With Bose set to hit them from one side struggling networked sound Company Sonos now faces a new competitor with the release by Harman Kardon of a new range of speakers that are not only 24bit but deliver Google Assistant via a range of speakers including the Citation 500 speaker.
According to Harman Australia executives the new range that includes floor standing and tabletop speakers will “Be priced the same as the Sonos range” a clear indication that Sonos who has never made a profit in more than ten years is set to be targeted by two of the most successful sound Companies in the world with product ranges which are seen as superior to the proprietary network 16bit offering of Sonos.
Both the Bose and new Harman collection work over Bluetooth and Wi Fi.
The Citation collection includes four tabletop speakers, as well as a sound bar and a surround sound system comprising a subwoofer, tower speakers and surround sound speakers.
Those who saw and heard the Citation 500 speaker claim it is going to be a “Sonos Killer” when it comes to audio quality. The Citation 500 has 200W stereo speakers and supports 24 bit/96Khz high-definition audio streaming significantly more than what a Sonos speaker is able to achieve.
Unlike most Assistant speakers, the Citation 500 has a small LCD display up top for controlling playback, but it still supports typical voice commands.
Unlike the Sonos offering the entire Citation range has Google Assistant built in, so you can make song recommendations out-loud, or ask the assistant to look up something online, read the weather forecast, tell a joke, or control your smart home. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are included on every model and there is no need to download a proprietary operating system to get going. You simply connect to your favourite music streaming service.
Because the new Harman Kardon Citation speakers have Chromecast built-in, users can access over 300 audio and video streaming services in HD quality.
Once connected on the same Wi-Fi network as a Citation speaker, a smartphone, tablet or laptop can “cast” the latest chart-topping release or playlist from Chromecast-compatible apps.
the bad news is that the new range will not go on sale in Australia until the first quarter of 2019.