132
JBL Link Bar

JBL Link Bar Review

True Score

69
69
11

Experts

68
0

Consumers

Expert Rankings

For its mid-range price, the JBL Link Bar’s performance is mediocre across all scenarios, from music listening to watching dialogue-centric shows. Although latency is low and the sound profile is balanced, you can pay a bit more for better soundstages and an integrated subwoofer.

Product Snapshot

Overview

The JBL Link Bar is a 2019 model budget-level stereo soundbar that delivers room-filling audio in a smaller package with a balanced and neutral sound profile for home theater setups. Unlike the best speakers in the market, the brand offers a built-in Android TV box inside this soundbar.

Additionally, just like the top-rated soundbars, it supports Google Assistant through its built-in microphone and doubles as a smart speaker. If you don’t need voice assistants and are looking for something a bit higher-end, be sure to explore our JBL Bar 9.1 review. It includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast support for wireless streaming.

The brand also boasts the presence of three HDMI (ARC) input ports that help this soundbar act as an HDMI hub, along with an auxiliary input and an ethernet jack. However, if you already have an HDMI hub, the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module would be a far better option for you. Find out more about it in our Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module review.

Consensus

our Verdict

The JBL Link bar boasts multiple inputs, including three Full HDMI ports, an HDMI ARC, and Optical. It further accommodates wireless playback via Bluetooth, WiFi, and Chromecast built-in, and the audio is free of static. Tested latency with Full HDMI is low (-42ms) but high with ARC (121ms).

With a relatively narrow soundstage and the 2.0-channel’s downmixed surround, it lacks immersion during action scenes. The absence of a subwoofer takes away the satisfying thump from the audio, and there’s no Dolby Atmos. However, considering the somewhat neutral sound profile, dialogue delivery is moderately accurate.

A sleek remote controls all functions, but the bar doesn’t feel durable. Although input commands are responsive, you get limited EQ presets, and the bar has Google Home integration but no dedicated app for control.

Reason to Buy

  • An array of input choices
  • Crackle-free audio
  • Low latency with Full HDMI
  • Neutral sound profile
  • Fairly accurate dialogue reproduction

Reason to Avoid

  • Narrow soundstage
  • No Dolby Atmos
  • No subwoofer
  • Bar lacks durability
  • Limited EQ presets

JBL Link Bar Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth3.66"
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement FeatureYes
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
HeightHeight2.36"
Number of Audio ChannelsNumber of Audio Channels2.0
SubwooferSubwooferOptional (sold separately)
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Audio
Voice AssistantVoice AssistantGoogle Assistant
Wall MountableWall MountableYes
WeightWeight5.51 lbs
WidthWidth40.2"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer ConnectivityYes
Works WithWorks WithBluetooth, Chromecast, Google Assistant, Remote Control, Wi-Fi

All Specs

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Product Comparison

JBL Link Bar

JBL Link Bar Review

JBL Bar 5.1 Review

JBL Bar 5.1 Review

True Score

69
NR
81
77

Ranking

#

132

/

148

#

/

8

#

25

/

148

#

64

/

148

Market Context

The JBL Link Bar is a 2019 model budget-level stereo soundbar that delivers room-filling audio in a smaller package with a balanced and neutral sound…

The JBL Link Bar is a 2019 model budget-level stereo soundbar that delivers room-filling audio in a smaller package with a balanced and neutral sound profile for home theater setups. Unlike the best speakers in the market, the brand offers a built-in Android TV box inside this soundbar.

Additionally, just like the top-rated soundbars, it supports Google Assistant through its built-in microphone and doubles as a smart speaker. If you don’t need voice assistants and are looking for something a bit higher-end, be sure to explore our JBL Bar 9.1 review. It includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast support for wireless streaming.

The brand also boasts the presence of three HDMI (ARC) input ports that help this soundbar act as an HDMI hub, along with an auxiliary input and an ethernet jack. However, if you already have an HDMI hub, the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module would be a far better option for you. Find out more about it in our Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module review.

The JBL Bar 5.1 performs better than the JBL Link Bar when it comes to soundstage and bass, thanks to its much wider 5.1 channel…

The JBL Bar 5.1 performs better than the JBL Link Bar when it comes to soundstage and bass, thanks to its much wider 5.1 channel setup with a dedicated subwoofer. However, the JBL Link Bar has a built-in microphone to double as a Google Home smart speaker and an Android TV box, which the JBL Bar 5.1 lacks.

Thanks to its dedicated center channel speaker and a 3.0 channel setup, the Sonos Beam performs better than the JBL Link Bar in terms of…

Thanks to its dedicated center channel speaker and a 3.0 channel setup, the Sonos Beam performs better than the JBL Link Bar in terms of audio clarity, dialogues, and music playback. But, unlike the Sonos Beam, the JBL soundbar supports Chromecast and Bluetooth and also has a built-in Android TV box.

Equipped with a 3.0 channel setup, the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 performs better than the JBL Link Bar when it comes to dialogue clarity, and…

Equipped with a 3.0 channel setup, the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 performs better than the JBL Link Bar when it comes to dialogue clarity, and offers a more neutral and nuanced sound profile for music. And the Bose soundbar supports both Google Assistant and Alexa, while the JBL Link Bar only supports Google Assistant.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

No

Yes

Depth

3.66"

3.9"

13.38"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

Yes

Yes

Yes

Energy Star Certified

No

No

No

HDMI ARC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Height

2.36"

2.7"

7.13"

Number of Audio Channels

2.0

Subwoofer

Optional (sold separately)

No

Optional (sold separately)

Dig Deeper

Sonos Beam Review →

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 Review →

Score Card

E

Expert Score

69

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

68

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

69

Expert Score Breakdown

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Score

    67
    Decent for mixed usage. It has a decent sound profile that’s accurate and well-balanced but… read more

    By:

    Ryan Scartozzi
  • PC Mag
    54.9

    Category Trust Score

    60
    The JBL Link Bar integrates Android TV and Google Assistant in a soundbar that delivers… read more

    By:

    Tim Gideon
  • Sound Guys
    82.54

    Category Trust Score

    84
    The JBL Link Bar is a great all-in-one solution for consumers looking to consolidate their… read more

    By:

    Lily Katz
  • CNET
    54.51

    Category Trust Score

    68
    The JBL Link Bar is a good-sounding bar that tries to be everything at once… read more

    By:

    Ty Pendlebury
  • Techradar
    46.31

    Category Trust Score

    60
    The JBL Link Bar packs in admirable sound quality but comes at the cost of… read more

    By:

    Ted Kritsonis
  • Business Insider
    38.51

    Category Trust Score

    NR
    The JBL Link Bar may not be the best streaming device, best smart speaker, or… read more

    By:

    Christian de Looper

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