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CONNECTED AUDIO Home Entertainment


Harman Kardon’s Citation 200 portable speaker


18 Let me entertain you


With consumers spending more time at home, smart speakers and wireless soundbars have kept people entertained with their access to radio services and a host of music streaming platforms, amongst other functions. So when someone fancies upgrading, what should they look out for?


T


here has certainly been a shift in recent years around what people at home use their speakers for. Traditionally they were just for music – remember when your


entire collection was housed in the CD rack? – but thanks to smart technology and Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities, music speakers now play a key role in the home, whether it’s playing live radio, your favourite music playlist, or controlling connected devices in other rooms. There is also a large focus on audio products to compliment home cinema systems. It is strongly argued that consumers should try


before they buy when it comes to audio products, and that is where the electrical retailer comes in with their unique in-store experience. Harman Kardon recently introduced to its


Citation range the MultiBeam 700 soundbar (right); it uses multiple beams aimed at the listener, plus two that are reflected through the


side walls to create a surround sound effect, without the use of rear speakers. While JBL launched the BAR 9.1 earlier this year, its flagship connected soundbar. It allows streaming through Chromecast or AirPlay; it’s most important feature, however, is that it’s the only 3D Dolby Atmos soundbar with true wireless surround speakers. When fully charged, the BAR 9.1 surround-speakers can be removed from the main bar and positioned next to the sofa for a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos experience.


“This month we have just added the Harman


Kardon Citation 200 portable speaker,” says Jurjen Amsterdam, Senior Category Manager, Home Systems at Harman EMEA. “It allows users to listen to their favourite Chromecast or AirPlay music in HD when Wi-Fi is available; and while on the go, Bluetooth allows you to continue listening. The battery lasts for about eight hours. “We believe more and more


products will embrace Wi-Fi technology in one way or another,” he continues. “That will open up more features and more compatibility; smart technologies such as voice will become another tick in the box – after all, what could be simpler and more convenient?”


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