The first soundbar that also put Android TV on your connected television was the JBL Link Bar, released in 2019 after multiple delays.
What we have seen, though, are multiple soundbars that use the same idea of integrating smart TV features into a soundbar, but with Amazon’s Fire TV platform or Roku, often at much lower costs.
The new hardware is produced by Askey, the same Asus sub-brand that makes Google’s ADT-3 developer device.
From the looks of a new FCC listing spotted by @AndroidTV_Rumor, Verizon is working on a soundbar that runs Android TV, presumably using the Operator Tier similar to the Stream TV we reviewed earlier this year. In fact, the listing directly references the product as the “Stream TV Soundbar.”
As Android TV continues to expand, Verizon is stepping up to make another new Android TV device, but this time it looks to be a soundbar…
The concept was excellent, but the execution ultimately flopped, and, to date, we haven’t seen a successor to that product or another soundbar that uses Android TV in this way.
There’s not a lot we can gather from this list, but one other tidbit is support for Android TV 11 on this product.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see when this comes to market, especially to see how it compares to the JBL Link Bar which failed primarily on its laggy performance that became obvious over time.
The FCC listing includes quite a few details about Verizon’s next Stream TV device. It reveals that the device will have the model number STI6251, and it might be called the Stream TV Soundbar. It will be manufactured by Askey (a subsidiary of ASUS), and it will offer dual-band Wi-Fi support and Android TV 11.
Although the listing doesn’t reveal much else about the device, we suspect it will offer all the features you get with the Verizon Stream TV, including 4K streaming support and Google Assistant-powered voice and text search. It might include a lightly skinned version of Android TV with preinstalled apps like Disney+, Hulu, ESPN, Pluto TV, MLB TV, HBO, STARZ, Prime Video, and Netflix. Since it will double up as a soundbar, we also expect to see a decent set of speakers.
As of now, we’re not sure if Verizon will offer the Stream TV Soundbar with the Google TV interface instead of Android TV. But that might be the case as a few other manufacturers have started teasing their own streaming sticks with the updated UI.