Sunday, July 11, 2021

RBH Sound SI-1212 Signature In-Floor/In-Ceiling Subwoofer with DA-1802DSP Amplifier Subwoofer System Review

If you have been like the majority of people during the pandemic, you have either been quarantined, done a lot of binge watching, or both. During this binge watching you may have come to a realization that it’s time to upgrade your surround sound system. You may have also learned that, while streaming services are getting more and more popular, they are also appear to be a new vehicle to get new release movies to us. We saw this with Wonder Woman 1984, and it won’t stop there.


Being able to watch first run movies at home may have motivated you to not only upgrade your home theater equipment, but to also build a home theater. While a majority of the sound frequencies we hear are highs and midrange, we don’t want to forget the bass or lower frequencies. After all, try watching any action movie with a lot of explosions without a subwoofer. The movie will just seem flat. Having a good quality subwoofer will help you get the most out of any movie. Up for review today is the RBH Sound SI-1212 in-ceiling/in-floor subwoofer, and DA-1802DSP amp.


Unlike most products you get in the store, RBH Sound sells their products only through authorized dealers. You go to an authorized dealer, and they help you design your system based on your needs and room size. But in speaking to RBH Sound about my theater room, I not only wanted in-wall speakers so they’re hidden, I also wanted the subwoofer to be hidden as well. I was told they just had a new in-ceiling/in-floor subwoofer come out. It’s a design which features two 12’s in a sealed enclosure.


I went to their corporate offices to pick up the subwoofer, and they also showed me the driver they use. The box was very well made, employing HDF, and looked great with an excellent black finish. On one end of the enclosure was the wiring terminal and on the other end was the port. The port is not a traditional port/vent as you would expect in a ported sub. This is a sealed sub.  But to allow it to be installed in-ceiling or in-floor, the face that the two drivers are mounted on is recessed and covered.  And it’s this small cavity that has an opening with a black cloth cover, and you would have a return vent cover mounted in front of it in your wall. Quality of materials used was excellent as was the fit and finish. The actual driver is mostly metal with a beefy magnet, thick rubber surround and stamped steel basket. It is a heavy gauge steel basket so it can handle a lot of power. The basket was of a very high quality, as was the spider which had sewn in tinsel leads. The aluminum cone was also of excellent quality, as was the large rubber surround designed for high excursion. All of the components used are of exceptional quality as was the fit and finish. 


One additional feature that is not only really cool, but also really unique, is a resettable fuse.  RBH Sound includes a physical resettable fuse mounted in the enclosure with the subs.  This is to further protect the drivers.  If the subs are being overpowered, the fuse will trip, protecting them, and then reset once the overpower has passed.  This ensures the drivers will never need to be replaced once the enclosure is installed in the floor/ceiling.  Extremely cool!!!


The subwoofer I received included the DA-1802DSP DSP/AMP. The subwoofer is passive, but RBH Sound has the DA-1802DSP DSP/AMP that can be sold with the subwoofer as a package. With 1800 watts RMS, the DA-1802DSP does a great job powering the subs.  The DA-1802DSP provides 1800 watts RMS into 2 channels (900 watts RMS to each sub) so you will get every ounce of performance.


Features and specs:


Series:  Signature In-wall

System Type:  In-floor/In-ceiling Subwoofer

Frequency Response:  20Hz-200Hz (+/- 3dB) when Powered with RBH Amplifier

Sensitivity:  90dB (2.83V @ 1 Meter)

Recommended Power:  100-1000 Watts

Subwoofers: (2) 12" (300mm) Aluminum Cone

Crossover Frequency:  N/A

Crossover Slope:  N/A

Impedance:  4 Ohms

Cabinet Material/Color:  High Density Fiberboard (HDF)/Black

Cabinet Finish:  Black Enclosure

Baffle and Grille:  Baffle Black; Grille Black or White Fabric

Grille Options:  Heat Vent (in-floor), Cold-air Return (in-ceiling)

Enclosure Dimensions:  13-1/2" W x 56" H x 9" D (335mm W x 1423mm H x 229mm D)

