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Harman Reviving Infinity With Reference Launch

Stamford, Conn. — Harman’s Infinity brand revealed pricing and details of a revamped Reference series of in-room speakers, which are front and center in the company’s effort to resuscitate the brand in home audio.

The Reference series of in-room speakers consists of two floorstanding speakers, two bookshelf speakers, two center-channel models, a surround speaker and two wireless powered subwoofers.

The Infinity brand, founded in 1968, has been quiet for years because Harman has been focusing initially on reinvigorating the JBL and Harman Kardon audio brands, the company previously said.

As part of the effort to resuscitate the brand, Harman not only sketched out its Reference plans at International CES but also announced a five-year partnership with Linkin Park to not only serve as Infinity brand ambassador but also to collaborate on product development and design. Harman also revealed plans for its first portable wireless speaker, which incorporates Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The three-way floorstanding speakers are the R253 with dual 5.25-inch woofers at a suggested $899/pair and the R263 with dual 6.5-inch woofers at $1,099/pair. The two two-way bookshelf speakers are the $399/pair R152 with 5.25-inch woofer and $499/pair R162 with 6.25-inch woofer. The two center-channel speakers are the $349 2.5-way RC252 with dual 5.25-inch woofers and the $499 three-way RC263 with dual 6.5-inch woofers.

The on-wall surround is the $499/pair two-way RS152 with 5.25-inch woofer, and the two subwoofers are the $499 10-inch 200-watt SUB R10 and $599 12-inch 300-watt SUB R12.

The products are shipping.

The speakers feature Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) cone technology and the brand’s newest waveguide technology. CMMD adds a ceramic surface to aluminum tweeter, midrange and woofer cones in the full-range speakers to provide what the company called an “ideal stiffness-to-weight ratio” and to help move resonances up in frequency outside of the driver’s pass band. The 1-inch CMMD tweeter in all full-range models is mated with a new waveguide to deliver “seamless integration with the CMMD midranges and woofers” and provide smooth response across a wide listening area, the company said.

 The RC263 center channel is unusual at $499 because it is a three-way model, the company said.

 The RS152 surround speaker is said to be suited for multichannel music and home theater. Patented Hemispherical Soundfield Technology (HST) uses a combination of driver positioning and waveguide pattern control to deliver balanced coverage across a 180-degree hemispherical listening area “without the typical hot and cold frequency inefficiencies found when mounting traditional loudspeakers on the wall,” the company said. As a result, when placed on wall, the speaker “maintains consistent performance over a wide area even when listening from far off to one side,” the company said.

 The powered ported subs feature a full complement of controls, including variable crossover, level and selectable LF trim.