Reviews

Harman Kardon Citation Bar Review: Design, Sound, Smarts

The Harman Kardon Citation Bar is a stunner which sounds great, has all the smarts but comes with a high price – is it worth it?

Well if it means your wife lets you put it in the lounge room – hell yeah.

The biggest feature of the Harman Kardon Citation Bar is the design. A wool blend cover give it a premium look and feel, and the two colour choices (Black and Grey) should mean there’s an option to suit every loungeroom.

I’ve tested a lot of soundbars, not many of them would make it from the office to home – this one is different.

But the elephant in the room is the price. At Harvey Norman this is a $1495 soundbar.

Pricey. And it’s only a three channel soundbar.

But what you get is powerful sound. And I’m not talking something subjective, Harman Kardon – unlike many others – list the output power of the Citation Bar as 150W. That’s big.

And it shows. Watching TV and Movies this soundbar delivers an impressive range of sound. Action movies, quiet dramas, everyday TV – it’s all sounding better than ever when paired with the Citation Bar.

You’re biggest problem is that for $1495 you don’t get surround sound. Strangely I didn’t notice after a while, you don’t know what you’re missing if this is your first solid soundbar investment.

You can add virtual rear speakers, but not just any Citation speaker can act as a rear, it has to be the specific rear towers.

And while there’s some solid bass right on the bar itself, the optional Citation Sub is something enormous – but again, comes at a price.

With a beautiful design, and impressive sound – the way Harman Kardon have set this Citation Bar apart from others in this price range is smarts.

This is a great addition to a multi-room setup, or it’s a great first speaker.

Plus, it’s a Google Assistant at the same time. Sure that’s smart, but Harman Kardon added some serious quality with a little touch-screen on the top.

The screen shows album art when playing music via AirPlay or Chromecast Audio, it shows the Volume control when you change that via remote, mobile or the touch-screen, and the screen is also your simple interface for setup and configuration.

I think side by side with some stiff competition in retail stores this is a tough buy to justify. But what you need to appreciate is a couple of things.

Firstly, quality. The construction, design, performance – outstanding.

Secondly, Sound – it will not disappoint.

Thirdly, Multi-Room Audio. This is a great addition to a system, or a great start to your own multi-room system. But it’s not a closed ecosystem, using Airplay and Chromecast this speaker works as a part of an open multi-room system, and with a huge range of Harman Kardon Citation speakers at a range of sizes and prices.

I get that it’s pricey, but sometimes you’ve got to pay to be different, and you’ve got to pay for something that does exactly what you want without disappointment.

Web: Harvey Norman

Harman Kardon Citation Bar Review: Design, Sound, Smarts
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