Harman Kardon Citation 100 Speaker Review
The Harman Kardon Citation 100 is a smart speaker with optimal sound quality and compact size. (Dimensions: 27.5 x 17.2 x 16.3 cm, weight 2.7 kg). Extremely easy to use, having a detailed, delicate sound. You can access more than 300 music services and high-definition streams through your Chromecast. Voice control is also enabled with Google Now.
Harman Kardon has previously produced some high-profile and innovative-looking speakers, including transparent SoundSticks, but the new era of smart speakers compelled the manufacturer to adapt to new needs.
Bass acoustic wall panels with double leather membrane80,34 € – 251,32 € +Vat
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Harman Kardon Citation 100
The lcompany’s latest model, the Harman Kardon Citation 100, has a minimalist, sleek design. In addition to streaming our favorite music easily and without difficulty, even at high volume, the bass was unusually powerful and outstanding, though it seemed a bit unbalanced at times.
The Citation 100 does not differ much from the standard design. Its wool blend fabric grids are slightly darker than other brands ’products, but there are plenty of stylistic similarities between this and Google Home Max, including LEDs under the front fabric that indicate the built-in Google Assistant is waiting for our instructions.
The Citation is smaller in size than a Home Max and its shape is closer to the Sonos One. Size is less important here anyway, as the Harman Kardon Citation 100 is not a portable speaker. The entire speaker has a high quality fabric cover that is not only aesthetic but also great to the touch. The Harman Kardon brand logo is nicely placed on the center bottom of the speaker, which is an elegant and subtle touch to design.
The power cord is located on the bottom of the speaker and has a slot that allows the speaker to be placed on a flat surface without bumping on its cable. There are 4 LEDs on the front centre of the speaker indicating volume setting and Google Assistant activation.
The touch buttons are located on the top of the speaker. Touch screen controls could have been a little more sensitive. Increasing and decreasing the volume can be a challenge, because the controls sometimes do not sense the touch properly. However, this is not such a big problem because we can also control the speaker with voice using Google Assistant. So there is no real need for touch screen controls.
Citation does not have an aux input or a USB port either. This is one of the weaknesses of the tool. However, this is not just a digital assistant speaker, it has Bluetooth capability also, which is suitable for streaming with applications that do not support Google Cast.
By the way, the speaker works completely with the Google Home wireless system. The setting is also done with the Google Home app, which also manages multi-room services. It can also be connected to other Google Home speakers.
A microphone system is listening to your voice via Google Assistant. However, it is not clear how many microphones are there – usually 6 microphones are common for smart speakers, but only two are shown here. Harman Kardon’s description doesn’t reveal if there are any more microphones hidden behind the grid.
The Citation 100 detects sound at normal volume and the microphones are sensitive enough to speak remotely to the device.
We tested the speaker in a smaller room. As we had previously performed an online acoustic measurement at the request of the customer, the acoustic treatment of the room already took place. The acoustics were adequate thanks to the printed sound-absorbing panels on the walls, and the Soft Melody rug on the floor, successfully eliminating the echo issues. If we do not want to make the mistake to over-dampen the room, in addition to sound absorption, it is very important to place diffusers on the walls. In the relatively small room, some Art wood diffusers would have provided the ideal sound distribution.
The Harman Kardon Citation 100 has a 20mm tweeter and a 10cm subwoofer. Its main driving force is a large passive radiator located on the back of the speaker housing.
Bass is a defining feature of Citation 100. The low frequencies are extremely powerful and the lowest subwoofers are absolutely ideal for a compact sized speaker. This speaker is capable of detailed, full sounds, although we found that the basses were slightly unbalanced at times. There were parts of the music where the bass was over emphasised, which seemed pretty confusing. The mids were rich and the high tones clear, and the muscular bass only occasionally overwhelmed them.
The Citation 100 is confident at high volume, much more so than the Sonos One. Exciting, intense bass makes the Harman Kardon the ideal party speaker. However, it would be nice to be able to adjust the accentuated bass of the Citation if necessary, and thus offer a more balanced alternative where the bass would not be constantly accentuated.
One of the beauties of Google Assistant tools is the easy setup and the Harman Kardon Citation 100 is no exception. All you have to do is connect the speaker, download the Google Home app, and set up the new device in the app.
Using the Google Home app, you can easily set up your speaker over a Wi-Fi connection. Once connected to Wi-Fi, the speaker will appear in the Google Home app toolbar and we can perform all Google operations on it. Of course, this includes weather, music, news, and pretty much everything Google has to offer.
The depths of the speaker are too powerful to be considered balanced, but otherwise it’s a tasteful-sounding, intelligent speaker that has enough sound scale to fill the space in most rooms. The exterior design is modern and sleek, a really showy piece that was made using high quality components. Due to its compact size, it is not a problem where to place it. However, it does not have aux and USB inputs either. The price of the Citation 100 is quite high, so this wouldn’t be the choice of everyone for sure.
Written by Róbert Polgár