Harman Kardon resets its AV receiver line with AVR 1600, 2600 and 3600 models

Steven Kim
S. Kim|09.09.09

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Harman Kardon resets its AV receiver line with AVR 1600, 2600 and 3600 models
Harman Kardon AVR 3600
The namesake brand at Harman International has introduced its new 2009 AVR lineup, making 3 out of the 4 AVRs on the company website shiny and new -- the AVR 1600, AVR 2600 and AVR 3600 (pictured, but trust us, they look almost identical). All three models are armed with lossless Blu-ray audio codec support which are now -- thankfully -- de rigeur, but the real emphasis is on connectivity and features. The living room is the new battleground, and even receivers have to fight for a place amongst the videogame consoles and set-top boxes. Taking top billing, the AVR 3600 includes second zone support and a pcked-in The Bridge III iPod/iPhone dock -- with a capital "T" and Roman numerals -- that can pull HD video right off the ubiquitous devices and put them up on the big screen. H/K put out the first receiver with Dolby Volume, and the company is standing by the feature by putting it into the 2600 and 3600 models, which also get a graphical UI in keeping with the convenience theme. Sorry, 1600 owners will have to make like everything's a foreign film and read the text. Full details and pricing after the break.
September 9, 2009 – Harman Kardon, a division of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (www.harman.com), today introduced three new audio/video receivers that bring the best sound and visual experience to the home. Each receiver takes advantage of the latest sound and video technologies – such as the latest high-bit-rate formats, including Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ delivered via Blu-ray Disc™ and the HD video content stored on iPod and iPhone products – and incorporates them into a beautifully designed, easy-to-use system. The AVR 1600, AVR 2600 and AVR 3600 are all capable of generating multichannel surround sound, allowing users to hear the crisp detail of a soft guitar stroke and the exciting explosions coming from different directions in the latest action movie. Since Harman Kardon's introduction of the world's first high-fidelity receiver in 1954, the company continues to utilize the latest in Harman's proprietary technology and elegant high style to produce audio systems that do not sacrifice quality or ease of use.

Harman Kardon's new line of receivers makes its debut at a time when more than half of U.S. households own a high-definition TV, according to the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing. However, solely owning a high-definition TV without the proper receiver or sound equipment means that these households can only take partial advantage of the technology being offered through their TV systems. Audio/video receivers not only help integrate the best sound possible coming out of your TV, but they also help integrate playback of other popular devices.

The AVR 3600 is the ultimate home entertainment receiver for entertainment fanatics looking to get the most out of all of their devices at home. It comes equipped with Harman Kardon's The Bridge III, a universal dock for the iPod and iPhone that connects with a single cable and lets you navigate music and video collections with the unit's high-resolution on-screen menus. The AVR 3600 is one of the few receivers to play back HD videos from iPod or iPhone products. Non-HD videos from the iPhone are automatically optimized by the AVR 3600 to bring the video quality to the HD standard, 1080p.

Given the importance of integration of multiple entertainment devices, both the AVR 3600 and AVR 2600 feature Dolby Volume to maintain consistent and clear sound volume when switching between multiple sources, such as from DVR to TV to music, one TV channel to another or even a TV program to an overly loud commerical. Harman Kardon® receivers have earned worldwide accolades for their uncompromising sound quality. From entry-level to advanced models, the multichannel receivers are held to the brand's high-performance standards. With a few simple steps, the AVRs adjust sound to exact room setups. With Harman Kardon's proprietary EzSet/EQ™ system, the user plugs in an included microphone and follows full-color on-screen instructions (text-only in the AVR1600).

"Novice home-theater installers shouldn't fret. Harman International brought sound to the first movie theaters and it also introduced many of the technologies associated with the world's best amplifiers. Simplifying the household setup has become a big part of that process," said Christopher M. Dragon, director of consumer and field marketing, Harman International. "Our team of engineers continues to deliver the ultimate home-listening experience that's easy to set up."

Each receiver helps music and movie libraries sound their best by providing power that ranges between 50 and 80 watts for each of the seven channels. Like all Harman Kardon products, the AVR 1600, AVR 2600 and AVR 3600 are designed to match the entire Harman home-theater lineup; they will be available in September 2009 for a suggested retail price ranging from $599.95 for the AVR 1600, $799.95 for the AVR 2600 and $1,199.95 for the AVR 3600.

All three Harman Kardon AVRs offer a superior audio and video experience. The entire line is capable of Logic 7®, 5.1 and 7.1 for music and cinema. Below is a breakdown of each model's features:

The Harman Kardon AVR 3600 (SRP $1,199.95) includes all of the AVR 1600 and AVR 2600 features plus the following:
  • The Bridge III, included for charging, control and audio/HD video playback from compatible iPod and iPhone products
  • Additional Custom Features: Full multiroom audio system with Zone II remote included, preamplifier outputs for all channels and A-BUS/ready™
The Harman Kardon AVR 2600 (SRP $799.95) includes all of the AVR 1600 features plus the following:
  • Audio DSP Section: Dolby Volume
  • Video DSP Section: Faroudja® "Torino" video scaler/enhancer, upconverts to from composite to component video or HDMI™, upconverts to 720P, 1080i through component or up to 1080p through HDMI™. Menu system rendered directly in HD up to 1080p
  • HDMI Inputs/Outputs: Four inputs and one output, assignable component video ports
  • Audio Inputs: iPod charging, control via AVR menus and playback of audio or HD and SD video via The Bridge III (not included), SIRIUS Satellite Radio®-ready
  • Audio Outputs: Configurable back amps for 7.1 or Zone II output
  • General Features: Remote In/Out, MR remote In, one switched AC outlet
The Harman Kardon AVR 1600 (SRP $599.95) includes the following:
  • Amplifier: Output power – 50 watts per channel (65 watts for the AVR 2600 and 80 watts for the AVR 3600), 20Hz–20kHz bandwidth, high current capability and all-discrete amplifier circuitry
  • Audio DSP Section: Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital, Dolby PLIIx, DTS®, DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-ES® Discrete, DTS NEO:6, DTS 96/24 and DTS 96 kHz/7.1Ch., Logic 7, 5.1 and 7.1 for cinema and music, 2 Ch. downmix
  • Video DSP Section: Cross-conversion via component to HDMI (all input to HDMI for the AVR 2600 and AVR 3600)
  • Audio Inputs: 6/8 channel direct, portable music player via 3.5 mini jack, five analog L/R (rear) and one analog L/R (front) and S/P-DIF inputs
  • Audio Outputs: Three analog out L/R (rear), pre-outs and headphone
  • Video Inputs: Three rear and one front composite video, two rear high-bandwidth component video (configurable)
  • Video Outputs: One composite video output for front and rear, and one for receiver (VID1)
  • HDMI Inputs/Outputs: Three inputs and one output, assignable component video ports
  • Digital Inputs/Outputs: Two coax and optical rear inputs, one coax and optical front input, one coax rear output
  • General Features: USB port for firmware/DSP updates and upgrades, compressed music enhancer and EzSet/EQ
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