Harman Kardon have a selection of very interesting and attractively priced AV receivers, which are ideal for a home theater of more moderate proportions. Here we review the smallest member of the family - the AVR 1510.
If you´re about to set up your first home theater you´ll be pleased to know that even the best models from Harman Kardon are priced far cheaper than most of the competition, allowing anyone to afford an AV receiver that suits their needs. This is especially true when it comes to the AVR 1510 with a price just short of $250. At this price you´d probably think it´s riddled with flaws, but the engineers have actually done a great job in terms of features, sound and build quality. The design of the 1510 is also quite attractive and easy on the eyes with its low profile housing and a very nice looking combination of high-gloss and matte black components.
Features & Connectivity
Visually it is unmistakably a product from Harman Kardon. Clean lines, the backlit, flat volume control and the unobtrusive line of buttons below the large display are typical features on a product Harman Kardon. On the left side of the front you find a USB port for updates or to connect an iOS device or a USB stick or hard drive with MP3 or WMA files. Next to the USB is a 6.3mm headphone jack.
Inside the compact housing are five amplifiers with enough power to fill a reasonably sized living room with home cinema sound. Those who are familiar with AV receivers know that they often have a large number of in- and outputs in the rear, but you will be surprised at how uncluttered the rear panel of the AVR 1510 really is. But do not worry, all the necessary connections are available; four 3D-ready HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, coaxial and optical digital inputs, two inputs for analog audio, inputs for AM and FM antenna, two composite video inputs and one output, and a pre-out for a subwoofer. It also has an input for your network cable and an IR port for an external IR repeater, and a trigger output if you have a motorized screen for example. The color-coded speaker terminals use screw terminals for the front speakers, while the remaining channels unfortunately only use simple clamp terminals.
Thanks to the 1510's networking capabilities you can stream music from your own home network. Harman Kardon have integrated the vTuner service, which can be operated and managed comfortably on the vTuner website. This then automatically connects to the AV receiver. Conventional FM or AM radio stations can also be stored and played on the AVR 1510.
Installation & Setup
Harman Kardon have obviously done some cutbacks, something you realize when setting up the system. The AVR 1510 does unfortunately not include any automatic calibration setup with an accompanying microphone, but thanks to the simple main menu and its six sub-menus, and the help of a tape measure and ideally an SPL meter, the setup is pretty straight forward. The manual helps with step by step instructions through the relevant setup processes.
With music, the Harman Kardon AVR 1510 delivers a very convincing performance in our home theater testing room. With our reference speakers (Klipsch Reference Premiere) it sounds very balanced, with precise and deep bass and energetic and clean mid and high frequencies. The spatial representation is also very good, and no cause for complaint.
After the manual calibration it´s time for the 1510 to prove its worth in multichannel mode, and this is where the Harman Kardon engineers will show if they know their craft. Brutal action movies, such as ‘Pearl Harbor‘ (awsome LFE track), ‘Minority Report‘ or ‘The Avengers‘, is like recreational drugs to the AVR 1510 and it conveys the atmosphere perfectly in our home theater room. It does a brilliant job at decoding the Blu-ray data, with dynamics, details and effects rendered in a way that would make most sound engineers proud.
Multichannel music on the Harman Kardon AVR 1510 also gives rise to joy. The Who are very convincing in their live performance at the Royal Albert Hall, and the music and the atmosphere in the venue presents itself in the most playful manner. Don´t be surprised if the 1510 gives you goosebumps and stomping feet.
The amazingly inexpensive AVR 1510 from Harman Kardon is well equipped, looks great and makes everything sound right. Thanks to its compact size it is perfect for the living room and movies and music are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
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Five 75-watt-per-channel amplifiers with high-performance digital power supply
The AVR 1510 high-performance, audio/video receiver pumps out 75 watts per channel to power a full 5.1-channel surround sound system. It can also connect to powered subwoofers to provide enhanced low-frequency performance for your music, movies, HDTV shows, sports and video games. While the amplifier retains the time-tested Harman Kardon high-current-capacity (HCC), ultrawide-bandwidth amplifier design to ensure the most accurate, dynamic sound with enhanced clarity and realism, even at the highest listening levels, a digitally based power supply gives the amplifier all the muscle it needs without the weight of traditional power-supply designs and their heavy transformers. The net result is a great-sounding product in a smaller form factor that is friendly to the environment.
DLNA 1.5 network connectivity
The AVR 151 is DLNA 1.5 compliant, which gives you the option to deliver audio/video content over your home network via of compliant devices, such as smartphones, tablets and personal computers.
Built-in vTuner Internet radio
The AVR 1510 features vTuner Internet radio to connect you to a whole world of online audio entertainment. As soon as it’s out of the box, you can stream over-the-air radio stations from around the globe as well as stream from a wide range of Internet-only radio stations.
