Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

Home theater receiver, Internet-ready

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD


  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

    Angled view

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

    Angled view (with front-panel folded down)

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

    Auto calibration microphone

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD


  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

    Basic remote

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD


  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

    Included Bridge II iPod dock

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

    Learning/multibrand remote

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

  • Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

    With front-panel folded down

Item #: 532AVR7550

Review Summary

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Our take on the Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD

by Dave Bar
Harman Kardon

Receivers: Your ticket to sensational sound

Your receiver powers your speakers and lets you connect and select your entertainment sources. But a great receiver does a lot more — it ignites your emotions. From the passion of a favorite musical artist, to the crossfire of a super-charged movie soundtrack, to the intensity and immersion of a fast-paced video game, your receiver is the key to experiencing and enjoying it in full.

Superior power and musicality for your home theater

Get ready for outstanding Harman Kardon sound. HK has packed the AVR 7550HD with enough brains and brawn to deliver riveting home theater excitement. Seven channels of high-current, ultrawide-bandwidth amplification and cutting-edge processing will immerse you in enveloping surround sound with all your movies, music, TV shows, and video games. The '7550HD also treats you to advanced video processing for top-notch picture quality from every video source in your system. An array of entertainment options, including PC networking, a supplied iPod® dock, and satellite radio capability are sure to keep the good times rolling.

Read more

High-current power supply

At the heart of the AVR 7550HD is Harman Kardon's high current, ultra-wide bandwidth amplifier. With clean, consistent and accurate performance, this amp will drive your home speakers to new levels and your enjoyment to new heights.

Internet music Network connections

Easy access to PC music, Internet radio, and more

The AVR 7550HD gives you plenty of digital music options. Connect it to a wired PC network to access music files stored on your computer, or enjoy Internet Radio stations over your broadband connection. A front-panel USB input allows you to play music and view photos stored on a USB thumb drive. And the '7550HD is XM Radio Ready. Just add an optional XM tuner kit to receive your favorite satellite radio channels.

Spend more quality time with your iPod®

Included Bridge II iPod dock

The iPod isn't just a great way to take your favorite music and videos anywhere; it's also a great way to simplify the entertainment experience at home. The Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD makes it easy with its included Bridge II docking station. It connects with a single cable and lets you navigate your music and video libraries on-screen using the receiver's remote. Browse your iPod the way you usually do, whether by artist, album or genre. Videos are automatically upconverted to HD, as high as 1080p, to match your TV's resolution. The dock keeps your iPod fully charged even when the receiver is powered off.

Top-notch picture quality from every video source

Home theater owners with multiple high-def sources will appreciate this receiver's versatile video capabilities. Four 1080p-compatible HDMI inputs let you connect your best high-def video components and switch easily among them. Analog-to-HDMI conversion sends all of your video sources to an HDMI-capable TV using a single digital cable — this streamlines system setup and preserves maximum picture quality for each source. The AVR 7550's high-performance Faroudja DCDi Cinema™ video processor can upconvert all your video sources to resolutions as high as 1080p. That means your DVD collection and other non-HD sources will look their best on your high-def TV.

On-screen display

The receiver's high-def on-screen display blends with your video source, so you can keep watching while using system menus.

EzSet/EQ II auto calibration

EzSet/EQ II™ corrects sonic imperfections, for highly accurate sound.

Quick, accurate auto setup for more precise sound

Harman Kardon's EzSet/EQ II™ auto speaker calibration system makes precise home theater setup quick and simple. Just plug in the included microphone and place it in your favorite seat. The AVR 7550HD automatically measures the frequency response peaks and dips in your listening room, and applies a corrective equalization curve. It also adjusts the volume and delay settings for each speaker in your system. The result is clear, well-balanced sound, custom-tailored for your room and speakers.

Dolby Volume

Learn more

Enjoy clear, consistent sound with Dolby® Volume

Dolby Volume

If you've ever been blasted off the sofa by a big jump in volume when a TV commercial comes on, you'll love this receiver's Dolby Volume mode. This cool technology helps keep those annoying volume spikes in check, providing detailed sound that stays clear and steady. It also keeps levels consistent when you're changing channels or switching between input sources, like from your cable box to your DVD player. And Dolby Volume ensures a full, rich listening experience, especially at lower volume levels — a great feature for late-night TV or movie viewing.

Listen in a second room

Flexible multi-room options

The AVR 7550HD makes setting up a basic multi-room system easy. If you've got a 5.1-channel home theater set up in your main room, you can use the two remaining channels in the receiver to power a pair of speakers in a second listening room — great for a den, sun porch, or patio. If you have a custom-installed A-BUS multi-room audio system in your home, the 7550's back-panel A-BUS jack gives you an easy way to link the receiver to your system.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.


