Harman Kardon SB26 Soundbar and Powered Wireless Subwoofer
Popular Harmon Kardon brand offers unique form factor in its products’ lineup. This is one good reason why music lovers have been loyal to this premium brand. A while ago (2 years to be exact), this brand launched the SB26 Soundbar System, which comes with a wireless subwoofer for an impressive musical experience in every session. On the paper, this product seems to offer all the top-notch features. But the question that now arises is whether this 50,000-rupee speaker system is still good for consumers in 2016 or not.
Superior Build Quality
Truth must be told. The audio system has really impressed my mind. It offers the best build quality possible at this price point. The manufacturer has brilliantly designed both the soundbar and the subwoofer. No wonder the whole setup has a harmonious look. However, unlike the SB25 that offers a much slim profile, this setup will occupy a good amount of space. The soundbar is 89 mm thick while the depth of the subwoofer is 320 mm. In the box, you will also find a bunch of brackets use them to fix the soundbar on a wall.
Coming to the build quality, Harmon Kardon has used highly durable materials in the making. I am sure that it will last with crack and scratch for many years to come.
Produces Great Audio: Honestly speaking, most of the Harmon Kardon products that I have tested in the past did not offer good sound quality. But there is something different about this device. Its soundbar features six drivers from which four generate low-frequency audio while the rest are there for producing medium quality treble. In addition, the sub-woofer box gives 100 Watts of RMS output.
I did experience the ground beneath my feet shaking while playing few music files in low to medium volumes. This whole system generates mind-blowing low-frequency audio. The vocals are of tremendous quality, which no other alternative in the market can match. It creates a true theatre like environment at home.
Besides, the SB26 Soundbar also comes with Harmon Kardon Exclusive Digital Virtual Surround Sound technology that can be turned on to have a more immersive experience.
Offers Decent Connectivity Options
After having this soundbar system, you would not need to purchase any other audio related product. It will act as the heart and brain of your entertainment system on its own. Users can connect their Set Top box to the main soundbar unit, which is capable of transferring video signals to TVs. Moreover, it also supports HDMI ARC functionality, so you will not have to create a mess of wires on the back.
The sub-woofer does not need to be physically connected to the soundbar as it offers wireless connectivity. On the back, you will also find a phase switch that can be used to avoid any possible frequency cancellations.
This speaker system is loaded with all the needed connectivity ports. Users can even stream the music stored on their smartphones and PCs via Bluetooth.
But to give a great experience, this setup also requires a lot of power. According to the manufacturer, it will need around 230 Watts of electricity at the highest settings, which is more than what your television will consume.
- Premium audio quality
- Generates pleasing and ground shaking bass
- Attractive finish
- Manufacturer has used durable materials in the making
- Comes with a plethora of connectivity ports
- Remote control
- IR blaster can be used to avoid signal blocking between the TV and its remote
Verdict: Purchase this Harman Kardon soundbar system if your budget allows. It produces great audio and is the best option to go for if you are setting up a home theatre system. But do consider the high power consumption of this device before making a purchase decision final.
|Dimensions||110 X 920 X 89 mm (Sound Bar) and 365 X 320 X 320 mm (Subwoofer)|
|Sub-Woofer Output||100 Watts|
|Weight||3.5 KG (Sound Bar) and 9.4 KG (Subwoofer)|
|Driver Units||6 (Sound Bar) and 1 (Subwoofer)|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, Optical In, HDMI and 3.5mm Jack|
Bose SoundTouch 120 Home Theater System
Bose’s first 5.1 channel home theater Lifestyle 12 was made in 1994, and it was sold with great success for five years. The Bose 120 audio system is a product of 20 years of experience in home theater systems, and 50 years in audio and their name is a synonym for quality. Does SoundTouch 120 live up to that reputation on a hefty price tag of 110000 rupees?
What is the Story? This Bose system incorporates one main Console unit, a 17″ Soundbar speaker, wireless Acoustimass module, and a SoundTouch Wireless Adapter. All of that with a help of Bose’s unique “ADAPTiQ audio calibration system”, is set to deliver you remarkable listening experience according to Bose’s high standards.
ADAPTiQ audio calibration system evaluates your room’s acoustics, and then it automatically customizes the sound to fit your room. Calibration process is simple and it takes only about 10 to 15 minutes and is part of the setup process.
Connectivity: The System offers both wireless and wired connectivity options. SoundTouch Wireless Adapter connects to your home Wi-Fi or Ethernet and connects to the main Console via the Bose Link connector.
Streaming capabilities: Yes, you can listen to internet radio. All of music services or your own music library, or you can connect any of your Bluetooth devices capable of streaming music. Digital optical, digital coaxial and stereo RCA inputs are also available, and with four HDMI inputs, we can say that system is user-friendly in terms of connection options.
There is an RF remote control in the box, and if you really want to explore interacting with your new toy using modern technology, you can install free SoundTouch application for Android and iOS devices.
Where music does comes from
Heart of the system is 17″ Wide Soundbar Speaker. Enclosure is very well designed and robust but compact. Inside you will find five powerful drivers that are aided by TrueSpace technology. Three drivers are positioned at the center, and one on each side of the speaker box.
Wireless Acoustimass module is the second integral part of the system with a task of delivering those low kicks and notes. With a signal range of 30′, you can place it anywhere in the room and not worry about tripping down on cables.
Sound quality and performance: First of system was easy to set up and customize the sound. When you play some music for the first time, it is inevitable to feel that WOW effect because such clear and crisp sound is coming from the speaker of that dimension. As an owner of Bose SoundLink Mini 2, so I was already expecting Bose to deliver quality sound and still I can say that I was very satisfied with the result.