Four 3D-ready HDMI inputs
Four HDMI inputs with 3D and 30/36-bit Deep Color deliver high-definition digital video at resolutions up to 1080p with full-fidelity audio through a single cable. There is no loss of video or audio quality because of format conversion, just full-impact Hollywood excitement as its creators meant you to experience it. And because the AVR features 4K pass-through, your low-resolution videos will be upscaled to present you with the highest possible picture quality for your HDTV.
Front-panel USB port for connection to Apple products or USB sticks
The AVR 1510 gives you multiple options for audio playback with its front-panel USB port. Simply connect an iPhone, iPad or USB stick to play your stored tracks through your home entertainment system. The integrated USB port charges your iOS devices, too.
Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding
The AVR 1510 delivers high-resolution audio that matches the digital video quality of Blu-ray Disc™ formats, unlocking the full potential of movie soundtracks formatted with Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ coding. No matter what mode or mood you are in, you’ll always hear audio playback at its finest
HARMAN GreenEdge certification
The HARMAN GreenEdge logo assures you that the AVR 1510’s design is environmentally friendly without compromising the premium performance for which HARMAN products are known. Thanks to an advanced power supply, the AVR 1510 can deliver high-quality audio in a small, light chassis that uses less metal and plastic. The small design means that less fuel is used in transportation, with the end result being a lower carbon footprint.
New, compact design
The AVR 1510 takes the award-winning Harman Kardon design look to a new level with a flush volume control and more compact design. Thanks to the light weight made possible by an advanced digital power supply, the unit weighs less without sacrificing performance so that it is the perfect match for the thin glass shelves of today’s open TV/entertainment furniture.
Color-coded connectors and speaker terminals
All connections on the AVR 1510 are color-coded to simplify hookup and reduce errors. What could be easier?
Multidevice, programmable remote control
The AVR 1510 simplifies your life with a programmable, infrared (IR) remote control. Its design works seamlessly with the receiver’s multilingual on-screen display, guiding you through system setup and operation with consummate ease. The multidevice remote can also control your TV, cable boxes, satellite tuners and other playback sources. For further installation flexibility, there is a 12-volt trigger output and a remote IR sensor input.
Harman Kardon remote app for compatible iOS and Android smartphones and tablets
Taking control to the next level, the Harman Kardon Remote app is available from the iTunes App Store for iOS® devices and the Google Play™ service for compatible Android™ products. It will let you use your compatible smartphone or tablet to drive the AVR 1510 without picking up the remote.
• Stereo power: 75W per channel, two channels driven @ 6/8 ohms, 1kHz, <0.1% THD
• Multichannel power: 75W per channel, two channels driven @ 6/8 ohms, 1kSHz, <0.1% THD
• Input sensitivity/impedance: 250mV/27k ohms • Signal-to-noise ratio (IHF-A): 75dB
• Dolby Pro Logic®/DPLII: 40dB
• Dolby Digital: 55dB
• DTS®: 55dB
• Frequency response (@ 1W): 10Hz – 130kHz (+0dB/–3dB)
• High instantaneous current capability (HCC): ±25 amps
• Transient intermodulation distortion (TIM): Unmeasurable
• Slew rate: 40V/sec
FM Tuner Section
• Frequency range: 87.5MHz – 108.0MHz • Usable sensitivity IHF: 1.3µV/13.2dBf
• Signal-to-noise ratio (mono/stereo): 70dB/68dB
• Distortion (mono/stereo): 0.2%/0.3%
• Stereo separation: 40dB @ 1kHz
• Selectivity (±400kHz): 70dB
• Image rejection: 80dB
• IF rejection: 80dB
AM Tuner Section
• Frequency range: 520kHz – 1,510kHz
• Signal-to-noise ratio: 38dB
• Usable sensitivity (loop): 375µV
• Distortion (1kHz, 50% mod): 1.0%
• Selectivity (±10kHz): 30dB
• Television format: NTSC
• Input level/impedance: 1Vp-p/75 ohms
• Output level/impedance: 1Vp-p/75 ohms
• Video frequency response (composite video): 10Hz – 8MHz (–3dB)
• HDMI: Supports up to 4K x 2K
• Power requirement: 120V AC / 60Hz
• Power consumption: <0.5W (standby); 410W maximum
• Dimensions (H x W x D): 4-3/4" x 17-5/16" x 11-13/16" (121mm x 440mm x 300mm)
• Weight: 10 lb (4.6kg)
- 1 Harman Kardon AVR 1510 A/V receiver
- 1 programmable remote control
- 1 AM loop antenna with 2' (0.6m) cable
- 1 FM antenna with 6' (1.8m) cable
- 2 AAA batteries
- Quick-start guide
- Warranty card
- Safety sheet