Harman Kardon SB30 Review

A Cleanly Speaking Sound Bar

Harman Kardon SB30 review

The width of 44,7" (116 cm) makes the SB 30 best suited for TVs of 50 inches or more. As many as 13 separate drivers caters to create a large and wide soundstage as possible. 11 separate amp channels drives them, with advanced signal processing that simulates surround sound in a large area of ​​the room, not just the middle of the couch.

Various 'sound modes', including stereo, virtual surround sound and Harman/Kardon's own Wave, has a special "room size" button to customize the sound to your room's size.

​A Dolby Volume feature is also available, which brings out more details in the sound when playing at low volume by highlighting weaker sections and attenuating the strongest.

Ease of Use?​

Harman Kardon SB30 remote

​SB 30 is not the most stable when laced on a table or bench, it is quite heavy and can tip over. We recommend that you hang it on the wall. An EQ switch on the back fine-tunes the bass response depending on whether it sits on a bench or hangs on the wall.

​H/K's sound bar is generally easy to set up and use. The wireless subwoofer is automatically synchronized with the speaker without having to press any buttons. A display does not exist, but instead relies on a LED on the front which indicate which features are turned on. The small remote works fine but is a bit of a sad story.

Sound Quality​

Harman Kardon SB30 inputs

SB 30‘s strength is a very clear and distinctive midrange. Movie Dialogue is clear and well-articulated. Small details in the sound emerges and machine guns bang like crazy! The treble is not as finely resolved as SpeakerCrafts, and if any of the actors on the screen raises his/her voice, it may sound a little harsh at times. Explosions slams nicely and the subwoofer helps a great deal by filling in the lowest frequencies. It’s not one of the quickest subwoofers we have heard, and the deepest bass effects may sound a bit veiled. Overall, it does a pretty good job.

​The size of the sound is pretty good, we are sucked into the action and the sound envelops us almost completely. Genuine surround is never achieved, but it should not be expected either.

​Music is reproduced with good attack in the midrange. Piano keys have a really nice 'bite' and vocals stand out clearly and openly. The harmonics are also airy and the sound is great and highly engaging.

​The subwoofer creates the foundation for the bass range, but purely sonically it gels together less well with the sound bar. There is a minor gap in the upper bass range that makes it sound less linear. Trying to compensate for this by turning up the subwoofer level makes it sound a little pompous. And if you lower it, it feels too thin. The subwoofer has not got the same attack and macro dynamics like some models in this size and price range.

​Conclusion

​Harman Kardon SB 30 is a sound bar with a really lively midrange allowing dialogue and vocals to stand out. This is extra evident when watching movies and playing video games, and thanks to the external subwoofer you'll get a good rumble in the bottom of the frequency range.

​We did however wish for a quicker subwoofer that also integrates more seamlessly into the mix. There is no real power in the upper bass range, which unfortunately affects the musicality.

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Harman Kardon SB 30 5.1-Ch Soundbar System w/ Wireless Subwoofer
  • Current Price: $254.97
  • Ends: Apr 8, 2017 10:08:27 CEST
Harman Kardon SB30 Subwoofer Only (no Soundbar or Remote)
  • Current Price: $279.99
  • Ends: Apr 13, 2017 6:16:25 CEST
  • FEATURES
  • SPecIFICATIONS
  • IN ThE bOX

Power
■ A 230-watt soundbar with 6 x HARMAN Warrior transducers and 7 x HARMAN CMMD Lite tweeters
■ A 100-watt wireless powered subwoofer with a 200mm (8") driver
■ Eleven individual amplifier channels for unprecedented power

Surround-Sound Processing
■ Exclusive HARMAN Wave surround-mode technology uses extremely advanced digital signal processing (Triple DSP) to deliver a realistic surround-sound experience to multiple listeners, no matter the shape and size of the room
■ Virtual mode that works with stereo and multichannel sources; this configuration enlarges the sound field, the apparent source width and the depth of the perceived soundstage
■ Stereo mode with equalization and filtering in the digital domain for a very coherent, smooth uniform sound field, independent of listening angle

Connectivity
■ Stereo audio cable to connect the soundbar to your TV is included
■ One coaxial digital input to connect the SB 30 to your TV, DVD player or cable/satellite tuner’s coaxial digital output
■ One optical digital input to connect the SB 30 to your TV, DVD player or cable/satellite tuner’s optical output (cable included)
■ One analogue input to connect the SB 30 to your TV, DVD player or cable/satellite tuner’s stereo analogue output (cable included)
■ Magnetically shielded speakers in the soundbar allow you to put the soundbar underneath any type of TV without causing picture interference

Ease of Use
■ Dolby® Volume helps you maintain the same volume level – no matter what you’re watching, be it a film, TV show or TV commercial
■ User-adjustable surround energy function for the wave modes gives the listener control in three separate listening environments: small, medium or large rooms
■ An included IR remote conveniently allows you to control all soundbar functionality
■ Wireless subwoofer allows for numerous placement options, since it does not connect physically to the soundbar speaker
■ Automatic turn-on circuit conveniently switches from ‘standby’ to ‘on’ when a new audio signal is present – saving you energy
■ Dual-position EQ switch lets you account for the soundbar – be it in a wall-mounted or tabletop-mounted situation – so you can generate the most natural-sounding bass performance
■ Adjustable subwoofer crossover lets you achieve a smooth transition of bass between subwoofer and soundbar in a variety of rooms or locations
■ Phase switch lets you tailor bass performance to your listening environment and personal taste
■ Subwoofer level control lets you achieve the best balance between soundbar and subwoofer, no matter what room you’re in
■ Wireless code switches let you change RF channels to avoid interference with other wireless devices
■ Wall-mounting hardware (included) makes it easy for you to mount the soundbar next to – or underneath – your flatscreen TV
■ Dolby digital decoding
■ DTS® decoding

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