iPodNN: Audio-maker Harman Kardon has introduced two new home theater sound systems, the SB 30 and the BDS x70 family, in anticipation of next week’s CES show. The SB 30 is a wireless subwoofer packaged with a soundbar speaker array. The BDS x70 series is a compact all-in-one component sound system available in several configurations with either 2.1-channel or 5.1-channel audio. (more…)
iPodNN: Harman Kardon has just rolled out the MS 150 iPhone/iPod dock. It stands as a rare high-end, mixed format entry with both a slot-loaded CD player and an FM radio tuner. The dock has two 30W loudspeakers and two 3.5mm headphone jacks as well as a 3.5mm audio input for connecting devices other than iPods and iPhones. (more…)
Harman Kardon just began offering two home theater in a box systems. The BDS-400 and BDS-800 combine a Blu-ray, DVD and CD player along with an FM tuner along with a speaker system. The former uses two front speakers and a subwoofer, while the latter adds two rear speakers and a center channel.
Either receiver sports an HDMI output, a USB port for playing multimedia files and a preprogrammed/learning remote control. There is also support for iPods and iPhones, though the necessary dock is optional. Compatible files include MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP3, WMA and JPEG. ID3 tags will also be displayed on a connected TV.
Both are now available, with the BDS 400 priced at $999 and the BDS 800 at $1,499. The BDS 2 SO receiver from the BDS 400 system can be had on its own for $649, while the BDS 5 SO receiver from the BDS 800 system costs $799.
iPodNN: Harmon Kardon has introduced a new 2.1 home theater soundbar, the SB16. It is designed for situations where users want a quality home theater experience but don’t have the room, or don’t want a multi-speaker surround solution. It can be connected directly to a television, DVD player or game console with the convenience of being able to place the subwoofer at any position within the same room as the soundbar, the result of its wireless connectivity. (more…)
Gizmag: As any cola-swilling child of the 90’s will tell you, things are better when they’re clear. Water? Definitely better clear. Conscience? Ditto. Speakers? Sure, why not? We’ve already had Harman Kadon’s GLA-55 speakers featuring faceted cut-glass enclosures to expose the audio engine, but the glass speakers from Greensound Technology are even more striking. Looking like little more than a shaped pane of glass sitting atop a base, the speakers use the glass to project the sound and deliver “true 360 degree sound.”
Unlike traditional speakers that project sound in one direction, a sound generator in the base of the Greensound speakers vibrates the glass to project the sound from both sides. Different areas of the glass are responsible for producing different frequency sounds – the curved area at the top produces high frequency sounds, the middle produces mid-range sounds, while low frequencies are produced by the area at the bottom near the base. The use of glass also provides the opportunity for some nice color changing lighting to be built into the base.
Greensound Technology offers two different lines of glass speakers in different configurations. The Serac Series consists of various combinations of the stand-alone Serac speaker and the boxy Bravura subwoofer. The Serac speaker measures 21.5” long x 43” wide x 65.5” high (54.6 x 109 x 166 cm) and weighs 246.18 lbs (111.6 kg). It has an output of 25-Watts, frequency range of 300 Hz to 15 kHz and can pump out sounds up to 90.6 dB. The Bravura ups the output to 150 Watts, extends the frequency range from 40 Hz to 400 kHz and pumps up the jam a couple of extra decibels to 91.8 dB.
The Floe Series are a little smaller than Serac but boast similar specs and add wireless capabilities into the mix. The Floe stand-alone speaker measures 18” long x 18” wide x 49” high (46 x 46 x 124 cm) and weighs in at 80 lbs (36 kg). Yet it still boasts an output of 25 Watts, frequency range of 300 Hz to 15 kHz and decibel level of 90.6 dB. The Forza subwoofer is much curvier than its Bravura stablemate and doesn’t pack the same punch. It has an output of 25 Watts, frequency response of 60 Hz to 180 kHz and decibel level of 91.8. Like the stand-alone Floe speaker, the Forza is also wireless to a range of 100 ft (30 m).
No word from Greensound Technology regarding pricing, but the company says production is in full swing and both glass speaker lines are available now. Contact Greensound Technologies for more info.
Electronista: Harman Kardon is currently showing off its latest flaghship home theater receiver, the 7.2-channel AVR 7550HD, at the CEDIA Expo.
Like some of the other receivers in its range, it supports Dolby Volume technology that keeps its volume consistent no matter what source is playing, and is the very first to use Texas Instruments’ Aureus DA710 dual audio digital signal processor for improved sound quality.
Faroudja DCDi Cinema digital video processing uses a Torino chipset to upscale videos to near 1080p quality. There are four onboard HDMI 1.3a with Deep Color inputs, and the AVR 7550HD is fully compatible with other HDMI V1.3a with Deep Color devices.
Otherwise, there is a USB port for playing music from a memory stick, the playback of which can be navigated by the remote control, and an Internet radio tuner is also present. Multizone support is present, with a dedicated remote included for a second room.
Harman Kardon has not revealed a price or a release date for the AVR 7550HD, though pricing is expected to fall in the $2,800 (€1,915) range.
Audioholics: After fielding question after question from readers and from listeners of AV Rant on which receiver to buy, I had amassed a bit of information on a lot of different receiver models. Why not combine this into a grid to help readers decode what exactly are the differences between the offerings from the various manufacturers?
These units from Denon, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha represent the first tier in their receiver lines. Some manufacturers offer two different lines focused on different consumers.
Conclusion: Looking over the different offerings, it is clear that the final words should be “it depends.”
You will have to decide if Zone 2 and iPod control is enough to push the Pioneer to the top of your list even through it doesn’t do video upconversion.
Perhaps price is all that matters so the Yamaha is for you. Maybe you want all the features of the Denon but don’t really need the upconversion so you go with the Onkyo. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
What is clear, though, is that HDMI features really have trickled down. While only a year ago you couldn’t get HD audio decoding on a receiver less that $500 (€350), now it is available at entry level.
Tech Digest: Top-end audio manufacturer Harman Kardon has just announced the “most powerful” amplifier that the company has ever produced, as well as a matching CD player, for those of you still trading in plastic discs.
I could happily regurgitate the press release about how the amplifier’s power is achieved with its “EzSet/EQ room optimisation”, but all you really need to know is that it sounds lovely.
The CD player sounds similarly lovely, thanks to a built-in digital sound processor, and linear smoothing to stop jitters.
Tech Digest: Harman Kardon has announced that its DMC 1000 media centre is now available in the UK.
The DMC 1000 incorporates a 250GB hard drive and will happily consume all your CDs to create a digital jukebox, as well as featuring a DVD player and optional iPod connection.
It can handle most video formats and can upscale DVD and other video content for watching on a high definition TV. It can also burn content to CD.
Available in sleek black with a remote control, its on-screen menu system should make it easy to navigate to audio and video files.