    Power and Processing:
    • 100 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.07% THD
    • Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio, Pro Logic® IIx processing
    • analog-to-HDMI video upconversion (up to 1080p) with Faroudja DCDi™ Cinema processing
    • component video conversion: composite and S-video to component (up to 1080i)
    • EzSet/EQ II™ auto calibration for easy speaker setup and precise sound
    • Dolby® Volume processing keeps listening levels steady and provides fuller sound at lower listening levels
    • Logic 7® processing enhances two-channel music and movie sources for surround sound effects
    Digital Music Options:
    • streams music from your PC and the Internet (broadband connection required)
    • plays music and photos stored on a flash drive via front-panel USB input
    • iPod® compatible with included Harman Kardon Bridge II iPod dock
    • XM Satellite Radio Ready (requires XM subscription and optional XM tuner kit)
    Multi-room Audio/Video:
      • dual-room/dual-source output
      • powered and line-level stereo audio output for 2nd room (powered stereo audio output option for 2nd room allows 5.1 home theater in main room)
      • composite video output for 2nd room
    • 1080p-compatible HDMI digital video switching (4 in, 1 out)
    • HDMI version 1.3 with support for Deep Color, x.v.Color, and auto lip-sync
    • component video switching (3 in, 1 out)
    • digital audio inputs: 4 optical (including 1 front-panel) and 3 coaxial (including one front-panel)
    • digital audio outputs: 1 coaxial, 1 optical
    • four audio/video inputs, including:
      • 1 front-panel input with composite and S-video
      • 3 rear-panel inputs with composite and S-video
    • 2 audio-only inputs
    • no phono input
    • 7.1-channel analog audio preamp inputs and outputs
    • 1 switched AC outlet
    • detachable power cord
    • 1 set of main speaker outputs
    General Features:
    • on-screen display for easy setup and operation
    • learning/multibrand backlit remote
    • 70 AM/FM/XM presets
    • 17-5/8"W x 6-5/8"H x 18"D
    • weight: 52 lbs.
    • warranty: 2 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    Number Of Channels 7
    Stereo RMS Power (watts) 100
    THD in Stereo 0.07 %
    Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 20-20k Hz
    FM Sensitivity 13.2 dBf
    HD Radio Tuner No
    On-Screen Display
    Auto Speaker Calibration EzSet/EQ II
    HDMI Standby Pass-through No
    Composite Video Conversion From Composite to S-Video, Component video, HDMI
    S-Video Conversion From S-Video to Composite video, Component vid
    Component Video Conversion From Component Video to Composite video, S-Video, HDMI
    HDMI to HDMI Upconversion To 1080p
    Internet-ready Yes
    Apple AirPlay ---
    App Remote Control No
    Bluetooth-compatible ---
    USB port for iPod/iPhone No
    DLNA Certified No
    MHL-compatible ---
    Multibrand Remote Control Yes
    Learning Remote Yes
    LCD Remote Yes
    Width (inches) 17-5/8
    Height (inches) 6-5/8
    Depth (inches) 18
    Weight (pounds) 52
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    Multi-room Audio--Video
    Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
    Preamp Multi-room Audio Output No
    Multi-room Video No
    Multi-room HDMI Output No
    Surround Processing
    Dolby Digital Yes
    DTS Yes
    Inputs & Outputs
    Phono Input No
    Audio-Video Inputs 10
    Audio-only Inputs None
    S-Video Inputs 4
    S-Video Outputs 1
    S-Video Monitor Outputs 1
    Component Video Inputs 3
    Component Video Monitor Outputs 1
    Optical Digital Inputs 4
    Coaxial Digital Inputs 4
    Optical Digital Outputs 1
    Coaxial Digital Outputs 1
    HDMI Inputs 4
    HDMI Monitor Outputs 1
    Subwoofer Outputs 2
    Multi-Channel Analog Input Yes
    Multi-channel Preamp Output Yes
    Main Speaker Output Pairs 1
    Main Speaker Terminals Posts
    Ethernet Port 1
    USB Connections 1
    Removable Power Cord IEC 2-prong
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • A/V Surround Sound Receiver
    • 68" AC power cord
    • The Bridge II iPod dock with attached 5' Cable
    • 5 iPod adapter inserts
    • 2 Rubber adapter stoppers
    • System wireless remote
    • Zone 2 Wireless remote
    • 6 "AAA" batteries
    • FM wire antenna
    • AM loop antenna
    • EzSet/EQ II Microphone with attached 20' cable
    • 12" Microphone extension rod
    • Owner's manual (English/ French)
    • Quick start guide
    • Warranty information
    • Bridge adapter guide

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Network Functions
    Remote Controls
    Input and Output Notes


    7-Channel Amplifier: The Harman/Kardon AVR 7550HD features a 7-channel discrete amplifier; each channel is rated at 100 watts RMS into 8Ω, measured from 20-20kHz with no more than 0.07% THD. The seven channels are typically used for 7.1 channel surround in the main room, but the surround back channel outputs can be reassigned to power two speakers in another room (Zone 2) if you prefer.

