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Harman Unveils Home, Portable Car Audio Line

3/23/2010 05:00:00 AM Eastern

NORTHRIDGE, CALIF. — Harman
Consumer unveiled mobile, home
and portable audio products last
Thursday,

Harman is expanding its selection
of Works with iPhone speaker systems
and launching its first automotive
digital signal processor (DSP),
along with introducing a pair of Harman
Kardon 5.1 speaker packages.

The automotive signal processor,
the $799-suggested JBL-brand MS-
8, can be added to any aftermarket or
OEM sound system to upgrade soundsystem
performance. Unlike competing
products, consumers will be able
to use their factory head unit’s volumecontrol
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 suggested $299, 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 ovalshaped
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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