Expert review: Harman Kardon Citation Bar
Harman Kardon Citation Bar
- With Google Assistant, you can control the speaker with voice commands.
- Add the soundbar to the Harman Kardon multi-room system to stream music throughout your entire home.
- Connect the soundbar with an HDMI ARC cable to control it with your TV's remote control or your smartphone.
- The soundbar doesn't support AirPlay.
As soon as I receive the bar, the first thing I notice is its size. You're going to need a large TV cabinet for it, or attach it to the wall. I personally think the textile design looks good, and I can imagine it giving your interior an extra touch. On top of the bar is the touchscreen that, in my opinion, makes the design look modern.
Installing the soundbar begins by connecting the power cable to the soundbar and the HDMI ARC cable to both the soundbar and the TV. The bar will now automatically start. I use the Google Home app on my smartphone to adjust the rest of the device's settings. I also change the sound settings on my television while I'm at it, otherwise the sound won't come from the soundbar. A confirmation sound from the bar tells me that it's fully installed.
Many options in the app
The Google Home app offers a lot of options. After installing it, I can connect the bar to other Citation speakers in my home right away. To get the most out of the bar, I connect my Google account to the app, as well as accounts of streaming services like Spotify and Netflix. I can now use the Google Home app to operate all the speakers in my home and stream music or movies from my streaming services.
I connect the soundbar to the television with the HDMI ARC cable. I was most curious about the soundbar's voice control. I activate the assistant in the Google app, or I use the microphone button on the bar. After that, all I need to do is say 'Hey Google' followed by a question or command. I say 'Hey Google, play reggae music from Spotify' and the music starts to play. Because I also linked my Google account, I can also ask questions about my calendar, such as 'What's my schedule like for today?'. If you also have a Chromecast with your TV, you can even give Google Assistant the voice command to play a movie or series.
The sound creates a movie theater experience
I think the soundbar's sound is good value for money. I press the surround button on the remote control to turn on the surround sound. This makes it seem like the sound spreads out across the room, giving a movie theater experience. I watch a Marvel movie and notice that the sound effects achieve their full potential. The night mode lowers the bass a bit to make the sound a bit more quiet. Music from YouTube also comes into its own. The sound is spacious and you can also hear a bass.
The Harman Kardon Citation Bar is large, but you shouldn't let that deter you. The soundbar really comes into its own in a larger room. I think the design adds atmosphere and would fit in anyone's interior. The Google Assistant works fine for now, and there will obviously be updates in the future. It's awesome that I can just tell it to play a movie or music while I'm sitting on the couch with a plate of food. I think the sound sounds pretty good, kind of like in the movie theater, though the bass could be a little stronger in my opinion. Though I know that if I want to improve the sound that way, I have to add a Citation Sub to the bar.