    192 kHz/24-Bit Converters: The receiver uses 192kHz/24-bit converters for digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion. The 192kHz sampling and 24-bit word length capabilities of the DACs allow you to play high-resolution recordings with increased clarity, detail, and dynamic range.

    EzSet/EQ II: Harman/Kardon's exclusive EzSet/EQ II feature makes it possible to automatically set the AVR 7550HD's output levels, crossover points, and delay times for each of the 7.2 channels (manual adjustment is also available). EzSet/EQ II will play test sweeps through the speakers and using the included microphone make all necessary adjustments. Settings can be saved for two primary listening positions.

    Surround Modes: Harman/Kardon uses dual 32-bit Texas Instruments DA 710 DSP processors to incorporate a wide variety of surround sound options. The surround modes include:

    • Dolby Digital: 5.1 multi-channel digital surround format
    • Dolby Digital EX: 6.1 multi-channel digital surround format
    • Dolby Digital Plus: multi-channel digital surround format that supports up to 7.1- channels with 48kHz sampling rate
    • Dolby TrueHD: lossless coding technology that supports up to 7.1 channels of multi-channel surround sound; the reproduced sound is true to the original source bit-for-bit
    • Dolby Digital Stereo: 2-channel downmix of Dolby Digital material
    • Dolby Pro Logic IIx: expands any existing stereo or 5.1-channel audio for a 6.1- or 7.1-channel playback, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield; choose from Cinema, Music, or Game formats
    • Dolby Pro Logic II: processes any high quality stereo (two-channel) movie or music audio into five playback channels of full-bandwidth surround sound; a matrix surround decoding technology, Dolby Pro Logic II detects the directional cues that occur naturally in stereo content and uses these elements to create a five-channel surround sound playback experience; choose from Cinema, Music, or Game formats
    • Dolby Pro Logic: center channel and mono surround information is matrixed into two stereo channels; when reproduced, audio is decoded and output in 4 channel surround sound
    • Dolby Virtual Speaker: DVS technology creates a 5.1-channel listening experience from two speakers, useful for locations where space for multiple-speaker setups is limited; choose from DVS Reference and DVS Wide
    • DTS: 5.1 multi-channel digital surround sound format used for both commercial/theatrical and consumer grade applications
    • DTS-HD: higher resolution version of the conventional DTS; compatible with sampling frequencies of 48 and 96 kHz and up to 7.1-channels of discrete digital sound
    • DTS-HD Master Audio: lossless audio format compatible with up to 96 kHz and up to 7.1-channels; the lossless audio coding technology faithfully reproduces the sound of the studio master
    • DTS-ES Extended Surround: two 6.1 multi-channel formats:
      • DTS-ES Discrete 6.1: 6.1 discrete channels; adding a surround back channel to the DTS digital surround sound
      • DTS-ES Matrix 6.1: 5.1 discrete channels; inserting a surround back channel to the DTS surround sound through matrix encoding
    • DTS Stereo: 2-channel downmix of DTS material
    • DTS Neo:6: matrix decoding technology for achieving 6.1-channel surround playback with DTS or 2-channel sources; choose DTS Neo: 6 Cinema or DTS Neo: 6 Music
    • Logic 7: a Harman/Kardon proprietary technology for use with 2-channel or matrix encoded recordings; offers 5.1 and 7.1-channel settings and has Movie, Music, and Game modes
    • Multi-Channel Stereo: 5.1 and 7.1 settings; stereo played through front, surround, and surround back speakers, summed mono from the center channel

    Video Mode: Using the built-in Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processor all incoming video is scaled, up to 1080p for the HDMI output or up to 1080i for the component video output. The dual 3D comb filters and 10-bit video processing eliminate the jagged edges and moiré patterns seen with less advanced processing. The Torino video processing chip generates on-screen graphics in high definition, and blends it with the incoming video, so you can continue to watch a program while using system menus. There are four video processing modes, or the video processor can be turned off:

