Northridge, Calif. - Following
the debut of its BDS
series of Blu-ray-equipped home theater systems, Harman Kardon plans later
this year to launch new A/V receivers with upgraded network capabilities, expand
its BDS series, and offer its first Apple AirPlay product.
In a couple of months, Harman
Kardon will unveil an AirPlay module that connects to current-generation A/V
receivers and to new AVRs, enabling them to wirelessly stream music via Wi-Fi
from iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads and from iTunes-equipped PCs, said Chris
Dragon, director of consumer and field marketing for Harman Consumer Americas.
The brand will also expand the
network capabilities of its AVRs in other ways. Built-in vTuner Internet radio
software, which streams audio from thousands of Internet radio stations, will trickle
down to mainstream price points, Dragon said. The feature is currently
available in the brand's $2,500 flagship receiver.
The new AVR line will also be the
brand's first with DLNA certification and ability to stream music from
Like before, all of the new AVRs connect to
the brand's iPod/iPhone-docking Bridge, which enables streaming of audio and
video from a docked iPod or iPhone.
In the fall, Harman Kardon plans to
launch BDS systems with new features. BDS systems consist of a Blu-ray-equipped
A/V receiver packaged with speakers, and the new models will add 3D Blu-ray
playback, HDMI 1.4a inputs for connection to other 3D-capable video sources,
and HDMI audio return channel.
Also in the works is an expanded selection of
Harman Kardon Go+Play tabletop iPod/iPhone docking speaker systems.
Additional product details and
pricing were unavailable.
The two current two BDS systems
feature compact FM- and Blu-ray equipped A/V receivers. One system, the $999
BDS 400, is packaged with 2.1 speaker system and Dolby Virtual Surround, which
uses two dual-driver speakers to simulate a 5.1 soundfield. The BDS 400 also features
compact subwoofer and 2Â½-way crossover network to improve the transition
between midrange and high-frequency drivers.
The BDS 800 at $1,499 comes with higher
power receiver and 5.1 speaker package whose speakers also feature dual drivers
and 2 Â½-way crossover design.
Both systems feature on-screen
display, and both connect to an optional Bridge iPod/iPhone dock. They also feature
front-panel USB port for connecting MP3 players and USB sticks to play audio.
Both also feature upgradeable firmware.
Harman Kardon also offers the two
systems' receivers as separate purchases. The BDS 400's receiver is $699, and
the BDS 800's receiver is $799.