Harman / Kardon Citation Oasis DAB: the smartest clock radio


What do you use as an alarm clock? A traditional dumb alarm clock, your smartphone or something else? The Harman Citation Oasis DAB is an alarm clock that also functions as a dab radio, wireless smartphone charger and Google Assistant speaker. Sounds cool, but is such an all-in-one product worth 200 euros?

Harman / Kardon Citation Oasis

html 7.5 Score 75 Score: 75

  • Pros
  • Nice design
  • Sound quality speaker
  • Smart and complete
  • Negatives
  • Wireless charger not powerful enough
  • price
  • Clumsy physical handling

The Citation Oasis DAB from Harman / Kardon is a special gadget. In my opinion it is mainly a smart clock radio, but Harman recommends it as a smart speaker that can also be used as an alarm clock. Admittedly, you can indeed place the gadget in the living or study room and use it as a smart speaker with a digital clock. I put it on my bedside table and used it as an alarm clock for three weeks.

Stylish design with clumsiness

Harman sells the Citation Oasis DAB in the colors silver and black. I tested that first performance and think the device looks stylish. The fabric finish is sleek but homely and the plastic top feels more luxurious than the name suggests. At 218 x 148 x 66 millimeters, the device is a lot bigger than a normal clock radio and therefore fills my bedside table considerably. The weight is also not bad at 1.2 kilos, although I don’t mind this because the Oasis DAB is in a fixed place. Thanks to the non-slip feet, it stands firmly. Good to know: the device only works when the supplied charger is connected to the wall socket. The cord is long enough but not unusually long.

The Citation Oasis DAB has an LCD screen on the front where the time and other information is visible. The screen is not touch sensitive. The top houses a wireless Qi charger (more about this in a minute) and a number of buttons. In the center is the only physical button, which pauses or resumes the music and lets you snooze for ten minutes when your alarm goes off. To the left and right of this button are five touch-sensitive buttons. With this you can adjust the volume, your favorite radio stations, the input method (bluetooth, DAB or other) and you can see which alarm you have set.

A nice concept that is less enjoyable in practice. I think the buttons are too small and too close to each other and therefore regularly press the wrong one, especially when I just woke up. I find it inconvenient that you cannot set an alarm with the buttons, only view. You can only set an alarm clock via the app or voice control. That works smoothly, but in some situations it is nicer to set or adjust an alarm clock with a few clicks.

There are a lot of buttons and connections on the back. You can use it to activate night mode (to switch off WiFi), switch the microphones on and off (necessary for voice control) and adjust the screen brightness. You can connect an audio cable to the 3.5mm port and the USB-A port can charge a device with 5 Watts. That is not fast, but enough to charge an average smartphone overnight. You can connect the included DAB antenna cable to the DAB port. Or not, if you don’t value online radio stations.

Smart speaker sounds excellent

If you are familiar with a smart speaker that works via the Google Assistant, the Harman Citation Oasis DAB is set up like this. Grab the Google Home app, connect the alarm clock and follow the steps in the app. The device is ready for use within five minutes. Built-in microphones let you talk to the Oasis. You can ask questions, control home automation, start music and of course set an alarm. “Hey Google, set an alarm tomorrow at 6am” and that’s it. The Google Assistant function works just as well as on the Google Home’s and Nest Hubs that I’ve been talking to for some time.

However, the sound quality of the Oasis DAB is a lot better. You will notice this especially when playing music. The clock radio that is not a clock radio can be much louder without distorting, has significantly more bass and sounds balanced. Vocals are clear, a drum solo sounds nice and full and droning and the high tones of a keyboard are easy to distinguish from other instruments. I find the 200 euro Oasis DAB little inferior to my equally expensive Sonos One speaker. It’s nice that you can link the Harman speaker to other Chromecast-capable speakers for more volume throughout your house.

You can listen to music, podcasts and more through well-known services such as Spotify, TuneIn and hundreds of other smaller platforms. You can also stream Apple Music via AirPlay (from an Apple device) and Chromecast. The Citation Oasis DAB is also suitable for Bluetooth listening and a 3.5mm port. And of course as a DAB radio, with excellent sound quality. The range and sound quality depend on where the clock radio is located. I have it on a bedside table, near the window and with the antenna pointed towards the window.

Wireless charger is disappointing

The built-in wireless charger sounds cool, but disappoints me. With a power of 5 Watts, it charges your smartphone slowly or not at all. Some devices require at least 7.5 or 10 watts to charge. My OnePlus 8 Pro is one of those devices, and therefore does not charge properly via Citation Oasis DAB. If you have a phone that can charge wirelessly, I recommend that you check the minimum watts it needs. This way you avoid disappointments afterwards. Good to know: accessories such as smartwatches and wireless earplugs do charge properly via the clock radio.

Conclusion: Want to buy a Harman Citation Oasis DAB?

The Harman Citation Oasis DAB is a special gadget that mainly comes across as a clock radio because of its screen and DAB radio stations. One that can also charge your smartphone wirelessly and offers better sound than a normal clock radio. Very nice, but in practice I am less enthusiastic. I don’t find the placement of the buttons logical and I miss the option to set an alarm via the buttons. In addition, the built-in wireless charger is too weak to charge some phones. Awkward if you now – like me – use such a device and it also makes the Oasis DAB less future-proof.

I don’t think it’s ideal as an alarm clock. The Oasis DAB impresses more as a good-sounding speaker with support for a variety of wired and wireless sound sources. The smart options via the Google Assistant are a nice bonus. If you do not need this, you can switch off the microphones or – more conveniently – buy a dumb speaker with comparable sound quality.

All in all, I think the Citation Oasis DAB is a very interesting product that, due to a few technical design choices, does not fully stand out. I wouldn’t mind that if it cost roughly a hundred euros, but Harman asks 199 euros for the gadget. I think that’s a lot of money for a smart alarm clock or clock. On the other hand, the Citation Oasis sounds almost as good as a regular smart speaker that costs the same, and therefore offers some extras. For that reason I think it is an interesting alternative to a Sonos One or two Nest Audios.

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