    • Sports: sporting events with lots of motion
    • Nature: programs filmed outdoors
    • Movie: typical movies and TV broadcasts
    • Custom: manually adjust brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness

    Input Setup: The 10 inputs are fully customizable; these settings are programmed independently for each source:

    • Audio Effects:
      • Dolby Volume: adjusts dynamics based on volume; choose low, Medium, Max, or Off
      • Tone Control: on/off; adjust bass and treble +/-10 dB
      • LFE Trim: attenuate subwoofer output volume up to 10 dB
      • EQ: turn EQ settings from EzSet/EQ II on/off
      • Speaker Setup: Position 1 or Position 2 from EzSet/EQ II
    • Video Mode:
      • Preset Mode: Sports, Nature, Movie, Custom, off
      • Picture Adjust: adjust output aspect ratio
      • Overscan: on/off
    • Surround Mode: choose Auto (best mode based on source) or specify what setting to use in virtual, stereo, movie, music, and game modes
    • Video Input: select any of the video inputs; HDMI (1-4), Component video (1-4), S-Video (1-3 and front), or Composite video (1-3 and front)
    • Audio Input: select any of the audio inputs; HDMI (1-4), Optical digital (1-3 and front), coaxial digital (1-3 and front), Analog (1-5 and front), or 6/8 Channel (multi-channel analog input)
    • Resolution to Display: specify the resolution output to the display; 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, or 1080p/24Hz
    • HDMI Bypass: an HDMI input is passed directly to the output without processing; on/off; when HDMI Bypass in on the OSD cannot display menu items over the video, the menu will still display but the video will be momentarily interrupted
    • Name: program the source name up to 11 characters
    • Lip Sync: adjust the audio/video synchronization; up to 180ms
    • Level: adjust volume relative to the other sources; +/-10 dB
    • Audio Polling: specify an analog input when both digital and analog are used for a source; useful when the source's digital output isn't always active
    • Zone 2 Audio: select audio when source is directed to Zone 2; must be analog
    • Zone 2 Video: select video when source is directed to Zone 2; must be composite video
    • Trigger 2: energize the Trigger 2 output when source is selected; on/off
    • Record Out: specify what signal is directed to the analog audio outputs; Analog or DSP Down-mix

    Video Converter and Scaler: The AVR 7550HD is equipped with a flexible video switching system that converts video signals in an effort to require only one video connection from receiver to TV. Any analog video input is converted and output through all the monitor outputs, HDMI, component video, S-Video, and composite video. The signal is also scaled to the programmed resolution, up to 1080p/24Hz. HDMI inputs can be converted to other video formats, but only if the source material isn't copy protected (most pre-recorded BDs and DVDs are copy protected).

    Assignable Digital Inputs: The AVR 7550HD features 4 optical digital (Toslink) inputs and 4 coaxial digital inputs (3 of each on the rear panel, 1 of each on the front). Each input can be assigned to any of the inputs. There are also digital outputs (1 optical, 1 coaxial) for use with a CD, MD, or other digital recording device.

    Zone 2: Two different sources can be played in two locations using the Zone 2 outputs. The receiver has a pair of stereo preamp outputs and a composite video output for Zone 2. Only sources that are connected via analog audio inputs and composite video (if video is to used) can be output to Zone 2. You can control the receiver from the second zone using the supplied remote control when an external infrared sensor is used. The AVR 7550HD's surround back speaker outputs can be re-assigned to Zone 2, so the receiver can power a 5.1-channel system in the main room and a pair of speakers in Zone 2.

    Dolby Headphone: Dolby Headphone technology accurately simulates the experience of hearing a 5.1-channel speaker system, and is compatible with conventional headphones. It's ideal for private playback of multi-channel entertainment without disturbing anyone else. Dolby Headphone can be turned off if you prefer.

    XM Satellite Ready: The optional XM Direct 2 Home Tuner (220XHD2H1, sold separately) lets you enjoy XM Satellite Radio through the XM-ready receiver. Simply connect the XM direct 2 Home Tuner to the XM jack on back of the receiver, place and aim the included antenna for optimum reception, and you are ready to start enjoying commercial-free music, plus live sports, new, talk, and exclusive entertainment. The channel number and channel name are listed on the AVR 7550HD's display; the song title, artist, and channel category are also displayed on the connected video monitor. There are 40 discrete XM station presets, recalled using the numeric keys on the remote.

    Note: In addition to the XM Direct 2 Home Tuner and the XM-ready receiver, you will need a subscription to XM Satellite Radio to receive XM programming.

