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 networked PCs.
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 2½-way crossover network to improve the transition between midrange and highfrequency 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 ½-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.