SmartHouse - - FIRST LOOK // HARMAN - Writ­ten by DAVID RICHARDS

18 months ago, Har­man took con­trol of their brands AKG, JBL and Har­man Kar­don in Aus­tralia, at the time the big US sound Com­pany that is now owned by Sam­sung had 6% mar­ket share.

To­day af­ter a sig­nif­i­cant in coun­try in­vest­ment Har­man has grown their share to over 30% and are now locked in a bat­tle to fur­ther grow share, as brands such as Ap­ple, Ama­zon with their Echo speak­ers and Google who they are iron­i­cally part­ner­ing with in the launch a new range of JBL and Har­man Kar­don voice ac­ti­vated speak­ers and headphones.

Up un­til now the bat­tle in the por­ta­ble speaker mar­ket has been up against the likes of Ul­ti­mate Ears a Log­itech owned brand and Sony along with a more than 20 other sound brands that are ranged at JB Hi Fi or Har­vey Nor­man.

Ac­cord­ing to Michael Sher­man Cat­e­gory Man­ager at Har­man the Com­pa­nies new range is set to give the Sam­sung owned Com­pany an Edge in par­tic­u­lar the Com­pa­nies new Har­man Kar­don Ci­ta­tion range which con­sists of eight com­po­nents.

The en­tire sys­tem in­cludes four table­top or shelf speak­ers, one sound bar, a sub­woofer, and two floor stand­ing tow­ers. They all have Google As­sis­tant built in.

Ac­cord­ing to Sher­man Har­man Aus­tralia are look­ing to be a ma­jor player in the Vir­tual As­sis­tant sound mar­ket. They are also look­ing to lift the ASP across their range.

“We have a great range of pre­mium prod­ucts built by a Com­pany that has years of au­dio her­itage. What we are de­liv­er­ing are pre­mium prod­ucts which re­tail­ers will ben­e­fit from run­ning into the peak Christ­mas pe­riod and in the new year when we launch our new range of Har­man Kar­don Ci­ta­tion speak­ers”. Sev­eral au­dio re­view­ers who have seen and heard the new Har­man Kar­don Ci­ta­tion speaker range have said that the qual­ity is ex­cel­lent and su­pe­rior to what Sonos is ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing.

Har­man who are also known for their au­to­mo­tive and ma­rine ex­per­tise have re­cently ap­pointed Mel­bourne based Di­rected to han­dle their auto and ma­rine sound and sys­tems busi­ness.

Ac­cord­ing to Sher­man this is a growth cat­e­gory which is “huge” in sev­eral mar­kets around the world.

Other JBL gear in­cludes the true wire­less ear­phones the JBL En­durance PEAK. Th­ese ear­buds are de­signed for work­ing out with wa­ter-re­sis­tance, tech called TwistLock and FlexSoft de­signed

to en­sure they never fall out, and Pow­erHook, which will turn them off au­to­mat­i­cally when you take them out of your ears. With a fourhour bat­tery in the headphones and 24 more hours in the car­ry­ing case, you’ll go a long time with­out ever need­ing to plug in.

JBL’s Link Bar is a new sound bar with An­droid TV, Chrome­cast, and Google As­sis­tant.

Set to go on sale at JB Hi Fi be­fore Xmas is the JBL Link View which is very sim­i­lar to the new Lenovo View prod­uct.

It in­cludes an eight-inch touch­screen, 5MP front-fac­ing cam­era, and all the Google voice tech­nol­ogy built right in. Ac­cord­ing to Sher­man this prod­uct will be “com­pet­i­tively priced”.

AKG has four new wire­less headphones com­ing out. The N700NC over-ear headphones will be the flag­ship pair with adap­tive noise-can­celling, tech for tak­ing calls on the go, a 23-hour bat­tery life, and more. The N200, Y500, and Y100 headphones will also fea­ture ex­cep­tional sound with Bluetooth Apt-x tech­nol­ogy, mag­netic ear buds that snap to­gether for easy man­age­ment, and auto-play fea­tures that can de­tect when you’re wear­ing the headphones or not.

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