Harman Boosts Harman Kardon, JBL, AKG RostersSeptember 5, 2013 By Nancy Klosek
The official announcements coincide in the U.S. with the products’ IFA Show debuts in Berlin this week, and are in the most popular audio categories; they include headphones, wireless products and an ultra-thin aluminum-finish soundbar system – the $999 Harman Kardon Sabre – whose eight-driver complement is said by the company to be the world’s thinnest, at just 33mm (about 1.3 inches). It is HDMI-ready with three inputs, and it is paired with a thin wireless 100-watt powered subwoofer (7L). Harman’s Wave surround-mode DSP technology is built-in, as is Dolby TrueHD decoding. An IR repeater is featured for setups where the soundbar is blocking the TV’s IR receiver, and the system can be set up to be worked through a TV, satellite or cable remote. Harman product specialist Jeremy Brenner remarked that the system fills a $699-to-$1,199 price-point vacuum in the marketplace.
Many of the products are compatible with the iOS- and Android-compatible Harman Kardon Remote App, which can access the same content on multiple devices as well as track battery life.
The leather-backed, wireless H/K Onyx speaker system ($499.95), outfitted with Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) touch-to-pair technology and compatible with DLNA and AirPlay, has an eight-hour built-in rechargeable battery and boasts 60 watts RMS total power, and a full complement of drivers: two mids, two tweeters and two passive radiators, the rear-located of which vibrates the silver metal logo disk covering it when the device is playing. It also offers analog USB connectivity and has a 3.5mm mini jack.
The H/K Esquire ($249) Bluetooth/NFC wireless speaker, also leather-backed, targets the business traveler with 20 watts of output power, and offers built-in teleconferencing compatibility and echo- and noise-cancellation technology, along with a three-port USB adapter; it offers a 10-hour battery charge and comes with a carrying pouch.
H/K’s new Soho premium on-ear mini headphones ($199) sport 30mm drivers in their square leather earcups, and come in black, white and a new camel color with matching carrying cases. To the AKG line were added two new 50mm-driver headphones: the K845BY closed-back wireless Bluetooth/NFC headphone ($349) and the AKG545 ($299), a wired version.