Grille Cutout Dimensions:  12" W x 6" H  (305mm W x 153mm H)

Weight:  85 lbs. (38.55 kg)


RBH DA-1802DSP Stereo Amplifier

DSP:                                     24 Bit/96Khz  (31 PEQ filters user programable)

                                             Optimized Filters for RBH Subwoofers (included)

Power Supply:                   Switch Mode Power Supply

Output Stage:                   Class D

Power Output:                 2x600W @ 8 Ohms, 2x900W @4 Ohms, (1200W/1800W Bridged)

Frequency Response:      10Hz-22kHz (+/- 0.5dB)

THD:                                    <1%

Slew Rate:                          >30V/micro second

Damping Factor:              >300

Input impedance:             20K Ohms

S/N Ratio:                          >95dB

Input Sensitivity:               1.4V

Input Connector:              XLR (RCA with Adapter)

Output Connector:          Binding Post/Speakon

Protection:                         Thermal, Overload, Under Voltage

Cooling:                              Quiet Mode Variable Speed Fans

Rack Size:                           2U

Dimensions (WxHxD)      19”x3.5”x10.5” (483mmx88mmx260mm)

Weight:                               13.5 lbs. (6.13Kg)

Options:                              RS485 Programming Cable


The RBH Sound DA-1802DSP came in a standard cardboard box. Opening the box revealed a well-protected amp held in place with some custom foam. Materials used in the construction are mostly metal. Quality of materials used as well as fit and finish were excellent. Buttons, knobs and connectors are tight, well put together and it felt very solid in hand.


To really check the quality, I took off the top to get a good peek inside. There’s a couple large aluminum heatsinks, several large capacity caps, the transformer and beefy internal wiring, along with multiple coils, and quality soldering.  The rear connectors are tight and solid on the inside. Circuit boards also appear well put together.  Hats off to RBH Sound on a well-designed, well built, quality amplifier! 


Now that I’ve seen its high build quality, lets get it connected!  Connecting the DA-1802DSP was very simple.  There’s the detachable power cord, along with 5-way binding post for the speaker wire.  The inputs are XLR, and included in the box were a pair of XLR to RCA adapters.  Your current equipment may not have XLR inputs, but if you plan on going that route in the future, this amp can grow with you. I also loved the fact that the DA-1802DSP came with front rack ears built-in. That way if you have an AV rack, its ready to be mounted.


The amp is pre-programmed in the RBH Sound Lab for the specific sub it’s purchased with. The front of the amp is very simple. The internal settings are locked for this particular amp, so there are no software adjustments to be changed by the consumer.  The LED showed the model SI-1212 for the sub followed by “BRG” and an image of a lock.  This is to tell you that it is in “bridged mode,” that it’s set-up for the SI-1212 sub, and the settings are locked.  Yet if you wanted to make any internal software adjustments, RBH can walk you through that.  From the dual connectors for inputs and outputs on the back of the amp, you can tell that it is actually a two-channel amp.  But as the SI-1212 only has a one channel input connector on the back of the enclosure for the two subs, so the amp is bridged to one channel.  And the speaker connectors on the back of the amp are easy to read with instructions for which wire is to be connected to which terminal when it is in bridge mode.  This makes it really easy to hook up.


You obviously need good midrange and tweeters for a high-quality surround sound system. After all, most of the audio in our movies and music comes from the frequency ranges produced by these drivers. But you need to watch an action movie with a lot of explosions without a subwoofer. Watch it again with a good subwoofer and you will see just how flat a movie feels without a subwoofer. To get the most enjoyment out of your music and movies, you need a high-quality subwoofer.  Subwoofers are not all created equal. After all, get a just “ok” subwoofer and while you may see and hear T-Rex coming, you may not actually “feel” him coming. With the RBH Sound SI-1212 subwoofer system, you’ll definitely feel him coming. Let’s see how it sounds.



