Harman Kardon ??


Active Member
Dec 14, 2007
Hyderabad/Chennai, India

Does anyone use the Harman kardon amps. I heard that they are very honest about their power outputs. Also heard that they are the guys who invented the whole receiver thingy!!

All the experts, I need your opinion regarding this
Harman is as good or as bad as any of the low/ middle range AV receivers out there. Harman is not at all the product it was even 10 years ago. The build, layout, and feel has radically changed since they shifted to manufacturing in the east.
I like a two channel set up so AVR s are not my cup of tea but i had a HK AVR 25 about 15 yrs ago which was a dolby pro logic (GOD THAT WAS JUST IN THEN) AVR rated at 75 watts and it was very good even for stereo listening but the ones i have seen subsequently are not great.

I guess the marantz or denon or even an onkyo would be better though am sure lots of folks here would have different thoughts.

Does anyone use the Harman kardon amps. I heard that they are very honest about their power outputs. Also heard that they are the guys who invented the whole receiver thingy!!

That's true.

I bought my first serious AVR a few years ago. I firstly researched, researched and researched. And then listened, listened and listened. And then bought an HK. Other amps I had compared them against were primarily Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon. Strictly my personal opinion, but HK beat the thing out of competitor's amps on a bang for buck basis.

HK sound is what an amp's sound should be. NEUTRAL. It preserves the details and does to sound that any good amp should do. NOTHING!

I have heard equipments at much higher price point and have a feeling that have been blessed with a good pair of ears. And I trust, at budget level (in international market that is, in Indian market they are at the beginning of the "hi-end") they are the best.

Wrt, power rating. They are one of the most modest companies. I myself was a sceptic and wanted to find the truth. I went to a leading hi-fi store in the town and hooked a AVR 240 with a Jamo D590. Jamo D590 is a full 3-way system with a large low frequency driver (8") and a difficult load (4 Ohms). I was skeptic and was expecting the amp to run out of gas. Behold nothing like that happened. The AVR 240 drove the Jamo D590 effortlessly. And it was not a small-ish room either. A huge 30x75 feet hall (as good as open air sans the roof). Need I say more?

I agree with the sentiment that Harman Kardon gear is no longer what it used to be a decade or two ago, but at the entry level in the international market of hi-fi, HK is still my number 1 choice.
I used to have a HK AVR20 10 years ago. Though a prologic AVR it was great for music as well. Unfortunately i upgraded a few years later to one of their Dolby Digital amps. While it was great for movies but very average for music. Have now shifted to Nad and Rotel. Would agree with everyone that HK is not what it used to be.......and their newest amps look terrible!

Ah the good old days !!! I have a 2001 model AVR from Harman/ Kardon , the AVR 3500. Those were the days when HK was making muscle AVRs. They have left the high power AVR a long time ago as I understand. In those days AVRs used to give realistic performance values eg: my AVR said 40 watts per channel at 8 Ohms and mentioned it separately for each one. compare that to the present day specs: 130 watts at 6 ohms with 1 channel !!! I mean who operates a 1 channel. and most Speakers have a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms. So performances are way below expectations . Not so in the good old days :) My AVR 3500 is still a great piece. of course it doesn't have HDMI etc but has optical audio link. . No True HD but good old DTS and Dolby Digital, Prologic etc.
A beautiful, well-constructed speaker with class-leading soundstage, imaging and bass that is fast, deep, and precise.