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Harman unleashes a barrage of audio products at CES 2018

By Liu Hongzuo - on 10 Jan 2018, 2:12pm

Harman unleashes a barrage of audio products at CES 2018

Harman International isn't holding back at CES 2018. The U.S.-based, Samsung-owned audio firm unleashed a barrage of audio products housed under various labels. There's a new pair of AKG headphones, a Harman Kardon portable speaker with Amazon Alexa compatibility, and a whole bunch of JBL stuff.

Without further ado, here are the new products.


AKG Marquee N5005 Headphone

These Hi-Res Audio-certified in-ear-headphones offer a warm bass response. Its five-driver configuration is a hybrid of one 9.2mm dynamic driver with four balanced armature drivers. The audiophile-grade N5005 also features a scratch-resistant body on a high-gloss black ceramic look. On the in-ears, you can find a three-button remote with microphone for calls. It lasts up to eight hours when used wirelessly via Bluetooth.

The AKG Marquee N5005 Headphone has an official retail price of US$999.95 (~S$1335.13). Local pricing and availability to be confirmed at a later date.


Harman Kardon Allure Portable

The Harman Kardon Allure Portable is a portable speaker with built-in support for Amazon Alexa voice assistant software. It's a takes after the existing Allure smart speaker that appeared at IFA 2017, but the former version isn't as portable as this CES 2018 product. The speakers use two 1.7-inch, 20W full-range drivers, and it has far-field voice recognition for users issuing commands at Alexa from a distance. It has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming capabilities, with the latter supporting up to 96kHZ/2bits in bitrate. A single charge has 10 hours of battery life.

The Harman Kardon Allure Portable will retail at US$199 (~S$265.77). Local pricing and availability to be confirmed at a later date.


JBL Endurance and JBL Reflect sports headphones

JBL's sports-focused headphones making an appearance are the ones from its Endurance and Reflect range. 

The Reflect series will have a new Reflect Mini 2 and a Reflect Contour 2 - successors to existing Reflect in-ear headphones. Both offer IPX5-rated sweat-proofing, have wireless playback with 10-hour battery lives, and they have a three-button remote with microphone for calls. 

Both JBL Reflect headphones will retail at US$99.95 (~S$133.49). Local pricing and availability to be confirmed at a later date.

The Endurance series is slightly different with four different sports-focused headphones for specific activities. For instance, Endurance Run is a regular wired set with IPX5 sweat-proofing, while Endurance Sprint has a wireless earbud form factor and IPX7 rating. Endurance Jump uses a neckband form factor and hooked earbuds with automatic play/pause when users wear and remove the device during activity. Endurance Dive goes aquatic, with 1GB of onboard music storage, while sharing the Jump's features.

The JBL Endurance headphones series has a price range of US$19.99 to US$89.99 (~S$26.70 to ~S$120.19). Local pricing and availability to be confirmed at a later date.


JBL Everest with Google Assistant support

The JBL Everest wireless headphones series now support voice-activated Google Assistant. The sensors are located on the ear cup, enabling users to use voice commands for the JBL Everest headsets. There are three new models: Everest 710GA (with an around-ear design and 25 hours uptime), Everest 310GA (on-ear design with 20 hours uptime), and Everest 110GA (in-ear design with 8 hours uptime).

The JBL Everest headphones series have not announced pricing as of writing, but it will be available in "Spring 2018" via select retailers.


JBL Link View

The JBL Link View is a smart speaker with a display and support for voice-controlled Google Assistant. The device uses a high-definition 8-inch touch display and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for user interactivity. Besides Google Assistant, the Link View also has built-in Chromecast support. As a speaker, it uses two front-firing stereo speakers together with its rear-facing passive radiator. JBL designed the Link View for easy cleaning while taking up less space, so it has its uses in the kitchen, too.

The JBL Link View will only be available in the U.S. starting in "Summer 2018", with other regions to follow at a later date.


JBL portable speakers

The JBL line-up wouldn't be complete without their funky portable speakers. The JBL Clip, JBL Xtreme, and JBL Go ranges will receive refreshes and/or upgrades.

The ultra-portable JBL Clip 3 reuses the carabiner form factor that's inherent to the portable speaker's design. This time, the carabiner's interior now boasts a JBL-patterned rubber lining for better surface grip, and the speaker itself has IPX7-rated water-proofing. The Clip 3 will also feature carabiners that match the speaker's color; there's Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, Fiesta Red, River Teal, Stone Grey, Dusty Pink, Steel White, Forest Green, Mustard Yellow, and Desert Sand.

JBL Clip 3 will retail at US$59.95 (~S$80.07) in "Spring 2018". Local pricing and availability to be confirmed at a later date.

The JBL Go 2 is a refreshed version of the affordable, palm-sized JBL Go portable speakers. Its new design is now IPX7-rated water-proof, with up to 5 hours of playback. It has a retail price of US$39.95 (~S$53.36). Local pricing and availability to be confirmed at a later date.

Lastly, there's the JBL Xtreme 2, the upgrade to the existing performance-geared JBL Xtreme portable speaker. The new design offers IPX7-rated water-proofing, "enhanced sound quality, larger bass", and up to 15 hours of playback. Topping it off is JBL Connect+, a proprietary software that allows more than 100 Connect+-compatible speakers to wirelessly link together.

The JBL Xtreme 2 will retail at US$299.95 (~S$400.60) starting in "Spring 2018". Local pricing and availability to be confirmed at a later date.

Source: Harman International

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