Ready Player One- Race scene: all of the engines revving had really good depth and life-like dynamics. All of the various car explosions had not only excellent low-end extension and pitch definition, they were extremely life-like as well. As the wrecking balls created their havoc on the various cars, they did so with excellent authority and in your chest punch that was really tight and clean. T-Rex’s stomping and biting of cars had the same realistic dynamics. When Kong is racing to beat Percival to the finish line, not only was it extremely deep and clean, I was expecting to get complaints from my teenagers on the 2nd floor.  Impressive, since I was in the basement. Even though it’s a sealed sub, it played with serious authority!

The Great Wall: there are some great scenes with drums and black powder explosions. At the 17:59 mark, they beat against the huge drums with nun chucks to signal the army to use long range weapons. The striking of the drums with nun chucks had not only great definition of the pad, but also played deep with foundation shaking authority! At the scene of the general’s funeral, the playing of the drums was not only really deep with excellent authority, they were extremely musical, providing much better than expected resolution of the sticks beating against the leather drum pad! At the scene where they go to capture a creature, the black powder explosions were so life-like with such dynamics and room shaking bass.  I questioned who had the better system, my theater room or the last movie theater I went to. And all of this was done so cleanly with excellent dynamics and great control of the motor structure.

Interstellar: the dust storm at the 18:30 mark shook my whole room. And when they got out of the truck to run inside the farm house, it was even more so. The base was deep, with tons of output. And when they got in the house and closed the door it wasn’t as loud, but was even deeper.  At takeoff at the 43:30 mark, not only did it shake the theater room, it shook the whole house, and even got my daughter’s room on the second floor shacking a little! In fact, this whole movie was a bass feast, providing clean, tight, deep bass with tons of output!



New Order- Blue Monday: bass was nice and tight, quick, with in your chest punch that you could really feel! And without a hint of muddiness.

Katy Perry- Dark Horse: bass hit really hard, clean with lots of output and authority.

Richard Strauss- Also Sprach Zarathustra- bass was extremely deep and really clean. The pounding of the mallets on the tympani had excellent resolution of the pad as well as excellent dynamics.

Timmy Trumpet and Savage- Freaks: beats were so punchy and hit so hard, my whole house shook. Bass was tight, very dynamic, yet really clean.


Using dual 12’s and giving them 900 watts RMS each from the accompanying DA-1802-DSP, I had high expectations  and was anticipating some very good to excellent clean tight bass. With the size of the  sealed enclosure, I was expecting good low-end and high output. I wasn’t wrong!


You would think I would have learned by now, but RBH Sound has done it to me again. Not only have they exceeded my expectations, they also surprised me. I measured the SI-1212 to be -3db at 20hz, which was right what it is spec’d at. I also wasn’t expecting the house shaking output that I got, which I’m used to getting from my reference 4-foot tall SVS ported cylinder sub. What I got was even more so!  I was enjoying it so much, I couldn’t resist and put on a track from my old school car audio days, Techmaster PB: Activate, and Time To Jam.  Holy cow!!!  It hit so hard!  I thought I was going to knock things off the shelves in the room next door.  I could only image if this sub was ported, the havoc it would bring!!


The RBH Sound SI-1212 and DA-1802DSP did everything extremely well. If the bass from the source material was a tight bass, you get the tight clean punch in the chest bass. And I’m talking about a real punch where you can feel the sound pressure wave hit you! If it was the more rumble bass type of bass like a rocket taking off, not only did my theater room in the basement rumble, it shook the whole house, being able to feel it on the second floor! The subs performed extremely well with this amount of power.  At one torture test I turned the gain/trim down on the front of the amp as I thought the subs may have reached their max, just to realize they were handling the power great and turn it back up a little more.


There were a couple of times when the sub did seem not to know its own limits and was pushed a little too far for where it should go, so I ended up turning the gain/trim down just a bit.  One thing is for sure, this amp has all the power that these two subs can take, so it’s a perfect match.  And with that amount of power, I could actually hear and feel those drivers were very well controlled!  The dynamics, control, and tightness of the punch when the scene or music called for it was amazing.  I had only heard that level of performance from just a handful of subs before.  The level of resolution they revealed surprised me especially since a sub designed mostly for home theater could be so musical!  The low-end extension was not as deep as some subs out there, but -3db at 20Hz, you will definitely FEEL it when T-Rex is coming. And the sub is completely hidden! Just imagine the look on your buddies faces when you’re giving them a demo, and they realize and ask… wait…where’s your massive sub for this much bass?!?! And they can’t find it!!


