Spring must be the season for home theater receivers, because new ones have been raining down from the likes of Integra, Onkyo and Sherbourn to name a few brands. Harman Kardon is the latest to hit us with a new batch of AVRs, offering three that have a mix of must-have and trendy features for your home theater.
The new AVR 1x10 networked receivers from Harman are the AVR 1510, AVR 1610 and AVR 1710 models. The 1510 and 1610 will dole out 5.1-channel surround sound, with 75 and 85 watts per channel, while the 1710 bumps up your home theater to 7.2 at 100 wpc.
All of the receivers provide decoding for the lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio specs and range of up to six HDMI inputs (on the 1710) to offer 3D and 4K pass-through for the latest video needs.
The 1610 and 1710 add HDMI outputs with audio return channel. They also include the MHL connectivity with Roku Ready certification, so you can plug in your Roku stick and access all of the streaming A/V goodies right through the receiver.
Speaking of streaming, you can wirelessly send tunes by way of built-in Bluetooth support to the 1610 and 1710, and the latter also includes Apple’s AirPlay. Plus there’s DLNA 1.5 compliance to connect with your network-accessible digital collection, and vTuner Internet radio to give you thousands of global stations.
To help optimize your audio experience, the 1610 and 1710 also include what Harman calls its NSP Natural Sound Processing that the company says “aims at recreating an acoustic event in its wholeness. That not only includes traditional fidelity features such as low distortion and realistic loudness, but also the correct localization of individual sources and orchestras, their sizes, shapes and distances, and in particular a sensation of the performance space where the original recorded event took place, or a plausible artificial space created by the content producer.”
A free, downloadable Harman Kardon app allows you to control all three with your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. The AVR 1510, AVR 1610 and AVR 1710 carry price tags of $299, $399 and $549, respectively.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.