    USB Terminal: The front panel USB terminal allows playback of MP3 and WMA audio files and JPEG still image files from a USB flash drive. Still images can be played as a slideshow with background music from the same drive.

    7.1 Multi-Channel Input: The AVR 7550HD is equipped with a 7.1-channel input to accommodate present and future multi-channel formats.

    Binding Post Speaker Terminals: All of the receiver's speaker terminals are binding posts. They are not 5-way binding posts because they are positioned too far apart to be used with dual banana plugs.

    7.2 Multi-Channel Pre-Out: The receiver features a 7.2-channel preamp output (two subwoofer outputs) for connection to external power amplifiers.

    Back-Up Memory: The unit is equipped with a back-up memory that provides approximately four weeks of memory storage when power is disconnected.

    Sleep Timer: This function allows you to automatically set the power to standby after a predetermined time; from 10 to 90 minutes in 10 minute increments.

    Network Functions

    Network Playback: The AVR 7550HD is capable of playing MP3 and WMA audio files stored on a computer when both are connected to the same network. With a video monitor connected you can browse the content on the computer using the receiver's remote control. Note: Though video files may appear in the menu, they cannot be played through the network connection.

    Computer Compatibility:

    • PC: must be running Windows Media Player 11 or later, Windows Media Center version 2.0 or 3.0, or Intel Media Server
    • Macintosh: must be running DLNA compliant software

    Internet Radio: Internet radio refers to broadcasts distributed over the web; stations from around the world can be tuned in. The AVR 7550HD is equipped with an Ethernet port that lets you connect the receiver to the internet via a high speed connection using your home network. When you select the Network source the receiver automatically accesses the radioharmankardon portal and allows you to navigate by preset (30 Internet Radio presets available), favorites, location, genre, new stations, most popular, and podcasts.


    iPod Compatibility: Using the included Bridge II dock you can integrate your iPod with the AVR 7550HD. Song titles appear on the receiver's display panel and the song title, artist, album, and elapsed/total time (song) appear on the connected video monitor. The iPod is controlled using the buttons on the receiver and the main remote control. The system is Made for iPod compatible and supports the following models and functions (note that iPhone is not compatible):

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type Control Display Charge
    Audio Video Unit iPod Song/Artist Track
    dock-connector 3rd N N N N N N N
    click-wheel/color-display 4th Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    mini 1st Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    video 5th Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    classic 80GB Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    120GB Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    160GB Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    nano 1st Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4th Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5th Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    2nd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPhone 2G N N N N N N N
    3G N N N N N N N
    3GS N N N N N N N

    Note: Apple firmware updates may change functionality results. You may need to reset your iPod if you download a newer software version.

    Remote Controls

    System Remote Control: The receiver's main remote control features a back-lit LCD panel and illuminated buttons for operation of the AVR 7550HD and up to six other devices. In addition to major brand remote codes being pre-programmed into the remote, individual buttons can also learn codes from another remote. A switch on the remote allows control of the main room or Zone 2. Up to 11 macro functions can be programmed with up to 20 commands each.

    Zone 2 Remote Control: The included Zone 2 remote control can be used from another room with an IR receiver connected to the Zone 2 IR Input on the rear panel of the AVR 7550HD. It will control Zone 2's power, volume, input, and mute functions, and control a Harman/Kardon source connected to one of the receiver's remote IR outputs.

    Input and Output Notes

    Remote Jacks: The receiver has 3.5mm mini-jack inputs and outputs (two each) for use with external IR receivers (input) and other compatible components (output). One input is specifically for Zone 2 control and one output is labeled carrier out, which outputs the full infrared signal as received by the receiver's IR sensor, including the carrier frequency.

    Trigger Outputs: Two 3.5mm mini-jack outputs will trigger other compatible components to turn on/off along with the AVR 7550HD, without using the receiver's switched AC outlet for power. The connected component must respond to the presence of a 6-volt control signal. The Trigger 2 output can be programmed to energize only when specific input sources are selected.

    Switched AC Outlet: There is a switched AC outlet on the rear panel; the maximum output is 100 watts.

    RS-232C Port: The AVR 7550HD includes an RS-232 serial port for connection to an external computer or control system, from companies such as AMX or Crestron, to allow the external device to control the receiver. The port is bidirectional, so the receiver can transmit status updates to the control device.

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    Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD Reviews

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    5 out of 5

    Very complex but amazing

    Written By Komstar, Buffalo New york on Friday, May 04, 2012
    Complex but amazing , many many functions, programmable remote, internet ready, fan a little noisy during cooling
    poor user interface, it would have been better to run a from a computer and not the remote control
    high power, many output and inputs
    2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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