Harman International is rolling out a dozen new Harman Kardon and JBL home audio products, including HK’s first AV receiver with Apple AirPlay, new opening price points on HK AVRs, and an expanded selection of JBL active soundbars and iPad-docking speaker systems.
Harman Kardon’s $499-suggested AVR 1700 5.1-channel AVR is the brand’s first with Apple AirPlay and ability to be controlled from an iOS or Android app.
All ship in October along with a new series of Infinity Kappa car speakers.
The new Harman Kardon products include the $299-suggested AVR 700 and $499 AVR 1700 5.1-channel AVRs, the brand’s first stereo-Bluetooth adapter to add Bluetooth streaming to any audio system, and a new version of HK’s SoundSticks 2.1 multimedia speaker system, this one adding stereo Bluetooth.
In AVRs, the new $299 model features Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master surround decoding, 5x75-watt amp, three HDMI 1.4a inputs, HDMI 1.4a output with audio return channel, and a front-panel USB to play MP3 files from USB sticks, drives and compatible Android phones.
HK’s $499 AVR 1700 steps up to add 5x100-watt amp, DLNA 1.5-certified networking to PCs and mobile devices, Apple AirPlay, vTuner Internet radio, and Apple-certified USB for playing music from and charging Apple’s mobile devices, including the iPad. The AVR 1700 is also the brand’s first AVR with iOS and Android remote-control apps. The AVR also features six HDMI 1.4a inputs and flush volume control.
Harman Kardon’s previous opening price point for AVRs was $479, and the opening price on networked AVRs was $879, the company’s website shows.
To add Bluetooth capability to any audio system, HK is launching the $59-suggested BTA 10, a 2x2-inch module that connects to any audio via stereo RCA inputs and 3.5mm aux input. It can be paired with up to eight Bluetooth devices. Harman TrueStream technology is designed to improve sound quality.
Bluetooth is also a feature of HK’s new $229 SoundSticks Wireless multimedia speakers, which add Bluetooth streaming to their predecessor’s feature set. The 40-watt three-piece system consists of two vertical satellites, each with four full-range drivers, and a separate 6-inch downfiring subwoofer with volume control. The system connects to PCs and audio sources via 3.5mm aux in or by Bluetooth. It also features TrueStream technology and ability to pair with eight Bluetooth sources.
Under the JBL brand, the company is expanding its soundbar selection with three models priced at a suggested $199, $299, and $549. The brand previously offered a $599 bar. All three are two- or 2.1-channel models with proprietary signal processing to simulate surround sound.
The top two soundbars are JBL’s first with built-in Bluetooth. All three feature EQ switch to optimize response for wall mounting or table placement.
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