It's raining smart speakers at the IFA 2017 in Berlin. Even though the event will technically start from tomorrow, but there have been plenty of launches happening in Germany marking the beginning of the event. As a part of the slew of launches before IFA, JBL also unveiled new smart speaker lineup 'JBL LINK' with Google Assistant integration.
JBL LINK series joins the league of recently launched third-party speakers with Google Assistant, such as Anker, Sony, Mobvoi, Panasonic, and more. The series consists of the LINK 10, LINK 20, and LINK 300. All these speakers from JBL respond to Google's wake up phrase - OK Google and execute the functions that the Assistant is equipped of doing. You can ask for weather stats, traffic stats, latest news, and also control music playback and volume.
The main aim of JBL is to offer maximum portability with the wireless smart speakers. JBL LINK 10 and LINK 20 come with the IPX7 rating for waterproofing. The LINK 10 delivers 5 hours of battery life on a single charge while the LINK 20 is claimed to offer up to 10 hours of music playback. JBL LINK 300 speaker is the largest of all the others in the series, and just like Google Home, it is not portable.
Regardless of which JBL LINK speakers you buy, all of them can connect with each other throughout your home Wi-Fi network so that you can sync all of them and get an ultimate surround sound experience.
Pricing and Availability
The JBL LINK 10, LINK 20, and LINK 300 are priced at 169 EUR (approx $201), 199 EUR (approx $237), and 299 EUR (approx $356) respectively. They will be released this fall and the company says that it will launch them in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. For now, there is no word about the availability of the LINK series in the US.
The smart speaker territory is becoming crowded and it won't be easy for the makers to compete with each other. Google Assistant integration has allowed third-party manufacturers to experiment in the field and bring out affordable alternatives for the buyers. In the coming months, it will be interesting to see how consumers react to this influx of so many smart speakers.