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Long live the compact disc

Even as Internet radio and downloaded music become more popular, CD playback remains the cornerstone of many audiophile systems. Having a high-quality player like the Harman Kardon HD 990 lets you extract deep, spacious sound from your CD library. This versatile player treats your compact discs to exceptional audio processing — including precision dual digital-to-analog converters and 24-bit/384kHz sample rate conversion for smooth, ultra-detailed sound.


A clean, modern look and cutting-edge capabilities

This player's sleek, streamlined chassis comes beautifully finished and ready to compliment the look of any system. The HD 990 also includes a high-resolution synchronization (HRS) link — a high-end feature sometimes found in more sophisticated audio equipment. This advanced design ensures a jitter-free connection by locking itself to the external clock of the matching Harman Kardon HK 990 amplifier with incredible precision. The versatile HRS link carries both the system and data clocks of the amplifier, as well as the data stream from the CD player. This perfectly synchronized connection is almost like having a CD player built into the amplifier. The result is startling sonic realism and musicality. It's also simple to set up using the supplied synchronization cable.

The HD 990 provides optical and coaxial digital inputs that allow you to use it as a stand-alone DAC for other digital sources, such as a game console or digital iPod® dock. And it even boasts balanced XLR audio outputs for a high-quality connection to any compatible receiver or amp.

Refreshingly simple operation

The HD 990's full-function remote gives you command of the basics like "play" and "stop," plus direct track access, repeat, random, and program modes from the comfort of your favorite chair. It can even control other Harman Kardon components, including the matching HK 990 integrated amp.

Product Highlights:

  • plays CDs, CD-Rs & CD-RWs, and MP3 CDs
  • displays CD Text and song/artist info for MP3s
  • 24-bit/384kHz sample rate converter
  • Real-Time Linear Smoothing (RLS III) for spacious, richly detailed sound
  • full-function remote
  • display dimmer
  • optical and coaxial digital audio inputs for connecting external components
  • optical and coaxial digital audio outputs
  • balanced XLR audio outputs
  • gold-plated stereo RCA outputs
  • HRS (High-Resolution Synchronization)-Link audio output for connection to compatible Harman Kardon audio components
  • remote control input and output for use with compatible Harman Kardon components
  • detachable power cord
  • frequncy response: 20-20,000Hz (+0/-0.5 dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 117 dB
  • dynamic range: greater than 116 dB
  • 17-5/16"W x 2-1/2"H x 13-1/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Harman Kardon HD 990 Reviews

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Single-disc CD player
  • 5.5' AC power cord
  • Remote Control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 58" RS-Link cable (terminated by RJ-45 connectors)
  • 59" Stereo audio RCA cable
  • 4' Minijack cable
  • Owner's Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
  • Battery Disposal Instructions
  • Warranty Information

Product Research



High Performance CD Player: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 is an especially well-engineered CD player that possesses a full array of sophisticated sound technologies; including a high-resolution synchronization (HRS) link for jitter-free playback & Real-Time Linear Smoothing (RLS III) for spacious, richly detailed sound. The Harman/Kardon HD 990 will elevate your CD-listening experience, thanks in part to its two high-performance digital-to-analog converters, optimized for precision playback. It's also quite versatile, as it's compatible with most recordable or rewritable disc formats, including CD-R, CD-RW, & MP3 with ID3-tag support.

Note: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 is designed in part to accompany the Harman/Kardon 150-watt HK 990 stereo amplifier (532HK990, sold separately); but it can also be used with any high-quality stereo amplifier with analog RCA, balanced XLR, or digital (optical/coaxial) audio inputs.

Modern Design: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 has an elegant, minimalist design with graceful, rounded corners, a gloss-black top panel & a dark-graphite lower panel; all accented by soft white illumination. With a unique, modern design, it's sure to look great with the rest of your home audio gear.

Disc Compatibility: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 is an all-purpose CD player that can read CD-Audio & CD-Text discs, as well as most (finalized) recordable & rewritable discs; including formats such as CD-R, CD-RW, & MP3 files with ID3-tag support. By ensuring playback of multiple CD formats with the greatest of ease, the HD 990 conveniently stays compatible with your vast music library.

CD Text: Thanks to CD text support, the HD 990 recognizes both the artist & album title from CD audio tracks, putting them on display. By displaying embedded track data via the visual dot-matrix display, the HD 990 visually communicates with its audience to make listening not just entertaining but informative, as well. In addition, the HD 990 functions similarly for MP3 track data with ID3-tag support - recognizing the source material's origin & descriptors wherever possible.

