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Harman Unveils Home, Portable Audio At IFA

9/08/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

BERLIN – Nine audio products unveiled here by Harman at IFA include Harman Kardon’s highest priced soundbar to date at an everyday $999 and Harman Kardon’s first tabletop speaker with Bluetooth, AirPlay, DLNA and Wi-Fi.

The $999 soundbar, called Sabre, is promoted as the world’s thinnest soundbar, with a 1.26-inch depth.

Other select Harman Kardon products include the brand’s first Bluetooth speakers with nearfield communications (NFC) for tap-topair functionality. Likewise, the Sabre soundbar and the new $599 SB 26 soundbar are Harman Kardon’s first soundbars with Bluetooth, though they lack NFC.

Here’s what Harman showed under the Harma Kardon brand:

The $999-everday 1.26-inch-deep aluminum- chassis Sabre will be the brand’s highest priced soundbar to date. The companion wireless subwoofer is also thin. The square-shaped 100-watt sub is only about 3 inches deep.

The soundbar streams AAC and AptX over Bluetooth. It also features DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD decoding, three 3D-capable HDMI inputs, an HDMI output with audio return channel and Harman Wave virtual surround.

The Sabre also features an IR repeater, and the soundbar can be programmed to respond to a TV remote’s volume, power and source commands. Harman Volume technology maintains a consistent volume level. The Sabre ships in October.

The second soundbar, the $599 SB26, features Dolby Digital decoding, two HDMI inputs, one HDMI output with audio return channel, Harman Volume, Harman Display Surround Virtual Speaker to simulate surround sound, and wireless 100-watt powered subwoofer. It comes with Bluetooth with AptX and AAC streaming. The soundbar also features an IR repeater and ability to be programmed to respond to TV remotes.

In portable AC/DC speakers, the $499-everyday Harman Kardon Onyx is the brand’s first tabletop speaker to combine Bluetooth, AirPlay, Wi-Fi and DLNA. It’s also Harman Kardon’s first tabletop speaker with the latter three technologies.

The spherically shaped speaker, which also offers NFC, sits within a stainless-steel ring that doubles as a handle. It streams AAC and AptX over Bluetooth.

With the Harman Kardon Remote app for iOS and Android devices, a mobile device will stream music via Wi-Fi to multiple Onyx speakers and networked Harman Kardon AVRs at a time. The app also accesses PCs and NAS drives to stream their music libraries.

Another Bluetooth portable is the flat, square Esquire at $249 with NFC and phone-conference microphone.

New products also included one Harman Kardon headphone, two AKG headphones, a JBL computer speaker and a JBL Blutooth speaker.