(Pocket-lint) - Harman Kardon has added several great new speakers to its relatively-new Citation family here at CES 2020.
The bedside alarm clock with wireless charging is the Citation Oasis, while there's also a Citation Multibeam soundbar but here we're looking at the Citation 200 doesn't have the greatest name, but it comes with purpose - to remove Sonos Move as the premium portable smart speaker of the moment.
Now, Harman does have form with a portable smart speaker. JBL is one of the other brands owned by the Samsung subsidiary and the JBL Link 20 also supports Google Assistant and is a similar device.
However, there's a lot more class and beef to the Citation 200 as you'll hear.
Design and splashproofing
- Leather handle
- IPX4 rated waterproofing
- Kvadrat fabric cover
The key design feature of the Citation 200 is the smart leather handle. Otherwise, the design is broadly similar to the rest of the Citation range from last year, with a Kvadrat fabric outer covering.
The Citation 200 doesn't pack the full waterpoofing of the JBL Link 20, but it is splashproof (IPX4 rated), meaning it'll be fine with the odd splash but you won't want to dunk it in a paddling pool.
It's available in two colours - black and grey. Obviously the grey is shown here.
Battery life, audio and streaming tech
- 8 hours of battery life
- 50W power
- Supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Chromecast and Google Assistant
The Citation 200 boasts eight hours of battery life and, obviously, can be plugged in and recharged.
It boasts 50W power, which is slightly more than the Citation One at 40W. There are numerous controls on top of the device - as you can see there are the Google Assistant LEDs for when it is activated, while you can press a button if you don't want to use "Hey Google" as the wake phrase. Naturally, there are volume buttons, plus a power button and one to change source.
The portable smart speaker boasts both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as you'd expect but what you might not expect from a speaker like this is that it also supports Apple AirPlay like the other key devices in the Citation range.
Chromecast is also built-in for easy streaming from Android devices.
Pricing and rivals
- Undercuts Sonos Move
- Will we get a portable Amazon Echo?
As we said the $399/£329 Sonos Move - which boasts Amazon Alexa built-in - is a key rival for the Citation 200. And on that front, the Citation significantly undercuts the Sonos at $299/£280. It'll be available in the Spring.
However, we're expecting Amazon certainly to come out with a rival speaker at some point - indeed, we thought we'd get a portable Echo in 2019.
Amazon did have a go at doing a device like this with the Echo Tap in the US which was later discontinued and has the cheap Echo Input Portable in India, but now the smart speaker market maturing we think it could well try again.
And there's no reason why Google might not join the party as well and produce its own portable.
We really like the Citation 200 - we wish it had a more compelling name that marked it out as being a portable smart speaker, but it looks the part and has plenty going for it with its support for easy streaming from Apple and Android devices as well as Google Assistant support.