The Harman Kardon Allue is basically an Amazon Dot combined with an insane speaker.
Alexa lives in the cloud and just reaches into your devices, so her personality can be used by anyone who wants to develop for it. This will be a good test of which home automation device to go for (Amazon Alexa’s, Google Home, etc). Harman Kardon is diving in with Alexa.
The box is larger than anticipated and heavier! When you open it you find, inside the bubbles and styrofoam, a beautiful glass bulb with markings, not buttons, on the top. Once the power supply is connected she lights up. She is beautiful the light that fills out around the top shimmers down the clear sides. Fantastic.
Whilst it is wrong to discuss a lady’s bottom, I have to mention hers. The woofer sitting down here is very nicely constructed, a light tap brings a deep resonating “thump” noise. Most enjoyable.
To get started you cannot use the existing Alexa app, that is only designed to work with Amazon’s hardware. You have to download the H/K Alexa Setup app. As this runs, it tells you about its “Far-field Voice Recognition” which sounds exciting, agree to the terms and conditions, hope you have just signed away a kidney or a pet, and off we go,
First, you are asked to allow access to the device’s location. Then you press the Mic icon for five seconds, and we are in set up mode. a pause long enough to make you wonder if you did it right, and then you type in your WiFi password.
Next, you give it yourAmazon password Agree to Amazon’s terms and conditions (kiss your other kidney good-bye) and you can select your language. At this time you can choose between English (US), English (UK), German, English (India) and Japanese.
Now your system will give you a privacy warning, and tell you if there are any new firmware upgrades. Mine also had to reboot because of the firmware update.
As she boots, you see this white light go around the top of her dome, while smoky white light circles the top half of her. It just looks magnificent.
Click “Done” in the app and it identifies the Allure 1208. So let’s see how she sounds. One word: “wow”. I am an old-school audiophile, I like quality cables going to solid speakers. When Digital audio arrived, I winced. Bluetooth? May as well stick my head in a bucket!
For a truly intense audio experience, you still do need “the proper setup”. But this single unit does sound amazing. The bass does punch nicely, and the treble is sharp and accurate. I am very impressed with the quality of the audio. This H/K unit does something else though, the white light at the top chases itself around fades out and fades back in. Each movement sees the light cascading down the side in a way that defies description.