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Harman Kardon SB 30 has two listening modes, costs eight Benjamins

Brian Heater

Looking for a fancy new soundbar for your fancy new home theater system? Don't mind dropping, oh, say, $800 or so on the thing? Why not have a look at Harman Kardon's latest offering, the SB 30? The relatively compact system offers up two listening modes -- virtual and wave, the latter of which promises to "maximize the listening area" in bigger rooms. The SB 30 also packs in Dolby Volume technology for a consistent volume levels and a dual-position equalizer. Harman will be showing the thing off next week at CES. Press info can be found after the break.

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New Technologies in Harman Kardon Soundbar Bring Breakthrough Surround-Sound Experience

STAMFORD, Conn. – HARMAN International Industries today announced availability of the Harman Kardon® SB 30, a beautifully designed soundbar and wireless subwoofer that uses new digital sound processing technology to provide a rich and dynamic soundtrack to movies, sports programming or video games. The state-of-the-art sound system works out of the box to significantly enhance sound quality from an HDTV in any space, as the Harman Kardon SB 30 can be optimized for room size and listener location.

The popularity of soundbar systems has soared recently, as consumers look to improve the sound performance of an HDTV to enhance the overall experience. According to research from the NPD Group, soundbar system sales have grown 71 percent year-to-date from November 2010 to November 2011.

"With revolutionary digital sound processing capabilities, the Harman Kardon SB 30 soundbar will overwhelm the competition and redefine how surround sound is experienced at home," said Sachin Lawande, executive vice president, chief technology officer, and co-president, Lifestyle and Infotainment. "The soundbar is perfect for the modern home, where so much of our entertainment content comes from an HDTV, and there is strong consumer desire to optimize sound for movies and video games. The design of the SB 30 features the understated elegance Harman Kardon is known for and, combined with new DSP technologies and a wireless subwoofer, provides a vibrant sound system that is as unobtrusive as it is clean."

The Harman Kardon SB 30 includes two listening modes – virtual and Wave – for unique surround-sound effects. The listening modes, exclusive HARMAN technologies, allow the SB 30 to be tailored for room size, preferred listener location and type of content. For example, the virtual mode is ideal for enhancing traditional two-channel stereo sources such as a CD by creating rear ambience. In the Wave mode, the transducers create left and right surround fields to maximize the listening area in larger rooms.

The soundbar renders 5.1-surround sound through an innovative triple-core digital signal processing (DSP) array, which features 13 transducers, six 2-inch woofers, seven 1-inch tweeters and 11 amplifier channels. The compact wireless subwoofer, which can be placed anywhere in the room, features a down-firing bass reflex design for accurate bass and a more realistic sound. Combined, the soundbar and wireless subwoofer create a rich listening environment free of the wires and multiple speakers that clutter many living areas.

The Harman Kardon SB 30 was named an International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards honoree. The soundbar and wireless subwoofer will be on display at HARMAN's booth (#12438) during the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show from January 10 through January 13.

Other critical techniques used to deliver best-in-class sound include Dolby® Volume technology and a dual-position equalizer switch. Dolby Volume technology is a true listening convenience, as it maintains the same volume level no matter the channel or program being watched – in other words, viewers will not be jolted out of their seat by a loud commercial. The dual-position EQ switch adds to the performance of the soundbar's center loudspeaker, as users flip the EQ switch depending on whether they wall-mount the SB 30 or place it on a tabletop. (Wall-mounting hardware is included with the SB 30.)

Pricing and Availability
The Harman Kardon SB 30 has a minimum advertised price of $799. For additional information or to purchase, visit

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