link Bar when the Google Assistant mic is muted.
-- Some of the pre-installed apps can't be deleted.
-- Can't customize Favorite list of apps. You can remove or re-order apps in the main app drawer but not in the Favorites list. I don't use Netflix but I'm stuck with it being the first app in the Favorites list.
Audio cut off...
Rated 2 out of 5
Help Audio cuts off about 2-4 times every hour..? Any suggestions?
A bit Disappointed
Rated 2 out of 5
Had this for about 4 days and I'm 90% decided on returning. I hate the thought of returning it as I really want to like this soundbar. I have the soundbar and the subwoofer and the combination actually sounds really really good! If it was a stand alone soundbar, I would actually be very happy with it, but I bought it with the purpose having it as my Google assistant in the living room replacing my home mini. While watching from my FireStick - I have not set up the built-in Android TV as the Apps are limited, try to give it a command to do anything, it's reply's volume is to the roof! Now, while listening to Spotify sounds great, but it either loses connection midsong or sometimes when you look at the LinkBar from Google Home, the volume is all the way down to zero but when you try to turn it up from your phone, it won't really do anything. Sometimes skipping your current song works. Now, I thought about maybe I can just move back my Home mini to the living room and use this solely as a soundbar for the TV and turn the Mic off. I can't really do that because when you have the mic off, the indicator lights at the front stays ON in orange ahich is very distracting while watching TV. Like I said, I really want to like this system but unfortunately it's looking like I'll be returning them. Very sad.
Decent sound but don’t buy it for connectivity
Rated 3 out of 5
The sound on this soundbar is actually quite good, particularly from TV, which was my main purpose. Unfortunately it’s really let down by pathetically slow Google assistant and freezing of video content from sites like Vimeo and even YouTube. I’ve had to reboot on many occasions which is frustrating. Also, there is the strange problem that when I ask for my daily news briefing all I get is foreign language newscasts. I have no idea why, all of my other Google assistants work fine on the same Google account. Something is buggy. It’s a shame. I ultimately returned the soundbar because of all the issues. It could have been an amazing product at a good price. Oh well, maybe in the next generation!
The response from google assistant is toooo slow!
Rated 2 out of 5
I like the idea that the link bar can integrage google assistant, chromcast and JBL sound bar into one. The sound quality is also good. But there is a big bug behind the sound bar is it has very slow response when you use google assistant to command. From experience, sometimes, I will have to use the remote to wake up the JBL link bar to send my command through the google assistant.
JBL is a large company and I really don't know what happened to this bug. I really hope that the research team can fix the bug using software upgrade.