Harman Kardon Allure Voice-Activated Home Speaker with Alexa, Black
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- Powerful, 360-degree Harman Kardon sound
- Powered by Amazon alexa voice service
- Far-field voice recognition
- Wireless Bluetooth streaming
- 360-degree lighting and elegant design
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Nexus Games LLC||PHOTOTECH||1 SHOP DIRECT||Amazon.com||1 SHOP DIRECT|
|Connectivity Technology||wi-fi, bluetooth||bluetooth||—||—||—||—|
|Item Dimensions||8.46 x 8.46 x 10.8 in||39.37 x 39.37 x 39.37 in||12.5 x 13 x 8.5 in||6.28 x 10.24 x 10.94 in||8.74 x 13.58 x 12.79 in||6.28 x 10.24 x 10.94 in|
|Item Weight||6.94 lbs||6.25 lbs||7.2 lbs||4.54 lbs||1.25 lbs||4.54 lbs|
|Power Source||AC||—||battery-powered||battery-powered||AC & Battery||battery-powered|
Harman Kardon Allure is a voice-activated speaker powered by Amazon Alexa voice service in a beautifully crafted design. Thanks to the built-in 4-microphone array, far-field voice recognition enables Allure to hear you from across the room. Dual-band Wi-Fi connects to Alexa voice service, just Ask and Alexa can answer questions, play music, place an order, control your smart home, and more. Its 360-degree sound fills up the room while the bass that you love thunders out from the built-in subwoofer. The 360-degree and responsive lighting animates the semi-transparent body provides a stunning design element to your home. You can also stream your favorite music from your mobile device via Bluetooth
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First off, you have to set this up with a Harmon-Karden app. You can't set it up with the default Alexa app. However, once you do have it set up, you can edit the settings from the Alexa app like any other. But you'll still need the HK app to do a few specialized things like firmware updates, and some options that are not Alexa based, like turning the light on or off.
Cosmetically, this looks like a fat Echo - one that's gone pear shaped. Height wise it's in-between the v2.0 Echo and the original footprint. I have a picture attached to this review of the HK device with a G1 and G2 echo device on either side of it. It's also quite reflective. It's got a clear plastic top, which if you look in my picture closely, you can see the window of my office reflected in it. When it is playing music or talking or whatever, the light in the middle pulses. I don't think it's in time with the music, it has more of a "Knight Rider KITT" eye feeling to it. Or the original Cylons from Battlestar Galactica. If I'm wrong about that, I'm wrong, but that's what it looks like. You can turn that off if you want (see remark about light in setup app). Overall, I really like the cosmetics of the thing. It's got some heft to it, you won't think this is some cheap piece of plastic AT ALL. I wish it wasn't so large, but that is kind of unavoidable given the next point here...
I got this for one reason, and one reason alone. Better sound. As much as I love my Echo devices, they're not (nor should they be, really) a replacement for a home theatre system. This device is kind of in the middle somewhere (before I got it). This isn't going to replace a full on home theatre system for audio. But it is MILES ahead of the standard Amazon Echo devices. No question. Played some things like Thriller by Michael Jackson, The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, Roundabout by Yes, Hung Up by Madonna, Human Feel by Journey, Money by Pink Floyd, & Another one Bites the Dust by Queen. You get the idea Tracks that are a bit bass heavy. HOLY COW did it sound amazing. I love this thing.
So the bottom line with all this is I love this. Looks good, feels good when you have to pick it up, sounds AMAZING, but..
I'm only giving it a three star review. Why? It doesn't play nice with the other Echo devices in my house. I have a total of five echo devices in my house (this one not withstanding). When I was testing this, I kept setting off music on my other devices. Apparently this HK device doesn't have the Echo Spatial Perception that is built into all the devices from Amazon, and as such Echos from other rooms were responding in addition to the HK device in my office. That is *NOT* good, and severely impacts the usefulness of this device. If this HK device was the only one you had, this likely wouldn't be an issue. But given I have five other ones, it is. I have to really turn my voice down to the point where the other devices don't hear me.
If HK reads this - get the ability to play nice with the other devices sorted out, and this would be a five star review. As far as I know, Harmon Kardon is responsible for software updates. I seriously hope this is something that y'all can fix, as I'd love to make me edit this review and give it five stars.
Come on HK.. Get the Echo Spatial Perception working please! Make me love this vs just "like" it.
Also, this was comical, in Amazon's listing for the device, they have this warning.
CHOKING HAZARD -- This toy is a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.
A marble? What's with that, Amazon? Has nothing to do with my review or stars, but it just made me laugh. :)
The speaker itself is considerably larger than my original Echo - wider and heavier. The lights on this are brighter as well - when playing music at night or listening to a book, you can leave the light on and it works as a night light. You can also turn the light off if you prefer. Setting this up takes a bit longer than my Echo or Dot - it's slower making the initial WiFi connection, but once you link to Amazon via the Alexa App, you're good to go. It connects via Bluetooth to both my LG V10 phone and my Samsung tablets without drama.
This unit is significantly louder at every volume setting than the original Echo and makes the Dot sound like she's whispering. I have this in our formal living room where we have 30 feet tall ceilings, grass cloth covered walls and an enormous open space - the room was designed for correct accoustics with my Grandmother's grand piano and music simply sounds beautiful in here. The Harman Kardon Alexa sits on a table where the piano used to be and the sound at volume 4 simply envelopes you no matter where you are in the room. Set the volume to 6 and I can hear my book or music two rooms away almost as if it's floating through the halls. The sound quality is excellent and playing Beethoven or opera or country music renders each instrument precisely from tiny flutes to cellos and twangy fiddles. I'm immensely pleased at the improvement from the Echo to this for just music.
The reason for the one star deduction is because I thought/expected the Harman Kardon to by fully, 100% integrated with Alexa. It is not. This unit cannot be linked to the Fire TV sticks, meaning that I cannot use it to verbally control the living room television. It cannot be linked to my Echo and Dot units. That means we can't include the Harman Kardon speaker in our multi room group so the same song/book can be heard throughout the house. We cannot do the Drop In skill where Alexa acts as an intercom system for multiple rooms. There are a couple of other skills this speaker isn't able to perform simply because it doesn't speak to the Amazon Alexa products. If they can correct this glaring deficiency, then this would be a five star product and one i would consider buying for the guest suite and master bedroom. As a stand alone Alexa unit, this is a top notch choice, but if you want to link to your existing Echo, you can't do so.
I’ve been using the Harmon Kardon Allure for over a week now and I’m very pleased with results, minus a few quirks.
• The speaker sound is very good, crisp, and clean. This works very well in our large kitchen. However, this is replacing a Bose Sound Dock so apples-to-apples, the Bose sound is definitely louder/better. I did expect this to be the case however going in.
• Voice recognition is very good even from way across the room. That said, the speaker is supposed to be able to hear you over loud music. I do find at times it does not, and the music volume needs to be lowered in order to work.
• We have the speaker hooked up to our Prime account and asking Alexa to play music from certain artists is awesome. It does so quickly and always accurately. This is the feature I like the most!
• Setting reminders is also an awesome feature. You ask Alex to set a reminder at a certain time (you can name the reminder also so Alex reads it back later) and it will remind you exactly as scheduled. Very nice feature!
• You can create lists, also a nice feature! However, you cannot delete items from the list without going to your phone app…are you kidding me? They made this nice feature very laborious and must change it in a software update!
• Some people think the speaker is big, but it’s not bigger than my Bose Sound Dock so no issues there with size as far as I’m concerned.
Bottom line, this item is definitely worth the money. If not for a few minor bugs my rating would be 5 stars. I definitely recommend to all.