September 04, 2009

With the AVR 160 and AVR 260, Harman Kardon® introduces the two entry-level models of its new AV receiver generation

BERLIN – At the IFA 2009, Harman Kardon® presents the new generation of its AV receivers. Even the AVR 160 and AVR 260 entry-level models offer all the prerequisites for the management of modern signal sources like Blu-ray and the reproduction of high-resolution formats such as DTS HD Master Audio™ and Dolby® TrueHD. The basic equipment of both units also includes the impressive Logic 7® surround format developed by Harman engineers and convenient auto-calibration of the loudspeakers through EzSet/EQ™. In addition, the AVR 260 offers the upscaling of video signals to 1080p with the aid of a Faroudja DCDi Cinema™ processor and suitability for use as a central unit for distributing sound to several rooms. Both receivers are available from specialist dealers as from September at a price of EUR 599 (AVR 160) and EUR 799 (AVR 260) (recommended retail prices incl. VAT).

With the two new AV receivers AVR 160 and AVR 260, Harman Kardon offers inexpensive entry into the world of the latest digital sound and video formats. In addition to the traditional digital surround modes such as Dolby Digital® (EX), Dolby Pro Logic® IIx, DTS-ES®, DTS Neo:6®, the choice of reproduction options also includes the entire set of new surround modes like DTS-HD™, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus thanks to the extended Cirrus Logic® CS 49700 32-bit DSP processor. The proprietary Logic 7 surround format developed by the Harman Group is a processor which processes conventional stereo signals (e.g. from MP3, CD, radio etc.) in such a way that they can also be played back on multi-channel loudspeaker systems (5.1 or even 7.1) in amazing sound quality.
Both 7.1 channel AV receivers feature HDMI™ switching with three HDMI inputs to the latest HDMI-1.3a standard and can loop through full HD video signals up to 1080p. Furthermore, the AVR 260 features high-quality Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processors which enable enhanced 1080p output of all video sources for exceptional picture quality. Both receivers are 12-bit deep color compatible which permits use with deep color capable video components, TVs and displays. Moreover, both models feature an HDMI repeater which enables the use of longer cables to screens or video projectors and thus prevents the loss of quality in audio and video signals.

Multiroom capability
The AVR 260 features multiroom audio capability with Zone II amplifier zones. In this way, the sixth and seventh loudspeaker connections can be easily used for distributing sound to a further audio room at full amplifier output. Via an optionally-available Harman Kardon HE 1000 infra-red receiver module, this second audio room can be supplied with its own signal source and can be volume-controlled independently of the main room. Thus, convenience is also the main consideration with this application.

Automated, simple and accurate setup
Both models are equipped with the proprietary EzSet/EQ automatic calibration system developed by Harman Kardon which enables optimal calibration of the existing loudspeakers in the individual audio room, with respect to a defined listening position. It measures and automatically compensates for peaks and dips in frequency, achieving extremely accurate sound reproduction. EzSet/EQ harmonizes the output level and the delay times of all channels and thus takes account of all sound-relevant parameters.

Designed for highest sound quality
The receivers continue the tradition of the uncompromising sound quality of previous Harman Kardon components. The receivers feature the proven high-current ultrawide bandwidth amplifier sections. To this end, high-speed DSP processors, high-quality D/A converters and extensive bass management are used. Faithful and dynamic reproduction of films and music is assured. The equipment also includes Logic 7 audio technology for significantly enhanced surround sound realism.

The finish
Despite the complex internal technology, use of the AV receiver remains very simple. Display menus as well as color-coded sockets and loudspeaker terminals facilitate installation. In addition to their exceptional performance class, both receivers have an elegant, minimalistic appearance which has characterized the Harman Kardon brand for many years. Elegant, rounded edges, the highly-polished upper section of the front panel and the brushed aluminum surface of the lower section as well as the white-illuminated volume control are the salient features of the elegant and discrete housing for this highly-complex hidden internal technology.