Amazon’s Fire TV range now includes a soundbar
Amazon has expanded its Fire TV family by partnering with Anker for the Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition. This soundbar includes 4K HDR support, Dolby Vision pass-through, its own smart TV interface and the ability to use Alexa to control apps and power up (or down) your system through the supplied voice remote.
You can even add it to a multi-room system through the Alexa mobile app.
The Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition will be available in the UK, US, Canada and Germany when it starts to ship on the 21st October. The price is £180/$230, and it’s available to preorder now.
Design and features
The Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition is pretty straightforward in terms of its external design. It features a gray mesh around the front, top, and back, with a small red logo on the left-front side reminding you of the Nebula branding.
On the top of the soundbar are general control buttons: power, source input (i.e. Bluetooth, HDMI, or otherwise), and volume up/down. The panel here is a sleek, reflective silver that stands out well from the basic gray of the rest of the Nebula soundbar.
At the back of the soundbar – far enough down that you’ll need to lift it up to reach the connections – are a small number of ports for HDMI, power, AUX, and USB. That’s not quite enough to make the Nebula Soundbar a real AV hub, but it’s clearly designed to use specifically with your smart TV. You’ll undoubtedly need to connect to the TV with an HDMI cable to get the Fire TV platform up and running.
The Nebula Soundbar features a near-field microphone for using voice commands, as well as an Alexa remote for navigating the Fire TV smart platform / using a microphone right up near your face.
The Fire TV platform is fast and effective, even if it’s designed to push the Amazon Prime Video service above others. The Alexa voice control, too, will work primarily within this TV streaming service, and it isn’t perfect even there. Voice navigation for smart TVs is simply not that good right now, so we’d say don’t buy into the hype, but you will be able to use some basic voice functionality to summon specific streaming apps and TV shows to your screen.