Harman Kardon, a Samsung-owned speaker company, has unveiled its Google Assistant-powered smart speaker for around US$700, making available another high-end smart speaker with a high price tag.
The new speaker, called the Citation 500, has gray or black wool cover option. It looks similar to the current fabric-wrapped Google Home speakers.
It features 200W stereo, 24 bit/96Khz high-definition audio streaming, and a full-color LCD touch panel at the top of the device for manual control and display of music album and other media information.
As a Google Assistant-powered device, Citation 500 is able to search information online, play music, look up calendars, control connected home devices and trigger automation through Google Actions.
Harman Kardon has not taken sides in the smart speaker battle. The company has introduced an Alexa-powered speaker called Allure for US$249, a Cortana-enabled model called Invoke for US$199, and now the Google Assistant model. As a Samsung subsidiary, it may launch a speaker powered by Bixby in the future.
The Citation 500, officially priced at £549, will be available for pre-order in Europe at the end of September.
More high-end smart speakers have shown up in the market. Before Apple introduced its US$349 HomePod, smart speakers were all priced under US$200.
Google later released the Google Home Max for US$399, Bang and Olufsen introduced two speaker models last week for US$1,750 and US$2,250, and now Harman Kardon’s new Google speaker goes on sale for US$700.
It is possible that consumers who purchase high-end speakers have started to ask for voice-control features. Voice control may have gradually become a must-have feature for speakers, from high-end to low-end models.