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

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 WiFi net­work as a Ci­ta­tion speaker, a smart­phone, tablet or lap­top can “cast” the lat­est chart­top­ping 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.

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