RBH Sound has a game changer on their hands, with this type of performance in a hidden in-ceiling/in-floor subwoofer. The RBH SI-1212 and DA-1802-DSP is true to the sound of the source material, and handled everything I threw at it extremely well. Not only did it perform in spades for movie material, it proved to also be very musical and performed exceptionally well with music material as well. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the RBH Sound SI-1212 and DA-1802DSP has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at  But don’t just see them online, find an authorized dealer near you, because this level of sound needs to be heard to be believed.

Read more!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Panasonic DP-UB9000 Reference Class THX Certified Streaming 4K Player Review

If you are looking for home theater gear, you may be like most people who are stuck at home, quarantined during the pandemic. You realized that you could use some better gear. Maybe you made the jump to 4k, but are working on now getting content. Or maybe you have a cheap 4k player and are now looking to upgrade to a quality 4k player. Either way, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 could be just for you.

Features and specs:

Our Highest Level of Home Entertainment

Reference class quality is here with the DP-UB9000. Our HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor optimizes color, clarity and detail in 4K/HDR formats like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. The result is a exciting array of highest quality video and audio options from 4K UHD Blu-ray discs to 4K upscaling, VOD 4K streaming, voice assist and more.


Ultimate Picture Quality

Panasonic's precision Ultra HD Blu-ray player supports 4K/HDR formats like next-generation HDR10+TM dynamic metadata, HDR10, the standard HDR format for films and UHD Blu-ray discs, as well as Dolby VisionTM and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG).


HCX Processor

Panasonic's Hollywood Cinema Experience processor enables optimum HDR processing with precise chroma processing, a new HDR Optimizer, HDR to SDR Conversion and HDR adjustment for a variety of viewing conditions.


Real Life Image Quality

Panasonic's image processing technologies produce HDR images with higher-than-ever definition. From one scene to the next, mapping is applied to instantly adjust brightness levels for true-to-life color and detail in all your 4K/HDR content.


4K Direct Chroma Upscaling

By upconverting Full-HD chrominance and luminance signals directly into 4K signals, Panasonic's upscaling technologies produce 4K images with natural textures and incredible depth. (To fully enjoy 4K Upscaling a 4K/UHD TV is required.)


Pure Audio Performance

The UB9000 provides analog audio circuits that include a dedicated audio power supply, high-performance D/A converter and XLR balanced. The player's stylish alumite-treated aluminum chassis is designed for high rigidity and a lower center of gravity to reduce vibration for high sound quality.


Exceptional Clarity

192-kHz/32-bit 4-DAC supports high-resolution audio to reveal full, rich sounds and delicate tones of musical instruments, and even the breathing of vocal performances. Twin HDMI terminals separate and transmit video and audio signals for higher, more satisfying sound quality.


Enhanced Purity

HDMI Low Clock Jitter Process faithfully reproduces the original sound recorded onto your Blu-ray™ discs and DVDs for exceptional audio no matter which brand of TV or AV receiver you have.


Theatre-Level Quality

The THX certified DP-UB9000 faithfully reproduces the finely nuanced colors and rich, detailed images that the film creator intended, and provides lifelike surround sound for theatre quality entertainment at home. *THX and the THX logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries.


Studio Master Sound

Connect to your home audio system to enjoy music sources equivalent to true studio master quality. In addition to WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA/AIFF formats, DSD (5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz/11.2MHz) and ALAC music files can be faithfully reproduced for Hi-Res sound.


Versatile Audio Outputs

Outputs include twin HDMI, a 7.1 channel and separate 2 channel equipped with a balanced XLR output terminal in addition to the RCA terminal, and optical audio.


4K VOD Streaming for NETFLIX/ YouTube/Prime

YouTube, NETFLIX and Amazon Prime streaming enhances your 4K content choices. These high-definition internet video signals are processed by Panasonic's 4K High-Precision Chroma Processor to give you crisp, beautiful images


Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Panasonic's DP-UB9000 conveniently supports voice assist with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant.


