August must be the month to announce ultra-expensive smart speakers. Last week we saw a weird, cone-shaped smart speaker from Bang & Olufson which starts at $1,750, and now we have a speaker from Harman Kardon.
Granted, the Harman Kardon Citation 500 (pictured below) won’t cost you $1,750 – but it certainly ain’t cheap, either. The Citation 500 lists for 549 British pound sterling (~$708), which is about $300 more expensive than Google’s most expensive offering, the Google Home Max.
Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal. After all, with a high-end audio brand like Harman Kardon, you get what you pay for. But it’s hard to be happy to fork out an extra $300 on a speaker that looks a lot like the Google Home Max.
See for yourself below:
Make no mistake, the Harman Kardon Citation 500 will likely sound much better than a Google Home Max. But if you’re not an audiophile you probably couldn’t tell the difference, so the real question will be about looks. For a refresher, here’s what a Google Home Max looks like:
I see a lot of similarities there. The Citation 500 also comes in a black color – but so does the Google Home Max:
The Citation 500 has 200W stereo speakers and can support 24 bit/96Khz high-definition audio streaming. Since it’s really just a high-end Google Home speaker, it can also perform all the functions you would expect from a smart speaker like turning on the lights, activating smart appliances, and giving you information like the weather.
The Citation 500 will debut at IFA 2018 in Berlin this week, and pre-orders will open in Europe at the end of September.
Will you be forking out 549 pounds for the Harman Kardon Citation 500? Or will you be sticking with the Google Home Max (or the Google Home Mini, for that matter)? Let us know in the comments!