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Harman Kardon Citation Tower

They take up space, they make a lot of noise, but the effect is excellent.

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You start out with a soundbar, but then you realise you're missing some good old-fashioned "oomph". Okay, you need a subwoofer. But so what? In the old days there were satellites, and they still exist, but what if they just don't deliver the range, the punch you're looking for?

Harman Kardon, as always, has the answer, and if you already have a Citation Multibeam soundbar, you can really expand the sound level with the Citation Tower, two gigantic heavyweights that can both deliver a stereo image in the home to the gold medal, but at the same time exist as an extension of the surround sound system you already have set up.

Okay, let's address the elephant in the room, first of all. The Citation Tower is a set of two towers, and they are gigantic to say the least. Each weighs 19 kilos and measures 116x34.7x34.7 centimetres. This means they're particularly noticeable in the living room, and especially because they're basically designed to flank your TV. However, Harman have done their utmost to make them as tasteful as possible, and they've largely succeeded. Again, they're dressed in durable head-to-toe fabric from Danish Kvadrat, giving a Nordic look that really blends in with classic Danish surroundings. Downright tasteful? It's hard to say, but they certainly come closer than any other set of floorstanding speakers, no doubt about it. However, we recommend the lighter-coloured version, as the black ones really, really make a statement.

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Harman Kardon Citation Tower

One unit has a nice little display on top that you can connect directly to Spotify, for example, so you don't have to pull out your phone to play. In a way, it's the same as you'll find on Harman's soundbars, and that's not a criticism, quite the opposite. Setup is also a breeze, as you can choose to connect to the Citation Tower via the soundbar's display, so you don't need an app here either. It's really refreshing to have a responsive display that guides you without you having to install an app and create a user. Bravo.

Inside, we find a 25 millimetre tweeter, a set of 10 centimetre woofers and a downward-facing 20 centimetre sub, which together provide 200W total output. This is no joke, and compared to most similar systems, there just isn't nearly as much power available as there is via a set of Citation Towers. As mentioned, they can become part of a 5.1 surround system, and this can be done wirelessly via an attached soundbar, or directly without a soundbar by connecting via HDMI eARC.

There is no shortage of features either. As mentioned, you can log in directly to various streaming services via the small display, but there is also Bluetooth 4.2 (which is now a slightly old standard), Chromecast and AirPlay built in. Hi-Res Audio up to 24-bit (96kHz) and formats such as FLAC and HE-AAC are supported. There's even Google Assistant, so it can act as a smart home assistant. The only thing that's really missing, and this is perhaps more of a parenthesis these days, is wired Ethernet access, so the quality of the experience is determined by the quality of your Wi-Fi.

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Harman Kardon Citation Tower

So what about the sound? Well, to no one's surprise, it's big like few alternatives can be. Sure, there are of course audio systems at double or even triple the price that present more refined sound, but as a kind of intersection between the more common and true high-end HIFI, the Citation Tower's design philosophy is instantly observable and noticeable. Both when playing music, but certainly also as a surround extension that fills a half-sized room in a way that, for example, small satellites from Sonos simply cannot achieve.

They cost a bit, no doubt about it. But at the time of writing, you can pick up a set for £2,199.99, and it seems pretty good value for money given the overall effect you get for your money. Whether you can find the floor space for them at home is another matter entirely.

09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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