Harman Kardon Citation Amp – The new amplifier with HD streaming…
With the latest product of the Harman Kardon Citation Series an elegant solution is to be made available to extend the Muliroom Audio-Streaming product line with a stereo integrated amplifier. The new Harman Kardon Citation Amp can thus be used as a stand-alone hi-fi system in an extremely flexible way. In addition to audio streaming via Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay, a wide range of interfaces, including HDMI, are available.
The music streaming sector, especially in the consumer segment, has been dominated for years by a number of manufacturers and their respective product lines, such as Bluesound from the Lenbrook Group, the wide range of Yamaha products based on Yamaha MusicCast, HEOS built in from Sound United LLC. and, of ever lesser importance, Sonos Inc. All of these solutions are technology platforms in their own right, all designed for maximum flexibility, but all of them are ultimately self-contained solutions.
Harman International Industries Inc. has taken a completely different approach, offering a flexible multi-room audio streaming system through its Harman Kardon brand, the Harman Kardon Citation Series.
The Harman Kardon Citation Series does not rely on its own technology platform. Instead, it chose Google Chromecast as the basis for multiroom audio streaming, but also added Apple AirPlay, so that the Harman Kardon Citation Series is not only very broadly based, but also equipped for a wide range of streaming services.
As already mentioned, the product line already offers a wide range of different solutions, but now a particularly exciting new addition is being added, namely the new Harman Kardon Citation Amp.
The Harman Kardon Citation Amp is intended to offer the possibility of creating a particularly compact hi-fi system, since this stereo integrated amplifier requires no more than a pair of loudspeaker systems. Of course, the main focus here is on music streaming via Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay, but this solution is also equipped with additional interfaces for the integration of various external sources.
The new Harman Kardon Citation Amp has been designed in such a way that it can be easily integrated into any living environment, the manufacturer promises. This solution is not only extremely compact and has a discreet black housing, but also offers a wide range of flexible installation options. The Harman Kardon Citation Amp can even be wall-mounted, so it can be used anywhere. It is especially important that an IR extender included in the scope of delivery guarantees full control during operation even if there is no direct line of sight for the infrared remote control included in the scope of delivery.
In addition, the new Harman Kardon Citation Amp is designed to be compatible with common home automation control systems such as Control4 or Crestron, making this solution extremely interesting for a wide range of custom installation projects. On the back of the Harman Kardon Citation Amp you will find not only the already mentioned connector for the IR Extender but also a 12 V trigger connector.
At the heart of the new Harman Kardon Citation Amp is a Class D amplifier module, whereby the developers rely on the so-called Digital Loop amplifier technology, which is intended to provide a particularly outstanding sound. After all, two times 125 watts are delivered by the “small” stereo integrated amplifier to speaker systems with an impedance of 8 ohms, and two times 200 watts are delivered when the impedance of the speakers is only 4 ohms. Sufficient power to control not only bookshelf speaker systems, but also one or the other stand speaker system without any problems.
As already mentioned several times, music streaming is shown here, primarily via Google Chromecast. This means that a wide range of different streaming offers can be used, including hi-res audio with up to 24 bit and 96 kHz. You don’t have to rely on a special app from Harman to control the Harman Kardon Citation Amp or the complete Harman Kardon Citation Series, there isn’t one, because you rely completely on Google itself, namely Google Home, which is available for Google Android as well as Apple iOS. This app is also used to set up the Harman Kardon Citation Amp.
As if that wasn’t enough, Apple AirPlay is also supported, so you are really prepared for all eventualities, no matter whether you prefer Google Android or Apple iOS as your platform.
The integration into the network can be done via an Ethernet interface, which guarantees a reliable connection with high performance. Alternatively, WiFi is also available via a WiFi module according to IEEE 802.11ac.
Smartphones and tablets as well as notebooks can be easily integrated via Bluetooth 4.2. This is very practical, for example, when you have friends or acquaintances visiting and can play this music directly without having to connect their mobile devices to the network.
On the back of the Harman Kardon Citation Amp you will find the power supply for the integrated power supply unit, and a number of connections for external sources, both digital and analogue. The most important of these is HDMI, which allows the new Harman Kardon Citation Amp to be connected directly to a TV set, providing a high-quality audio solution. Of course, Dolby Digital is supported and the HDMI interface features an ARC (Audio Return Channel) as well as HDMI CEC for central control with the remote control of the TV set alone. A coaxial and optical S/PDIF interface are also available, and analogue sources can be connected via a pair of cinch sockets. A line out (3.5 mm stereo mini-jack) and a separate output to connect an additional subwoofer are also included.
The new Harman Kardon Citation Amp will be offered in black, as described above. With dimensions of 215 x 75 x 230 mm it weighs 2.4 kg. The matching wall mounting device is unfortunately not included in the scope of delivery, but as described, the corresponding infrared remote control is.
According to the manufacturer, the new Harman Kardon Citation Amp should already be available in specialist shops these days. The recommended retail price is stated as € 599,- or CHF 699,-.
Getting to the point
The Harman Kardon Citation Amp is intended to offer the possibility of creating a particularly compact hi-fi system, since this stereo integrated amplifier requires no more than a pair of loudspeaker systems. Of course, the focus here is primarily on music streaming via Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay, but this solution is also equipped with additional interfaces for the integration of various external sources.
|Manufacturer:||Harman International Industries Inc.|
|Distribution:||Harman Deutschland GmbH|
How does the HK Citation Amp compare to the Sonos Amp in sound quality and features?
I would go for the Harman instead of Sonos, especially when it comes to sound quality and features!
How do you adjust the bass/treble/EQ controls without a display or an app? Appreciate its done via the remote but it has no way of displaying?
The app is the main control.
Thanks Michael, didn’t realise the amplifier had an app!
It’s just the Google Home App Harman Kardon is using for the complete Citation Series.
Thanks for this article! I own this amp since quiet recent. Took me some time to find out you need to connect with the Google Home App at first even if you only want to use the analogue AUX input connection.
But one I did that it runs fine. Although it gets quiet hot on top!
I can’t find any bass/treble/eq adjustments via the Google Home App. Only on the remote +/- bass.
Analogue I have a preamp in between so no problem there.
The dac/amp/control unit is engineered by a Dutch audio tech company. The control loop HK is talking about came from this company. This Citation Amp is the first commercial product with it. A rather unique and promising approach. The only other gear so far is the handmade TrueBlueBox also Dutch(Dordrecht)
http://www.axign.nl – Digital Audio Converter and Class D Amplifier Controller AX5689 inside. Class A(they say) performance with Class D efficiency.
So far sound wise I like it. Although a real volume knob would be so nice.
Hey Ronald, I was confused by this too so I contacted Harman over the weekend and today I received the following reply:
The Citation Amp equaliser settings can be changed by finding the IP address of the Amp in the Google Home app. Once you have the IP address, you can use a computer to search for it. Once you have found the Amp, you can change the equaliser settings.
On the remote you can only change the bass level. With the settings via the computer, you will have way more settings to change besides just the bass level.
I also found a copy of the manual online that explains it. Not the most ideal way but it works!
My amp is due to be despatched around 28th January so will feedback, currently trialling the Sonos Amp but I’d prefer a dedicated remote, Bluetooth and optical input.