The Panasonic DP-UB9000 came in a great looking color printed box, with photos and specs of the player. Opening the box revealed a well-protected player, held in place by Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was almost all metal, with some plastic in the remote. Quality of materials used was excellent, as was the fit and finish. Also found was the power cord, remote, and manual.


I love the design of the Panasonic DP-UB9000. The first thing that stood out to me was that this thing is built like a tank! There are a lot of Oppo Digital fans out there among audiophiles and videophiles. I am one of them. Sadly, Oppo Digital is long gone as far as providing new players. There’s been talk about this being the new Oppo Digital. Seeing the build quality of the Panasonic DP-UB9000, it looks even better! It can’t however fully replace my old Oppo player as it doesn’t support DVD-Audio and SACD. But other than that, I’m impressed so far.


The rest of the design of the Panasonic DP-UB9000 is killer. Not only is the front panel brushed aluminum, but so are both sides. It’s front is simplistic with just the display, power and navigation buttons, and single USB slot. The rear has all of the connections you would ever need, with HDMI out, audio only HDMI out, network connection, USB, optical, coaxial, 7.1 analog audio out, even stereo XLR outputs. Panasonic also did things right on the inside of the chassis, with separate power supplies for the audio and video. The chassis itself features a dual layer design for rigidity to keep noise and vibration low.


The Panasonic DP-UB9000 is also very projector friendly. So, if you use a front projector in your home theater, this player is worth a serious look. Projectors don’t have the brightness needed to fully take advantage of HDR. But thanks to Panasonic’s 2nd generation HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) Processor, it uses tone-mapping to extract the best possible picture out of your projector. Now that we know it has the build quality and features, let’s see how it looks and sounds.


To begin the setup, I was happy to see that the remote was very well laid out, and easy to use…I especially liked the fact that the buttons can light up, which is a necessity in a dark room. The home screen was also very simply laid out. Here you can select from videos, music, photos, home network, network service and set-up. And doing the initial set-up through the set-up screen, as well as connecting the player on Vue, was simple to follow in the Network Service Screens. Now that it’s set-up, let’s see how well it works.


For viewing, I turned to a few quality movies, The Great Wall, Wonder Woman, and Avengers: Infinity War. No matter which movie I watched or which scene, they all appeared true to the reference source. And the eye candy that the Panasonic DP-UB9000 provided satisfies all of the expectations for the 4k format. Fine details were resolved excellently. Shadow details were also excellent. Colors were vivid without being overly saturated. And the depth of image…as I stated before, it all translates to pure eye candy!


In the Great Wall, one of my favorite scenes is when they are at the Imperial City. The towers have stained glass windows, with all the colors of the rainbow. When the light from outside shines through the glass, it’s a visual feast. In Wonder Woman, when she is standing at the dock with her mom the queen, you can see the details of the individual strands of the fur in her coat, as well as her hair. And the fine details revealed in the queen’s armor, was exquisite. In Avengers: Infinity War, there were also a great number of moments that were eye candy. When Thor shows up at Wakanda via the Bifrost, the rainbow colors of the Bifrost was excellent, subtle, but well saturated. When Wanda is using her red powers to destroy the mind stone in Vision’s head, her powers are red and extremely bright and vivid yet controlled and not overly exposed. Unfortunately, the details in the photos don’t do justice to what was actually seen on screen.


The Panasonic DP-UB9000 does an excellent job on checking off the boxes for a premium 4k player. There are built-in streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon video. It’s even THX certified. The only thing missing for it being the Holy Grail of 4k players, is SACD and DVD-Audio support. Based on its design features, quality and performance, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

Read more!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Harman/Kardon Citation 100 Smart Speaker Review

Homes are getting smarter, thanks to our smart devices. Even our speakers are getting smart with extra functionality. And if you are looking for a speaker, you will want to turn to a company that has a lot of experience as well as a great reputation for amazing sound. Harman Kardon is a great example of this. Up for review is the Harman Kardon Citation 100.