To be fair, this device is made to be home theater add-on, so music audiophiles would probably have some objections to high praise in this review. However, I will still say that this kind of quality, even for music listening is very hard to find in this dimension and with this many convenient features.
This statement is even truer For TV and movies. Do not forget in different room configuration you will get better or worse results. Therefore, play a little with speaker position and ADAPTiQ audio calibration system. Surround effect is working, but not as good as I’d hoped sadly, but it definitely could be up to room configuration, this speaker needs walls to bounce of the sound so keep that in mind.
- compact device which delivers detailed sound
- flexible placement around the room
- streaming possibilities
- good connectivity
- 4K compatible for connection to Ultra HD TVs
- easy to use and setup for smartphones, tablets, computers
- supports MP3, WMA, AAC, and Apple lossless audio formats
- Ethernet port for connection to a wired home network
- relatively high price
- The speaker system is not HDCP 2.2-compliant and it will not support 4K video content
Final thoughts: For someone just wanting a Soundbar that is well featured and simulate surround well given the right conditions, with standard Bose quality there are not many options. There are of course alternatives (Yamaha YSP, Samsung HW series, Sonos playbar etc.), but sometimes you just want premium brand and you are willing to pay price difference. However, not sure it is worth the premium cost if your main concern is listening to music.
|Inputs/outputs||4 HDMI inputs, Coaxial audio input (digital), Optical audio input (digital), Optical audio input (digital), R-L audio input (analog), 1 HDMI output (to TV), 3.5 mm connection (for headphones/analog audio)|
|Power supply:||Dual voltage 100-240|
|Wireless range of Acoustimass module:||Up to 9 m|
Sony BDVN7200W/BME12 Home Theatre System
While looking for home theatre systems, you cannot miss out Sony. This Japanese brand does make better products than any other brands in the world, particularly in the multimedia segment. Especially, when choosing a Blu-ray player, my experience says Sony is the best brand to go with even the product has minimal features and only a few connectivity options.
Especially, when choosing a Blu-ray player, my experience says Sony is the best brand to go with even the product has minimal features and only a few connectivity options.
Today, buying a home theater system without a Blu-ray player function is not a good decision. In fact, I would go to an extent saying never consider a home entertainment system with disk playing feature. See, this is my personal opinion not always a binding with your requirement and liking.
In India, the Sony BDVN7200W Home Theatre System became available in online stores just last year for a price of 44990 rupees.
Its price tag might disappoint you, but in the global speaker market, this is an affordable choice, especially when the price of some soundbar is touching almost close to 50000-rupee mark.
Yes, we can assure, your investment will not go waste because of five primary features attached to it.
- It comes with an inbuilt Blu-ray system
- It can produce loud, clear, and crisp sound
- It has an attractive design and solid built quality
- It lists almost all primary connectivity options
- This is a product from the premium brand Sony
5.1 Surround Sound
The 5.1 Audio Channel setup gives a fully immersive experience at home. This system generates a total of 1200 Watts of RMS output. Perhaps, your experience will be greater than what some medium quality cinema halls offer.
Sony teases this product with “High-Resolution Audio” that converts low bitrates sound frequencies into high bitrates ones. Its satellite speakers are equipped with something called Magnetic Fluid Technology, which helps in reducing the background noise and increases the accuracy of produced audio.
This system is also loaded with sound enhancing technologies like DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby True HD.
Inbuilt Blu-ray Player: The main controlling unit not only decodes the audio signals but also features a Blu-ray player. When you will press the eject button, half of the main unit’s outer shell will move onto the other half and expose the disc player. It offers all modern features like 4K upscaling, DVD upscaling as well as 3D playback.
Easy Setup: All the satellite towers of this home theatre system communicate with the main unit wirelessly. However, you will have to attach them to the secondary amplifier that comes in the box.
The product manual helps a lot while deciding the best setup according to room size. After finishing the speaker placement, plug-in the calibration microphone to the back of the control unit and throw it where you usually sit. Now boot up the device and jump into the automatic sound calibration setup. The speaker system will now play some audio and will decide the best settings for each speaker unit. After this is done, you are all ready to enjoy high-quality movies.
The speaker units that Sony ships in the box are compact enough that you will not need to make any special arrangements in the room. Moreover, users can hide the power cables by using some sort of strip that matches the color of walls.
Ethernet and Wi-Fi Network Support
In terms of connectivity, the Sony home theater system comes with inbuilt Wi-Fi and Ethernet port. Therefore, you are not just limited watch videos and other contents stored on a Blu-ray disc.
It is capable of streaming media over the internet or from a local network. You can even open websites via the inbuilt browser. It is also loaded with NFC connectivity that can be used to pair a smartphone or any other device.
Sony has developed a smartphone application called SongPal for this device. It supports both iOS and Android platforms.
- Comes with Blu-ray player capable of rendering 3D videos
- Features a bunch of connectivity ports on the back
- Inbuilt Wi-Fi
- Superb build quality
- Generates amazing audio
- Gives RMS output of 1200 Watts
- Can be operated through an app
- Support for smartphone screen casting
Verdict: The home theatre system is really worth a purchase. You would love its performance. I do not think it is highly priced because even a Blu-ray player costs a bunch of money these days. Moreover, you are also getting an option to stream online content without having to purchase any other third party device.
|Audio Output||1200 Watts|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, NFC, Ethernet, Optical In, HDMI and 3.5mm Jack|
|Blu-ray Features||4K Upscaling and 3D Playback|