Harman Kardon MultiBeam 1100 betters Sonos Arc in Dolby Atmos soundbar wars

The Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 1100 is an all-in-one surround sound soundbar package

Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 1100
(Image credit: Harman Kardon)

You don't need to look far to find an all-in-one soundbar with built-in Dolby Atmos surround sound decoding. A hotly contested market always brings out the best in companies wanting to rise to the top: and Harman Kardon's new Citation MultiBeam 1100 looks to take on the Sonos Arc in a head-to-head soundbar battle. 

This isn't a small soundbar to beef up the sound of smaller tellies, though, as its 1.15-metre length will attest: this is designed to be an all consuming soundbar to up the quality of even large panel tellies that don't have the internal space for ample speakers.

Citation MultiBeam 1100: Better than Sonos Arc?

So what does the MultiBeam 1100 offer? Principally it's all about top-end sound, from low-end (all the way down to a chonky 52Hz) to the sparkly top-end (up to 20kHz). 

But it's not just about frequency range, it's about sound distribution too: the MultiBeam 1100 comprises 11 speakers, including two dedicated upfiring ones. That's why it's Dolnby Atmos certified - you'll get the surround sound impact from the vertical channels. There's DTS:X decoding too, for relevant content mixed in that 3D format. 

Want even more still? Harman Kardon offers additional Citation products, including a subwoofer, so if you buy the extras then you can transform the MultiBeam into a multi-box 5.1.2 surround system (that's five channels across the front, one subwoofer, and two upfiring). 

For connectivity there's AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music (MRM) and Chromecast all built into the system, while the eARC HDMI channel will play nice with TVs for easy audio passthrough (there's both an input and output channel to see to that, with support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range passthrough too).

So how much will you need to pay for this big ol' soundbar package? The Citation MultiBeam 1100 will be priced £799.99 when it goes on sale in the UK in May this year (it's €999 in Europe). 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.