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Harman Unveils Home, Car, Portable Audio

3/19/2010 11:34:20 AM Eastern

Northridge, Calif. - Spring brings new mobile, home and portable audio
products from Harman Consumer, which will expand its selection of Works With
iPhone speaker systems and launch its first automotive digital signal processor
(DSP).

 The $399-suggested AC/DC Harman Kardon Go+Play Micro is iPhone-certified.
 The $799-suggested JBL-brand MS-8 signal processor can be added to any aftermarket or OEM sound system to upgrade sound-system performance.

A pair of Harman Kardon 5.1 speaker packages is also among the
new products.

The automotive signal processor, the $799-suggested JBL-brand
MS-8, can be added to any aftermarket or OEM sound system to upgrade
sound-system performance. Unlike competing products, consumers will be able to
use their factory head unit's volume-control knob in any OEM-integration
installation, said Chris Dragon, Harman Consumer's consumer and field marketing
director. It's the industry's first DSP unit with built-in amplification, and
it ships in April, he added. Updated pricing was unavailable.

The device comes with included headphone-mounted microphones and
CD to allow for automatic selection of crossover points, speaker time-alignment
settings, equalization to compensate for interior acoustics, and other
parameters to deliver flat frequency response and enhanced imaging, the company
said. Through proprietary Logic 7 processing, the sound system will deliver the
same frequency response and image to any vehicle occupant if the system is
equipped with a center channel, Dragon added.

Although the MS-8 features 8x20-watt built-in amplifier, it can
be added downstream from a factory amp in case removal of the factory amp would
interfere with the functioning of other OEM vehicle systems. A small LCD
display used during setup can be disconnected or mounted permanently on the
dash for after-installation tweaking.

Four new iPod/iPhone-docking speaker systems, all certified as
Works with iPhone, include the AC/DC Harman Kardon Go+Play Micro, a smaller
version of the current Go+Play. The new model, due in March at a revised suggested $399,
adds iPhone certification, ability to stream video to a connected TV, and USB
connectivity to allow for synchronization with a PC's iTunes application. It
features a similar arch-shaped design as the current model except for a new angled
docking cradle for video viewing. The biamplified system features two
midrange/tweeter drivers, a single woofer, 60-watt output at 1 percent THD, DSP
and a compartment for eight C batteries.

Two new JBL-brand iPod speaker systems replace current models,
adding iPhone certification at the same price as their predecessors. The
portable AC/DC JBL On Stage Micro II, due in April at $129, docks an iPod or
iPhone in a circular base that's only 6 inches in diameter. It operates on four
AAA batteries. JBL's AC-only On Time 200P docking clock radio, due April at $249,
is oval-shaped like its predecessor.

The fourth new iPod/iPhone speaker system is a line addition. The
JBL On Time Micro is the brand's first round iPod/iPhone docking alarm clock.
The $249 AC-only device lacks radio and is due in April at a price to be
announced.

Two new Harman Kardon 5.1 speaker packages are the $799 HKTS 20
and $999 HKTS 30, both shipping in March. Both feature four compact two-way
satellite speakers, a two-way center-channel speaker, and a 200-watt powered
subwoofer. Compared to their predecessors, they add proprietary Waveguide
technology to the tweeters and reduce subwoofer size while increasing output,
said Dragon. The step-up model features two midranges in each speaker, and the
lower-priced model features two midranges in only the center channel.

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