Display Modes: A one-line dot-matrix display comprises the main information display on the HD 990. It shows both the time elapsed & time remaining of the track currently playing, or the time remaining for programmed tracks. It also delivers messages & status indications to help you operate the receiver. The HD 990 also has a dimmer that lets you reduce the brightness of the information screen or switch it off completely. The CD player's front-panel display comes set at a default brightness level that is sufficient for viewing in a normally lit room.

Sample Rate Converter (SRC): The Harman/Kardon HD 990 employs a 24-bit/384kHz sample rate converter (SRC) that perfectly recreates the original analog sound wave and a 24-bit resolution enhancer that minimizing noise levels & intermodulation distortion (IMD). As a result the HD 990 delivers faithful, clean, & realistic sound.

32-Bit DSP: Considering the Harman/Kardon HD 990's direct digital signal processing (DSP) mode is based on a 32-bit DSP, the HD 990 CD player does wonders to prevent any sign of jitter. Designed to keep operational speeds running quickly while keeping distortion to a minimum, the HD 990's DSP generates the kind of sound true audiophiles expect to hear, in its cleanest & purest form.

RLS III: Third-generation Real-Time Linear Smoothing (RLS III) helps minimize interference in digital-to-analog signals with two high-grade stereo analog devices (AD) 1955 DACs. The result, is richly detailed sound & a noise level that remains in a non-audible frequency range along with a high level of jitter rejection. This way, you can always experience sonic refinement and an open, natural sound stage - two benefits that should appeal to the most demanding of audiophiles.


Remote Control: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 includes an IR remote control designed to help you operate the CD player function with ease. The player also includes front-panel controls.

Direct Track Access: Direct Track Access allows for direct entry of tracks from the CD player's IR remote control.

Program Play: The HD 990's advanced programming capability enables you to select certain tracks (up to 32), to preset the order in which these tracks play, & to clear specific programmed tracks after the program was made.

Random: You can have all of the tracks on a disc, in a folder, or in a program played in a random order.

Repeat: The HD 990 enables you to repeat either a single track, the entire disc, your programmed tracks, or a specially programmed passage (A-B) that you select.


HRS Link: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 comes with a high-resolution synchronization (HRS) link that ensures a jitter-free connection by letting the CD player lock itself to the external clock of Harman/Kardon's HK 900 Integrate Amplifier (532HK990, sold separately) with the highest possible precision. Similar to having CD playback inside the amplifier, the versatile HRS link carries both the system and data clocks of the amplifier, as well as the data stream from the CD player. It's also simple to set up using the supplied synchronization cable.

Balanced XLR Outputs: When you're listening to audio, you want to have as little signal disruption as possible. With the HD 990's two XLR inputs (with dual Diamond Class A output stages), you get balanced connections designed to reject both external noise (from power wiring, etc.) as well as internal crosstalk from adjacent signal cables. In addition to discriminating against noise and crosstalk, your XLR inputs will also allow 6 dB more signal level on the line; so ultimately you'll get a higher signal-to-noise performance than before.

Digital Audio Inputs/Outputs: With two digital-audio outputs (coaxial/optical) & two digital audio inputs (coaxial/optical) the HD 990 offers you even more ways to dramatically improve the sound quality of your disc collection & external devices. Connect HD990's digital output to the coaxial or optical digital input of an external digital-to-analog converter for direct access to the digital signals of the CD player. The digital inputs allow you to connect external audio components to the HD 990 for improved playback through the CD player's digital-to-analog converters.

Note: The player will only output 2-channel PCM signals. Neither multichannel Dolby Digital or DTS, nor their 2-channel downmix signals will be output.

Stereo Analog Output: The HD 990 also features a pair of unbalanced stereo RCA analog audio outputs for connection to your basic stereo amplifier.

Remote Input/Out: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 features IR remote input/output extension jacks, so you can operate the CD player even if it happens to be in a cabinet.

  • 3.5mm Input: The HD 990's remote input (3.5mm) lets you connect the output of a remote infrared sensor or the remote control output of another compatible Harman/Kardon product, in order to operate the CD player even when the front panel remote sensor is blocked.
  • 3.5mm Output: Connect the HD 990's remote output (3.5mm) jack to the input of another compatible Harman/Kardon remote-controlled device to have the remote sensor on the CD player provide signals to your other H/K components.

AC Power Cord: The Harman/Kardon HD 990 includes a detachable AC power cord.

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