The summer might be winding down, but JBL and Harman are just heating up with a few announcements this week at IFA 2018 that everyone should be interested in.
Everyone knows that HARMAN is one of the biggest names in home, car, and audio experiences, so it’s no surprise the award-winning company announced even more products to make your daily life better. The theme for HARMAN and JBL this year was “Lifestyle Audio Solutions”, and they surely did not disappoint.
If you are a huge fan of JBL’s Charge series, you’ll be excited to know that the JBL Charge 4 is coming later this fall, boasting 20 hours of total playtime, on top of the ability to charge an additional device. One problem I’ve always had with Bluetooth speakers is the fact that they may be small and compact, but many aren’t great for the places I’d usually use the speaker: a bathroom, a pool, or even a gym. Luckily with the JBL Charge 4, it has an IPX7 waterproof design that makes it a great companion for your trip. On top of that, the JBL Charge 4 comes in colors like Desert Sand, Mustard Yellow, Dusty Pink, Grey Stone, River Teal, Ocean Blue, Midnight Black, Steel White, Forest Green. You’ll be able to purchase the JBL Charge 4 later this year for $149.95.
Some of you may look at the JBL Charge 4 and feel as though you want a bit more out of your Bluetooth speaker. What if you want to get the party started in an epic way? Why not check out the JBL PartyBox series? The JBL PartyBox 200 ($379.95) and the JBL PartyBox 300 ($449.95) are both two sound packed speakers that boast a great sound, great look, and even comes with three lighting options so you can add an ambiance to the room.
Coming complete with a jack for a microphone or instrument, you can do some karaoke with friends, or practice on your guitar. One additional feature we found pretty cool is that you can actually upload a playlist to a USB drive and connect it to the speaker, which is perfect if you have friends that want to bring their music over to your place or vice versa. The JBL PartyBox series is available now.
The first product announced on the docket is the JBL LINK BAR. Designed to make your TV smarter than it already is, the soundbar features JBL’s signature sound, with new highlight features like Google Assistant built-in. Imagine being able to quickly get to your favorite film on Netflix all by simply saying “Hey Google”. What makes the soundbar that much greater is it’s all one piece, no additional pieces needed. It also has Android TV built-in, which I’m sure would go great with a product like the Chromecast (even though it is built-into the soundbar) or NVIDIA Shield. JBL didn’t stop there, however. With three HDMI ports, and a single HDMI ARC output, you can easily use the soundbar as a 4k hub for your favorite videos or games. Available in Spring 2019, the JBL LINK will cost $399. You can purchase an additional subwoofer for $249 as well.
Up next there’s the JBL LINK VIEW, a complete smart assistant that allows you to do virtually anything you can imagine. Coming complete with Google Assistant, the JBL Link View just like the LINK BAR works with Google Assistant, so you can listen to all of your favorite tunes from Google Play, Spotify, YouTube Music, and other various streaming services. Featuring HD audio streaming (24bit/96k), and an 8-inch touch display with a front facing camera, this is the perfect way of connecting to family and friends through video services such as Google Duo. It’s also IPX4 splash proof, so if you have it set up in your kitchen, all you have to do is wipe it down, and that homemade spaghetti sauce is gone in an instant. The JBL LINK VIEW will cost $299 when available.
In terms of personal audio experiences, JBL didn’t leave you hanging. Completely freeing themselves from wires are the JBL Everest 710GA (over-ear) and the JBL Everest 110GA (in-ear) wireless headphones. Just like everything JBL announced today, of course, they will both be receiving Google Assistant, so you can easily tell Google to “call my wife and let her know I’m in route home”. But there’s so much more to the new headphones than just providing quick assistance when your phone isn’t nearby. Each comes with touch sensors so you can control your audio, send a text, make a call, or just overall manage your day. A huge feature that JBL has that make them a must-have HAS to be the ShareMe 2.0, which allows you to pair the headphones with other Bluetooth headphones so you can share your media wirelessly. No more need for fussy cables and confusion. Both provide a quick two-hour recharge, and with the Everest, you’ll get over a day of listening time; with the 110GA giving you roughly 8 hours. Available in October, the JBL Everest 710GA will cost $249, and the 110GA will cost $99.99.
The biggest announcement that I saw was that of the HARMAN Citation Series. A completely configurable Home Audio speaker system, the Citation speakers are a state of the art pairing of premium audio, acoustic design, and cutting-edge specs that will be a must-have for every man cave, living room, and beyond. Just like many of the other JBL announcements, the Citation series will include Google Assistant which is great for making commands that you’d typically make daily. However, the Citation Series is a bit more sophisticated in the sense Harman’s signature design is the forefront of everything you get when it comes to purchasing. Available in Winter Gray or Class Black woof fabric from Kvadrat, the Citation Series comes complete with a high-resolution LCD touchscreen, built-in Chromecast, and multi-room functionality, so you can control the powerful 5.1-channel surround sound system from playing a single track, or even multiple tracks in different rooms.
With Chromecast integration, this allows the Citation Series to have over 300 audio and video streaming services to choose from. Everything from Plex, to Google Play, Netflix to Hulu will be available to you all in HD quality. Can you imagine if you put all these products together? Regardless if you are home or away, your every listening need will be met. If you’re interested, you can preorder the Citation Series which will be available in October.