Harman Kardon Citation Surround Review - Outeraudio

Harman Kardon Citation Surround Review

Harman Kardon is part of Harman, which owns many professional audio brands including JBL. Harman Kardon design and manufacture high-end consumer audio products including Harman Kardon Citation Surround which forms part of the Citation Series. The Citation series features standalone and home theater speakers to suit every room in the house. The speakers have a stylish and sophisticated aesthetic with incredible sound quality to match.

At a Glance (per speaker)

Speaker Drivers:
2 x 3” low-frequency drivers + 1 x 1” tweeter
Inputs:
Wireless connection to Harman Kardon Citation Bar
Power Output:
50W RMS
Dimensions:
4.0” x 10.7” x 3.3”
Weight:
2.84 lbs

 

The best thing about the Citation speakers, they’re fully wireless. No audio cables are required to connect the speakers. Instead, the Citation series connect to each other wirelessly using WiSA. WiSA is a wireless technology which transmits audio at a bit rate double that of CD quality with near-zero latency. If you don’t know what that means, think of WiSA as Bluetooth on steroids. Essentially, WiSA allows wireless transfer of audio which is on par with a cabled set up.

The Citation Surround is sold as a pair of speakers and make up part of the surround sound range. Unlike some of the other Citation speakers (which we’ll get to later in this article), the Citation Surround don’t work as standalone speakers requiring the Citation Bar to operate, again, we’ll get to the other Citation speakers in a bit.

Each Citation Surround features 2 x 3” low-frequency drivers with a single 1” tweeter producing 50W RMS giving you a combined 100W RMS for your rear surrounds. Impressive since this is more than double most soundbars alone. The Citation Surround speakers produce a full warm sound with detail and clarity which is on another level. The frequency separation is incredible, creating a fully immersive audio experience.

The Citation Surround comes with a wall mount bracket for each speaker. The speakers can also be placed on a table, shelf or stands depending on the layout of your living area. While the speakers transfer wireless audio, they do require power to operate so you will need to plug the Citation Surround in using the supplied AC cord.

Harman Kardon Citation Surround

Harman Kardon Citation Bar

As mentioned, in order for the Citation Surround speakers to work, they must be connected to the Citation Bar. The Citation Bar is a 150W soundbar which acts as a receiver for the 5.1 Citation surround sound system. Inputs include Bluetooth, 3 x HMDI with HDMI ARC, WiFi, optical, and ⅛-inch AUX. Perfect for most home theater setups. Also included is an IR repeater in case your Citation Bar blocks or obscures the TV’s IR receiver for the remote control.

Citation Bar

The Citation Bar comes with Google Assistant built-in which means you can use your home theater system much the same way as Siri or Google Assistant on your mobile.

It can be used as a regular sound bar which means it delivers audio for left, right and center or, it can be used as a center speaker with the Citation Tower. The Citation Tower is a pair of speakers which stand 3.8 foot high. Each speaker houses an 8” woofer, 2 x 4” low-mid drivers and a 1” tweeter producing 200W RMS.

Even though the Citation Tower produces a significant amount of low-end, you might also want to consider adding a Citation Sub. The 10” woofer produces an earth-shaking 200W RMS of power complimenting the system nicely.

Citation Sub

Pairing the Citation Bar

The Citation Bar features a touch screen display which works very similar to your mobile touch screen. You can swipe left/right and scroll up/down to access different menu options and settings. Pairing the Citation Bar with the Citation Surrounds is as easy as hitting a button in the menu at which point the speakers will automatically pair and configure. When paired, a notification “Surround setup successful” will appear on the Citation Bar touch screen. It’s that easy.

Both the Citation Tower and Citation Sub connect to the Citation Bar in exactly the same way.

More From The Harman Kardon Citation Series

As well as home theater speakers, the Citation Series also includes four standalone speakers for use in other areas of the home. These include (from smallest to largest) the Citation One, Citation 100, Citation 300, and Citation 500. These speakers can play independently of each other or be connected to create an integrated home speaker system.

Each speaker has a touch screen similar to the Citation Bar which allows you to change settings on the speaker, see current track playing and control music selection, connect to other Citation speakers and chat to Google Assistant.

Citation One
Citation One
  • Power Output: 40W RMS
  • Speaker Drivers: 1 x 3.5” low-frequency driver with 1 x ¾” tweeter
  • Inputs: Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Best for: Small rooms, study, bedside table, background music
Citation 100
Citation 100
  • Power Output: 50W RMS
  • Speaker Drivers: 1 x 4” low-frequency driver with 1 x ¾” tweeter
  • Inputs: Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Best for: Small to medium rooms, study, bedside table, background music
Citation 300
Citation 300
  • Power Output: 100W RMS
  • Speaker Drivers: 2 x 3.5” low-frequency driver with 2 x ¾” tweeter
  • Inputs: Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Best for: Medium to large rooms, entertainment areas
Citation 500
Citation 500
  • Power Output: 50W RMS
  • Speaker Drivers: 2 x 5” low-frequency driver with 2 x 1” tweeter
  • Inputs: Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Best for: Medium to large rooms, entertainment areas

Conclusion

The Citation Series represents the start of a new generation of speakers and home entertainment systems. With the likes of Sonos and Enclave Audio, Harman Kardon certainly isn’t the pioneer of this type of fully integrated wireless speaker system, but they have definitely raised the bar with the Citation series.

If you’re going to purchase the Citation Bar, including the Citation Surround is a no-brainer. Obviously, including the Citation Sub is also important to create a full 5.1 surround sound system.

Review Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Harman Kardon Citation Surround
Rating
51star1star1star1star1star
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