Harman Kardon’s Citation speaker series really is the company’s answer to Sonos, but instead of offering Alexa integration, this smart speaker series focuses solely on Google Assistant integration – which is something Sonos has yet to roll out successfully.
The Citation speaker lineup offers a choice of 8 different speakers that come in all sorts of sizes. The collection includes a sound bar, a sub, and even huge tower speakers, all of which can work in tandem with each other. You can essentially mix and match whichever speakers you want which are the most suitable for your space, which is something we very much appreciate.
The hero product of the lineup is the Citation ONE, which touts a very similar shape and size to the Sonos One, along with a similar $199 price point. It’s even available in a choice of grey or black, just like the Sonos One. However, a key style difference is that the Citation speakers each come rocking a “premium” blended wool fabric, which is both dirt repellent and flame retardant.
With all of that said, for this review, we actually tested the $299 Citation 100 speaker. Like many speakers in the Citation series, the Citation 100 sports some basic touch controls on its top side for volume, and Bluetooth pairing, etc, but you’ll barely ever need to use them. That’s because, thanks to Google Assistant integration, you can control the Citation 100 with your voice.
Unfortunately, our biggest gripe with Citation 100 is that we find that if music is playing loudly, we have to speak loudly for Google Assistant to hear us properly. This is louder than what we’re used to with other voice assistant speakers. We’re hoping that Harman eventually rolls out a firmware update to address this.
On paper, the Citation 100 comes with 50W built in, a 20mm tweeter, and a 102mm woofer. Spec-wise, that’s not all that much more powerful than the Citation ONE, so we’re a bit surprised that it costs $100 more.
In any case, when it comes to audio, the Citation 100 sounds powerful, and very well balanced, with a strong but not overpowering amount of bass. On its own, the Citation 100 provides room-filling sound, so we can only begin to imagine how powerful it would be if you paired it with other speakers in the series for a complete stereo and multi-room set up. That said, we’d like to see an option to tweak the speaker’s equalizer settings from within its accompanying app.
The Citation 100 offers powerful sound that is complemented by seamless Google Assistant integration and Chromecast support. We very much appreciate how you can mix and match the different sized and shaped speakers in the Harman Kardon Citation series to put together a custom multi-room system that matches your needs. As long as you don’t need Alexa support, if you’re looking for a smart multi-room speaker system that can easily be expanded into a robust home theater system, the Harman Kardon Citation series won’t disappoint.