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Is the Harman Kardon Allure really alluring?

September 04, 2018 12:22 IST

At Rs 24,499, the Allure is priced significantly higher than other offerings in the same segment, says Dhruv Munjal.

Photograph: Courtesy harmankardon.com
 

To begin with, a word of praise for the branding guys at Harman Kardon for coming up with a name for this speaker that befits its appearance.

The Harman Kardon Allure is, after all, alluring, fusing a splendid design with exceptional sound.

At 2.5 kg, and made up of three drivers (38mm each) and a sub-woofer (90mm), the Allure can seem a bit bulky, but that is well compensated for by its elegant design -- a grille at the bottom and a plastic covering on top.

The LED strip that displays white, blue and red, depending on what mode is on, is particularly pleasing to the eye.

Photograph: Courtesy harmankardon.com

The standout among its features is the Amazon Alexa.

Getting there, however, isn’t the most straightforward route.

You must first go through the HK Alexa Setup app followed by the Amazon Alexa app itself to get the AI assistant working.

An easier option, of course, is the Bluetooth feature.

But even that sees you encountering somewhat unresponsive touch buttons on the circular panel that take their own time to get fully going.

When successfully installed, though, Alexa performs tasks such as reading out news, weather updates and, of course, playing music with considerable ease.

There are other apps such as Saavn, Ola and Zomato thrown in, too.

As for the sound -- I played a mix of Foo Fighters, Frank Sinatra and multiple seasons of Coke Studio -- it is slightly heavy on bass but the output is largely clear and lively.

At higher volumes, though, the bass sometimes drowns out the vocals.

But that is not to question the Allure's versatility: it responds to the needs of different genres rather well.

The durable build and funky design come for a hefty price, however.

At Rs 24,499, the Allure is priced significantly higher than other offerings in the same segment.

Amazon's own Echo Plus comes for Rs 14,999. And that may act as a serious deterrent for some smart speaker-seekers despite the Allure's mostly impressive performance.

 

Dhruv Munjal
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