JBL/Harman launch smart soundbar, new speakers, and a guitar amp/speaker combo

JBL and parent company Harman Audio have announced four compelling new speaker lines that the companies will showcase at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

Wireless audio is the big theme in this year’s lineup, with JBL announcing a soundbar and two wireless speaker lines, and Harman Kardon announcing a new high-end home theater line that can wirelessly create a 5.1 surround sound system.

Harman Kardon’s new smart speaker line called the Citation Series is perhaps the most exciting of all the home theater products showcased at the brand’s CES 2019 showroom at the Hard Rock Hotel. Built with Google Assistant on board, alongside Chromecast-based, high-resolution streaming and multiroom audio support in eight different sizes (from the tabletop One model to a pair of floor-standing speakers), this is already one of the most versatile systems at the show.

That’s not all the Citation series has going for it, either. The system’s tubular floor-standing speakers also offer WiSA, an exciting new technology that allows them to deliver high-resolution surround sound directly from the speakers themselves, no transmitter required. Prices for the Citation series range from $200 for the small One model to $2,500 for the floor-standing towers. The speakers are currently available on Harman Kardon’s website.

The new JBL Link Bar, the company’s soundbar solution, will feature both Android TV and Google Assistant built-in, allowing buyers immediate access to smart TV functionality should their TV set not already include it. It also means that content searching on YouTube and other platforms will be extremely easy, thanks to Google Assistant’s excellent voice search functionality.

That plus built-in Chromecast means you’ll be able to easily watch your favorite films and TV shows without ever grabbing a remote. The Link Bar will retail for $400 (with an optional subwoofer that costs $300), and will be available for purchase this spring.


JBL also announced two different lines of portable speakers, the most interesting of which is called the JBL PartyBox. The new PartyBox will come in 200-, 300-, and 1,000-watt sizes, and is designed to be the perfect portable party solution — it will even come with built-in guitar and microphone inputs, should you want to jam out on the go. In addition to stereo sound, each PartyBox will feature built-in lighting, so you can truly feel like a rock star while blasting your favorite music. The PartyBox speakers will cost $350, $450, and $1,000, respectively, and will be available in July.

Those interested in something a bit lighter in weight will be interested in JBL’s new Flip 5 speaker. The latest addition to the company’s cylindrical Bluetooth speaker line (that we’ve been big fans of for years) features an all-new acoustic design for even better sound. It will retail for just $100, and will hit the market in spring.


Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.

Amazon slashes prices on UE Boom and MegaBoom 3 Bluetooth speakers

With just the right combination of great sound, a rugged design, and an overall sleek aesthetic, the UE MegaBoom 3 is our favorite Bluetooth speaker. And Amazon is offering a rare discount on it right now.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Home Theater

How to connect your Roku device to your hotel room’s TV

Staying at a hotel, but can't bear to be parted from your favorite streaming shows and movies? Take them with you with our complete guide to using your Roku on the road when staying at a hotel.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu; each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.
Product Review

Audio-Technica's M50xBT headphones bring signature studio sound to the streets

Audio pros may balk at cutting the cord on studio headphones, but it’s hard to argue with these results. Audio-Technica’s wireless ATH-M50xBT offer massive battery life and killer sound you can take anywhere.

Apple’s Beats to reportedly release truly wireless PowerBeats earphones in April

Beats will reportedly release a truly wireless PowerBeats earphones next month, following the announcement of Apple's new AirPods. The second-generation AirPods received the new H1 chip, which is also expected to power the new PowerBeats.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Deadwood, John Wick 3, Shazam, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for John Wick: Chapter 3, Deadwood, Shazam!, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Cold War, Shoplifters, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Cold War follows a tragic romance, The Inventor examines a famous fraud case, and more.
Movies & TV

Apple teases Monday’s big event with an early look into Steve Jobs Theater

Apple is gearing up for a big event on Monday where it's expected to unveil a video-streaming service. But more than 12 hours before it starts, the company has apparently already cranked up the event's livestream ...
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.