It can be hard to find a premium smart speaker at a decent price — oftentimes you'll be stuck spending more than you want to get the room-filling sound you're looking for. If you're on the hunt for a deal, Harman Kardon's Citation One smart speaker is on sale for just $80 at Best Buy.
In an ideal world, we'd be at the IFA 2020 trade show in Berlin right now learning about Harman and subsidiary JBL's new products in person, but the new reality means we've had to settle for digital briefings this time around. Nevertheless, the company is launching a raft of new products, headlined by new true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation.
Google is updating its Fast Pair protocol with new accommodations for true wireless earbuds. Some of these changes were first tipped back at Google I/O 2019, but with today's launch of the second-generation Pixel Buds, it would probably be the most apt time to introduce some features tailored specifically towards that type of Bluetooth accessory.
Harman Kardon, the high-end cousin of JBL and AKG (all owned by Samsung), is launching its first new personal audio products in six years with its Fly series. Since it's 2020 now, they're all wireless/Bluetooth models spanning the three most popular form factors. There's the Fly ANC, an over-ear headphone with active noise cancellation, Fly TWS true wireless earbuds, and lastly, Fly BT earbuds with the old neck-dangling connection wire.
In the Samsung-owned Harman audio empire, consisting of JBL, AKG, and others, Harman Kardon is the original brand and it still has a fairly decent reputation for making products with relative audiophile appeal. The group is no stranger to Google Assistant-equipped devices, but the Citation/Enchant range of speakers, subs, towers, and soundbars really caught our attention when it was announced last summer. This could be the versatile Sonos competitor we've been waiting for.
The range went on sale last month, and I've been able to test the cheapest speaker in the lineup, the Citation One. At $200, it's competing with the Sonos One (I wonder where it got the name from), as well as other Assistant speakers from Sony, LG, JBL, and many more.