Right now, the Dolby Atmos soundbar industry is exploding. Harman Kardon’s new Citation MultiBeam 1100, which features MultiBeam and Dolby Atmos to bring movie soundtracks to life, is the latest name to join the party.
To create authentic Dolby Atmos sound, the MultiBeam 1100 employs Harman Kardon’s MultiBeam technology and 11 loudspeakers, which include two up-firing height channels.
The latest addition to the Citation Series claims to produce immersive, cinematic 3D surround sound and powerful bass to enhance music, movies, and games in multi-dimensional surround sound from a single bar, going head-to-head with Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.
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The Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 1100 is a comprehensive home entertainment system that includes accessibility to over 300 online music streaming platforms via AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music (MRM), and Chromecast developed for playing music, podcasts, internet radio, and more across the house.
Harman Kardon has great hopes for this all-in-one home cinema solution, with an HDMI eARC connectivity and automatic room calibration.
The MultiBeam 1100 looks terrific with the typical Harman Kardon style baked in, along with some eye-catching metallic elements. Classic Black or Winter Gray real-wool fabric from Kvadrat, a leader from Europe in high-quality acoustic materials, is offered for the soundbar.
With a price of £799 (about $990 / AU$1,400) for its May launching in the UK and Europe, which is expected to come in Australia later, but a US launch is not presently planned, it is directly competing with the Sonos Arc, which employs 11 speakers to create Dolby Atmos audio but costs a bit more.
The 11 speakers provide 5.1.2 channels, according to Harman, with six front-firing racetracks (i.e., oval) drivers, two upfiring full-range drivers for Atmos height, and three tweeters, one facing forward as the center channel and two slanted on the left and right for positional width.
Despite the promise of “deep, rich bass,” we expect it to be a little light on the insignificant compared to a speaker with a specialized subwoofer – but then you can easily add a Citation Sub or Citation Sub S for more oomph. The latter is a more compact and less expensive choice that will fit individuals who desire big sound in little spaces.
The Citation MultiBeam 1100’s primary drawbacks are that it does not support DTS audio (which is not something concerning for most people but may irritate home theater lovers) and that the HDMI passthrough does not support HDMI 2.1 capabilities.
Though the Sony HT-A7000 is a comparable soundbar that contains it, the latter is still somewhat uncommon… But it is also around 50% more expensive, so we are not too upset with Harman for skipping it.
Of course, the key concern here is how it will sound in comparison to the Sonos, which is still the best-in-class for Atmos sound for the many years after its release.