Tag: harman



AudioTechnology:  AKG have extended its Perception Headphone series with three new models for “enthusiastic musicians and engineers”, which I guess doesn’t include musicians and engineers who just aren’t feeling up to it today–only kidding. All three models are of the kind that you won’t get too precious about how they’re treated by non-thinking studio clients-if you know what I mean. (more…)

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JBL ships OnBeat Xtreme iOS dock with Bluetooth

iPodNN: JBL has just announced it’s shipping the OnBeat Xtreme iOS device dock. It can hold the iPad or iPad 2 as well as the smaller iPhone and iPod touch in its rotating dock connector. Bluetooth is its standout and gives it device independence, letting it pair with Android or any other Bluetooth audio source. (more…)

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JBL On Tour iBT serves portable Bluetooth audio, calls

Electronista: Harman, the maker of Harman/Kardon and JBL audio equipment, has launched a compact stereo music system aimed at mobile audiophiles. (more…)

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Harman brings upgradeable nav system to new Mercedes cars

Electronista: Electronics maker Harman this week announced it will work with Mercedes-Benz to bring a flexible navigation system to the German vehicles. It will feel like a built-in, factory issued system as it will communicate with the car’s controls and display, but be removable and allow for software updates. Called Becker Map Pilot, the system will make its debut in the SLK and C-Class cars. Read more »

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Smart portables continue to gain on nav systems

(Credit: Automotive News)

Car Tech: Suppliers of navigation systems and their automaker customers are facing a tough new competitor. And the competitor is, literally, in their pocket.

That pesky device stuck to the windshield continues to cause trouble, too.

According to a J.D. Power and Associates study, 60 percent of people with a factory-installed navigation system also own either a portable device or a smartphone with a navigation system. In both cases, most consumers prefer to use the installed navigation system.

But one in four, given a choice, ignores the installed system–and that might spell trouble for the future.

Thirty-six percent of survey respondents had both a portable navigation device–such as those from TomTom International and Garmin–and a system installed in their vehicle. And 28 percent of consumers with both say they prefer to get directions from the portable device.

The pattern is similar for users of smartphones: twenty-four percent of respondents have them, and 28 percent of those with both a smartphone and an installed system say they prefer to use the phone.

The October survey of 17,517 drivers suggests no immediate serious trouble for suppliers that provide navigation systems. The list includes Clarion, Denso, Alpine Electronics, Pioneer, Harman International Industries, Hyundai Mobis, and Delphi Automotive.

But they shouldn’t be complacent, said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power. “It’s important that suppliers take into account some of the features that make these systems preferable,” Marshall said.

Those features include ease of use and more frequent updates for maps and points of interest.

Also, “Prices of factory-installed navigation systems need to stay competitive,” Marshall said.

Clarion appears to be meeting the challenge. The Cypress, Calif., unit of the Tokyo company partnered with Ford Motor to create navigation systems for the automaker’s vehicles. Several of those models led the industry in the Power study, which asked consumers to rate factory-installed navigation systems.

The top four systems in the survey were the ones in the Ford Fusion, Flex and Taurus and the Lincoln MKS. Clarion supplied all of them.

Clarion supplied 13 of the 50 vehicles with navigation systems that ranked better than the industry average. Denso and Harman, each had 11 vehicles in the top 50.

Marshall said that one of the factors in Clarion’s success is its partnership with Ford.

“Clarion also supplies the Nissan Infiniti vehicles, which aren’t scoring as high as the Ford vehicles but they are still doing well,” he said. “But it’s that true partnership that really brings it home, and it’s not one supplier all by itself.”


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Harman, Magnetti Marelli to Build BMW Entry-Level Infotainment

GPS Business News: Harman and Magnetti Marelli have been selected by BMW AG to provide the next generation entry-level infotainment system for its luxury vehicle platforms.

“This new award complements our previously-announced premium infotainment system at BMW and will expand the Harman offering to a larger audience of customers,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman’s Chairman, President and CEO.

This new infotainment system will blend open-platform technology from Magneti Marelli with Harman connectivity and mobile office expertise. System features will include text to speech, voice recognition, wireless connectivity, mobile office, navigation, and telematics features. Harman will produce and deliver the infotainment modules for BMW vehicles in the Asian markets and Magneti Marelli will serve the European markets.

An embedded flash memory will provide dynamic navigation data which may be updated as required for current access to routes and road information. The platform will feature a compact, cost-competitive computing solution built on the NVIDIA system-on-a-chip (SOC) technology.

