The Sonos Arc, a new soundbar from Sonos, has been creating a buzz for some time now. Similarly, in 2020, Harman Kardon launched the new Citation MultiBeam 700, a successor to the gigantic Citation Bar. The MultiBeam 700 is the second soundbar in the line of Harman Kardon Citation products.

The Sonos Arc and the Citation MultiBeam 700 are very similar, and both fall within the same price points. This gives us a basis for comparison. What are the similarities between these soundbars? And how are they different? This article delves into the world of both soundbars.

Performance

The Sonos Arc is built to improve the sound from your television. It features a Dolby Atmos technology through which the soundbar sends sound through the ceiling and down to your listening point, giving the impression that the sound originates from above. Therefore, your favorite series or movies sound more realistic. Sonos Arc also comes with Trueplay, which allows you to fine-tune the soundbar to match the sound quality of your room. So, you get to enjoy the best sound from different parts of the room. Google Assistant allows you to control the soundbar through voice commands and add it to your home’s smart home. Engadget has a great Youtube video about the qualities of Sonos Arc:

Series and movies come to life with the Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700.

Image 01 - harman kardon Citatio Multi-beam 700 Sound Bar Home Theater HKCITAMB700GRYAS

The MultiBeam technology allows you to play surround sound without the need for extra speakers. The Sound from your movies is very realistic and you can hear every tiny sound. Connecting the soundbar to other citation speakers in your home helps you create a multi-room setup that allows you to relish your favorite music. Through the Google Assistant, you can get weather reports or schedule appointments in your calendar by simply saying “Hey Google” before asking your question. The video below discusses the qualities of the Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700 Soundbar:

The Verdict: The MultiBeam technology gives the Citation MultiBeam 700 the edge.

Comparison Table: Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700 vs Sonos Arc

Sonos ArcHarman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700
Connected viaHDMI, opticalHDMI, optical
InstallationSimpleSimple
Voice AssistantGoogle AssistantGoogle Assistant
Own appYesNo
BluetoothNoYes
AirPlayYesYes
DisplayNoYes

Installation

Installation of the Citation MultiBeam 700 is through Google Home. There’s really not much difference between setting up the Sonos Arc and the MultiBeam 700.  It might even turn out to be easier. Since the Citation MultiBeam 700 doesn’t have an app, setup can only be carried out through Google Home.

For the Sonos Arc, setup is a breeze. You connect the soundbar to a socket, then download the app, which provides a guide on the installation steps. It takes about 15 minutes for the soundbar to be connected to the TV. And if you want to add additional speakers and subwoofers, that is also very easy. The app will also guide you through the process. Sonos Arc comes with TruePlay, a feature that allows you to fine-tune your soundbar to match the room in which it is situated. This results in the perfect sound for every room.

The Verdict: The Sonos Arc has a proprietary app which makes installation easier and more seamless.

Sound quality

Despite being a marginally bigger device, the sound from the Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700 is crystal clear, with voices coming across as clear and sharp. Because the bass reflect port on the MultiBeam 700 is situated at the back, it produces a deeper bass than the Sonos Arc. And as a result of the Harman Kardon’s MultiBeam Technology, you get to enjoy true-to-life surround sound and save on the cost of buying additional rear speakers.

The sound from the Sonos Arc is truly powerful, despite it being a fairly small device. The 8 built-in woofers produce warm and full tones, as well as a rich bass. The 3 built-in tweeters help add several details to the sound, ensuring that every sound you hear is crystal clear. From when the twigs snap as someone walks through a forest, to the crackling of a fire.

The Verdict: The bass reflect port on the Citation MultiBeam 700 makes for better bass and sound quality.

Controls

To operate the Citation MultiBeam 700, you can use the display on the upper part of the soundbar, the included remote, or the Google Home app. If your connection to the soundbar is through HDMI ARC, you also have the ability to operate the soundbar using your TV remote. Using the display, you can create a multi-room system or surround system. Also, you can add extra speakers to the existing group through the Google Home app.

The Sonos Arc comes with an integrated voice assistant, which allows you to control both the soundbar and other smart devices or speakers in the home through your voice. For instance, you can connect a set of multiple speakers through the Sonos App and create a multi-room setup or home cinema. With the app, you can also listen to the special radio service on Sonos Arc or edit the sound reproduction.

The Verdict: The Citation MultiBeam 700 has more control options and that makes it a better choice.

Expansion

The Citation MultiBeam 700 is a great choice anytime you need to create a home cinema or stereo system. All you need to do is add a subwoofer along with two Citation Surround speakers or Towers. It is possible to connect these devices through the Google Home app.

For the Sonos Arc, you can expand through the rear speakers or subwoofer. According to Sonos, the ARC contains 5 channels and provides a surround sound through the soundbar, which gives the sound a feeling of being more expansive. You can definitely get stereo sound from the Sonos Arc. All you need to do to get surround experience is select two rear speakers like the Sonos One. And if you need to hear deeper bass, expansion with a Sonos Sub will allow you to do that.

The Verdict: Both devices have great options for expansion.

Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700 vs Sonos Arc – Likes and Dislikes

Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700

Likes

  • The soundbar comes with optical and HDMI connectors for connection to the TV
  • Adding the soundbar to the Google Home multi-room system allows you to stream music all over the house.
  • Through the integrated Google Assistant, it is possible to use voice commands to control the soundbar.

Dislikes

  • You require the Citation Surround or Towers for a 5.1 surround setup because it is impossible to connect the soundbar and the Citation One.

Sonos Arc

Likes

  • With Trueplay, the sound of your speakers is fine-tuned to match your room’s acoustics.
  • Dolby Atmos sends effects to your listening position through the ceiling, thereby making the sound more expansive.
  • Through the integrated Google Assistant, it is possible to use voice commands to control the soundbar.

Dislikes

  • No Bluetooth connectivity between a smartphone and the soundbar.

The Verdict

What we’ve got here are two solid soundbars with great quality. The Citation MultiBeam 700 is somewhat bigger and really easy to install, while the Sonos Arc is specially designed to work with larger TVs. Sonos has developed its own proprietary app that allows you to operate the Arc. For the Harman Kardon, the Google Home app comes in handy.

You get a powerful and detailed sound from both soundbars. And while the Sonos produces more bass, the technology on the Citation MultiBeam 700 gives you the feeling of sound coming from different directions. So, if you want a device with surround features, but can’t meet up with the budget of the Sonos Arc, the Citation MultiBeam 700 is a capable and cost-efficient alternative. Besides, it contributes a great deal to a highly efficient multi-room sound ecosystem.

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