Features and specs:

General Specifications

Power Supply:  100-240V – 50/60Hz

Wireless network:  802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)

2.4G Wi-Fi transmitter frequency range:  2412 – 2472MHz (2.4GHzISM Band, USA 11 Channels, Europe and others 13 Channels)

2.4G Wi-Fi transmitter power:  <20dBm

2.4G Wi-Fi modulation:  DBPSK, DQPSK, CCK, QPSK, BPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM

5G Wi-Fi transmitter power:  <23dBm

5G Wi-Fi modulation:  QPSK, BPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, 256QAM

5G Wi-Fi transmitter frequency range:  5.15 - 5.35GHz, 5.470 - 5.725GHz, 5.725 - 5.825GHz

Note:  Citation 100 is intended to be used for streaming music. A consumer can stream Bluetooth audio to the speaker. A consumer can connect their speaker to the local Wi-Fi Network and stream music with Google Chromecast. In addition, the speaker will work with Google Home. This product is designed to be instantly on and ready to play music at a moment's notice, therefore, the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection must remain active at all times to ensure proper operation. Citation 100 is in compliance with the European Union energy legislation. Citation 100 complies with European Commission Regulation (EC) No 1275/2008 and (EU) No 801/2013 as a networked equipment with high network availability (HiNA equipment and equipment with HiNA functionality). Power consumption Standby

Audio Specifications

Signal-to-noise ratio:  >80dB

Supported audio formats:  HE-AAC, LC-AAC, MP3, Vorbis, WAV (LPCM), FLAC, Opus

Output power:  50W RMS

Transducer:  1 x 20mm tweeter, 1 x 102mm woofer


Dimensions: (W x H x D)172 x 275 x 163 mm

Weight:  2.7 kg (6lb)

Control and Connection Specifications

Bluetooth® version:  4.2

Bluetooth transmitter frequency range:  2402 – 2480MHz

Bluetooth transmitter power:  <5dBm

Bluetooth transmitter modulation:  GFSK,π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK

The Harman Kardon Citation 100 came in a great looking color printed box with photos and specs of the speaker. Opening the box revealed a well-protected speaker, held in place by custom molded foam. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic, with some cloth and metal. Quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish, was excellent. Also included was the power cord and owner’s manual.


I really like the design of the Citation 100. For a speaker, it has a separate tweeter and woofer on the front. Then on the back there is a passive radiator for improved bass performance. It may not be true stereo sound since there is only one speaker, but with a separate tweeter, woofer, and passive radiator, you’ll get great sound.


That takes us to the next part of the design with it being wireless. Because of this, you can add not only a second one, you can actually add several more. With multiple of these Citation 100’s linked together, you can actually have one in each room, providing whole house sound. And the Citation 100 is only the beginning. There is the whole Citation family from Harman/Kardon. There are the Citation 300 and Citation 500 which are larger version of the Citation 100. There’s also Citation Bar, which is a TV sound bar, and if you like surround sound, there is also the Citation Tower, Citation Surround and Citation Sub. Just add the Citation Bar as the center channel speaker, and you can have a full 5.1 surround sound system with the Citation speakers.


The last part of the design is the smart functionality. It’s great being able to play your music from either online, your smartphone, or your home network, but it can do a lot more. You can get hands free help from the Google Assistant. Ask the time, ask the weather, or even a multitude of other facts. And if you have set up your home as a smart home, you can even use it to control your lights, control your temperature as well as other smart devices in your home. Now that we know what it can do, let’s hear how it sounds.


The Hu- Sugaan Essena: Vocals were nice and raw with very good texture of the timbre. Drums were nice and dynamic as well as deep and played with good authority. The lute was crisp and clean with good resolution of the bow.


Earth, wind and fire – September: Wood blocks had the nice hollow tone of the wood come thru very well, Drums were again nice and dynamic with good depth. Trumpets were really crisp, clean and smooth with the same good resolution of the timbre.