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Harman launches JBL MS-8 integration digital processor for vehicles

Übergizmo: Harman has rolled out its latest JBL MS-8 integration digital processor that will see action in vehicles, and will target those who already have some kind of in-car entertainment system built-in, although this one will introduce a more modern form factor. The new processor is said to boost the audio capabilities of the existing set up by some distance, making this an essential add-on component if you are always on the lookout to improve your in-car audio capability when traveling. Features of the JBL MS-8 include a graphic equalizer with 31 bands which can also override automatic equalization to suit personal taste, memory that holds calibration settings for up to four seating positions, a digital crossover function allows precise, user-selectable crossover points and crossover slopes for up to eight separate outputs, Logic 7 technology for creating the ideal 5.1- or 7.1-channel surround-sound experience from two-channel source material, a preamplifier controls manage system volume, subwoofer volume, left/right balance, front/rear fader and bass/mid/treble tone controls, and override DSP equalization, time correction and Logic 7 processing. It can be readily purchased from an in-car audio specialist near you for $799.

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Harman, Mercedes working on modular built-in nav systems

Engadget: Anyone’s who’s bought a car with a built-in nav system knows the pain of seeing their expensive accessory totally eclipsed by even the cheapest external GPS units just a year or two later — everything from UI to multimedia integration progresses so fast it’s almost not worth it.

That might change soon, though — Harman and Mercedes are working on a “hybrid” nav system that combines the easy replaceability of an external PND with the integration and sleek looks of a built-in system.

The goal is to build a standard design that can upgraded quickly so the screen and controls will be mounted on the dash in a cradle, while a second hidden “processing box” will handle the actual GPS system, music storage and playback, and Bluetooth connectivity.

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Panasonic, Harman drop GPS lines

Electronic House: For a while there, it was easy to get lost in the GPS market. Now the smoke seems to be clearing just a bit. Hot on the heels of Magellan’s announcement, both Panasonic and Harman/Kardon say they are also getting out of the portable GPS market.

Harman introduced the Becker earlier this year. Also, Panasonic will keep its Strada in-dash navigation line, says Twice. The economy has been cited in both decisions.

Earlier this week, Magellan announced it would sell its consumer line to Mitac, the makers of Mio. Audiovox, JVC and Cobra are a few of the others that recently got out of the GPS market. 

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Christmas gift guide: car audio systems

Telegraph: A few years ago, the audio equipment in a new car consisted of a radio/CD and a four-speaker system. It came as part of the package and really didn’t have a high profile. All this has now changed. A recent survey showed that audio equipment has suddenly become a top-five in-car item. Amazingly, these days it’s all factory fitted and not shoehorned in by the local car-audio installer.

In this highly competitive market, car manufacturers have decided to give some real credibility to their sound offerings and call in the big names of home hi-fi to design systems. First to appear was Bose in Audi, Mazda and Porsche, then Harman in BMW, closely followed by Bang&Olufsen in the Audi A8, Mark Levinson in Lexus, Dynaudio in VW and Volvo, then new arrival Bowers&Wilkins in the Jaguar XKR Portfolio edition. These partnerships offer manufacturing advantages to both sides; the audio designers are in at the beginning of vehicle planning and can advise on the best speaker siting and sound options.

The biggest single influence on factory-installed systems has been the adoption of Dolby multichannel/surround sound. This enables the use of multispeaker systems, up to 14 in some vehicles. In theory this puts the passenger centre-stage no matter where he/she is sitting; with the original stereo system, the driver or front passenger got the ambience while the rear passengers got the residues.

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JBL launches iPod-integrated headphones

Electronista: Harman brand JBL has released two new sets of headphones in its Reference series. Foremost are the 610s, which come with a dongle that allows volume and track adjustment on iPods, using controls located on the headphones themselves. iPods from the fourth generation onward are supported.

The 610s also benefit from a Bluetooth receiver, which allows wireless interaction with devices that support A2DP stereo and/or AVRCP controls. An over-the-ear design features leather lining and a choice of black or white colors. Harman is selling the set online for €150.

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Harman Kardon release their portable GPS device

NaviGadget: Another name to enter the sat nav market is Harman Kardon with a system called the Guide + Play.

It will include a media player that is smart enough to sort your music and other media on artist name, genre, album, etc. Guide + Play will come with a 4-inch screen and you’ll be able to upgrade its memory to 4 GB using the SD slot.

The internal rechargeable battery should last you up to 5 hours on a single charge.

Although we’re not sure on an exact release date for Europe, the retail price will be around €400.

Harman Kardon Guide + Play


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