Apparently, this is the year of the soundbar. Every manufacturer that’s ever produced an audio product seems to be clamoring to release new soundbars lately. Harman Kardon is certainly no exception.
The company just debuted a pair of slick looking soundbars, the Sabre SB 35 and the SB 26. Both are designed for the audiophile who doesn’t have space or time for a full set of speakers.
Each one is a two-piece package, which means that both include a wireless subwoofer. Even more interesting is that both options boast “multiple” HDMI inputs—something that seems to be lacking from almost every current soundbar available. Other common features include Bluetooth for wire-free streaming from smartphones and tablets, as well as support for the Harman Kardon Remote App.
The Harman Kardon Sabre SB 35 is an aluminum-finished soundbar that measures 1.25-inches deep. It boasts eight independent channels via 1.75-inch drivers and 1-inch tweeters. It also has Harman Wave surround-mode technology, an on-screen setup, Harman Volume technology, one analog input, one optical digital input, and an IR repeater. As mentioned, this unit has an HDMI input—three of them, actually. That makes it compatible with Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD decoding. The HDMI output has Audio Return Channel (ARC) and CEC support. The SB 35 package also comes with a wireless, 100-watt subwoofer.
“When developing the Harman Kardon Sabre SB 35 we wanted to make the least intrusive possible soundbar without compromising the sound performance, design and finish that Harman Kardon consumers are expecting. The soundbar shape and format is so useful. It blends right in with flat screen TVs and entertainment systems,” said Michael Mauser, president of Harman Lifestyle. “Now, with Harman Kardon Sabre SB 35 we have achieved what we believe is the slimmest multichannel 8.1 soundbar on the market with only 1.2-inch depth.”
Featuring a black matte design, the SB 26 is a slight step down. It has many of the above features, including the 100-watt wireless sub and the app support. However, the number of HDMI inputs here drops to two—and for some reason, neither of those seem to support the DTS-HD format. According to Harman Kardon, this model is all about Dolby Digital.The soundbar also has two-way, dual-driver left and right speaker modules, each with two 3-inch midrange drivers and a 1-inch dome tweeter.
Harman Kardon has yet to put either soundbar on its website, but has listed the SB 35 with an MSRP of $999 and has the SB26 coming in at $599.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.