In brief: Apple may have received some criticism over the HomePod’s $349 price tag, though it’s still cheaper than the $399 Google Home Max. But for those who want a high-end speaker with Google Assistant support that’s even more expensive, check out Harman Kardon’s $700 Citation 500.
The device packs 200W stereo speakers, which sit behind its grey or black wool cover, that support 24-bit/96KHz high-definition audio streaming. It also features a color LCD panel on the top for controlling playback, if, for some reason, you’re not in the mood to give it verbal orders.
As it has full Google Assistant support, the Citation 500 can be used to control your smart home devices, allowing owners to turn off lights, alter the temperature of thermostats, and access other IoT products via voice commands.
Harman Kardon already had speakers with support for various voice assistant—the $249 Allure with Alexa, and the $199 Invoke for Cortana—but this is its first high-end (i.e. very expensive) offering.
While the speaker will probably appeal to audiophiles, its price is likely going to prove a sticking point for many people. It’s listed at £549, which translates to roughly $710, making it $300 pricier than the Google Home Max, though it would be a big surprise if it didn’t sound a lot better than Google’s offering.
According to The Verge, the Citation 500 will debut at IFA, which starts at the end of this week, and will be available for preorder in Europe near the end of September. TechSpot will be attending the Berlin event, so we’ll let you know if the high price is justified.