Nat King Cole; L-O-V-E: Cymbals were really crisp and clean with great resolution of the sticks on the high hat. Piano sounded natural. Violin had nice smoothness of the strings. Trumpet was nice and dynamic with silky smooth. And of course Nat King Cole’s vocals came out as legendary as they are known for, smoother than Dove chocolate with epic harmonics.


For use of it as a smart device, it also did not disappoint. No matter if it was something I wanted to know about the weather, such as temperature or sunset time, I got the answers I was looking for. Any other random information I was looking for from online, it was also able to help me with. And of course with it being linked to my home network, it was also able to control other smart devices in my home, such as lights.


I love the Harman/Kardon Citation 100. It’s a great sounding smart speaker. Thanks partly to the built-in passive radiator, it rocks out! The smart functionality was fun and very helpful. And what I also really loved about the Citation 100, is not only does it do a great job with all of this functionality, it also does it with style! The cloth surrounding it does give it a great look and amazing styling. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Harmon/Kardon Citation 100 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. Kudos on a great product. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

JBL Clip4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

So many of us get busy, we also need time to relax. One great way to relax is going outdoors, such as the mountains, lake, or beach. Since most of us like music, we tend to take it with us on the go. We also tend to take our smart-phones everywhere with us. After all, they can do so much. But face it, playing great sounding music is not one of them. Enter the JBL Clip 4.


Features and specs:


General Specifications

Output power (W): 5

Frequency Range Hz (-10 dB): 2400 – 2483.5MHz


Audio Specifications

Dynamic frequency response range (Hz): 100Hz-20kHz



Dimensions (in): 3.4 x 5.3 x 1.8”

Weight (kgs): .24

Weight (lbs): .53


Control and Connection Specifications

Bluetooth profiles: A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6

Bluetooth transmitted modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK

Bluetooth transmitter power: ≤ 10 dBm (EIRP

Bluetooth version: 5.1



Maximum play time (hours): 10

Charging time (hrs): 3



Bluetooth: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Wireless: Yes

IP67: Yes


The JBL Clip 4 come in a great looking color printed box, with specs and features printed on the box. The front also included a clear plastic window so you could see the JBL Clip 4. The JBL Clip 4 was held protected in place with custom molded plastic. Materials used was mostly plastic with some cloth and metal in the clip. Quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. Also included was the charging cable and owner’s manual.


I really liked the minimalist approach to the JBL Clip 4. There are a lot more wireless speakers out there that are waterproof. They also sound really good, but they are also much larger in size. This means that they are not nearly as portable as the JBL Clip 4. But if portability is the greatest concern, like if you are going hiking for a long trip, the JBL Clip 4 could be perfect. It’s very small, yet still sounds much better than turning on the anemic speakers in your phone. Now let’s see how they sound.

Toto- Africa:  kick drums had good impact, depth, and authority.  Congas had good resolution of the pad.  Cow bell sounded a little recessed, as if it was in the background, but it had good tone.  Cymbals were crisp and clean, but also a bit recessed.  Recorder had good air, and piano sounded natural.  Vocals were very smooth with good harmonics.  Vocals sounded excellent front and center.  There are a lot of instruments in this track, and they were resolved very well.

AC/DC- Thunderstruck:  cymbals were crisp and clean, guitar rift had good definition of all the notes even with how fast they were played.  Kick drum had good dynamics, and played with better-than-expected authority.  Vocals sounded nice and raw as they were supposed to, with good resolution of the timbre.

Guns N Roses- Paradise City:  cymbals were crisp and clean, although sounded a little recessed.  Guitar was crisp with good resolution of the strings.  Kick drum shockingly did not just have good depth, it also revealed a deep soundstage which I was not expecting to hear from this small speaker.  Vocals were also smooth with good texture of the timbre.


All-in-all, I was not expecting much from the Clip4 based on its size.  Boy was I wrong!  It had a little difficulty at times resolving some instruments, but did a better-than-expected job of it, being able to typically resolve a lot of different instruments in a track like Toto Africa.  Bass performance was also better than expected providing good depth and output.  The whole housing vibrated from the bass output. It’s extremely small, yet the JBL Clip 4 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. It’s a well-built good sounding speaker, that is designed to give years of use. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

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