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Harman Kardon announces a $600 Google Assistant speaker

Harman Kardon announces a $600 Google Assistant speaker

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Harman Kardon is releasing a new smart speaker that’ll support Google Assistant called the Citation 500. It’ll be shown for the first time at IFA 2018, and it will be available for preorder in Europe at the end of September.

The speaker comes in gray and black wool cover options, similar to the fabric-wrapped Google Home speakers. What’s not similar is the cost: the Citation 500 is priced at $599.95/€649. That’s about $200 more expensive than the Google Home Max, making it one of the most expensive Google Assistant speakers yet. (There are still the absurdly expensive $1,750 Bang & Olufsen Beosound 1 and 2 to beat.)

The Citation 500 has 200W stereo speakers and can support 24 bit/96Khz high-definition audio streaming. There’s a full-color LCD touch panel at the top of the speaker for controlling playback, though with Google Assistant support, you can just use your voice to request music or play wirelessly from your phone. You can also use the speaker as a smart home hub for functions like controlling the lights or thermostat.

Image: Harman Kardon

The Citation 500 is Harman Kardon’s third smart speaker, but it’s the first in the “luxury” range. The Samsung-owned company still has yet to release a Bixby-enabled speaker, but it has already released an Alexa-enabled model called Allure, which costs $249, and the Cortana-enabled Invoke, which costs $199.

Update 8/28/18: The Citation 500’s US price has been corrected to $599.95.