Harman Kardon SB 26
Powered home theater sound bar with wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth®
Item #: 532SB26
This item is no longer available.
Original Price: $599.99
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Item #: 532SB26
This item is no longer available.
Original Price: $599.99
"OK, action!" As the actors dive into the scene, the director closely monitors their performance. Every nuance is carefully examined to make sure nothing betrays the story being told or the characters who tell it. Once filming has wrapped, hours will be spent in post-production tweaking the look and sound of every scene. Eventually, the finished work will play in living rooms across the country, where it will sadly be mangled by those miniscule speakers built into the sides of your HDTV. What a waste.
But you can do something about it. You can get the Harman Kardon SB 26 and recapture the director's original vision. This attractive sound bar and wireless subwoofer work together to bring movies and TV shows into your home the way they were meant to be experienced: with explosive sound effects, clear dialogue, detailed music scores, and enough volume to fill large rooms. Rest the bar on your TV stand or mount it on the wall with the included hardware. A single cable from your TV can get you up and running, so you never have to rely on those underwhelming, overmatched TV speakers again.
Your TV's speakers are not only small, they're ill-equipped to deliver the low frequencies that add depth and power to movie and TV soundtracks. That's where the SB 26's wireless subwoofer comes in. With a 10-inch down-firing driver and wireless connectivity to the bar, you can place it virtually anywhere it your room. Worried about too much bass dominating the sound? Dial down the sub's volume with the included remote.
The SB 26 isn't just for movies and shows. Connect your Blu-ray player to one of the sound bar's two HDMI inputs and play your CDs or concert Blu-ray discs through this system. The bar's HDMI output lets you take advantage of this system's on-screen guide, so you can easily view system settings like virtual surround listening mode or Harman Volume to keep commercials from playing too loudly. The SB 26 also features Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming. Pair your smartphone, tablet, or computer to the bar and instantly play music stored on your device or in the cloud.
Add big sound to your TV without a roomful of speakers. Sound bars require minimal space and wiring, and their sleek designs complement today's flat-panel TVs. Most sound bars have their own built-in amplification, so you won't need to use a home theater receiver. Some models use advanced surround processing and carefully aimed speaker drivers to simulate the effects of a full home theater audio system.
I originally purchased the Denon S514soundbar from Crutchfield. I attempted to pair the Denon soundbar with the subwoofer in several rooms with no luck. I called Crutchfield and asked if I could return the Denon soundbar and buy the Harman Kardon SB26 soundbar. I had no problems returning the Denon soundbar with the Crutchfield team. They were awesome with handling my return. No hassles whatsoever from them. (I paid a little more for the Harman Kardon sound system but it was worth it.) The Harman Kardon SB 26 soundbar arrived in 2 days. I own the Harman Kardon SB 16 soundbar and love it. I was a little skeptical when I unpackaged the system and found that subwoofer was smaller than my SB16 but was pleasantly surprised on how well the subwoofer performs. My SB 16 did not come with a remote. The SB 26 comes with a remote. I like that. I haven't tried the Bluetooth set up yet. The initial Harman Kardon SB 26 set up was flawless and quick.
Pros: Great system for the price. Crisp clear sound and the bass is great.
Cons: When you put the speakers in the mute mode and then unmute, it takes about 10 seconds for the volume to come back to where it was previously set. I can live with that!
The system offers the best bass for enjoyment if you love bass. this system also offer the best surround although its a bar with 10 in sub it offers the effects of surround sound and make you feel like the theater.
Pros: Awesome bass and surround sound
I bought this system a few days ago and set it up in about 15 minutes. The instructions are very light but set up is pretty straight forward. I have it hooked up through my Playstation and it is all systems as usual once connected. The sound is amazing. You get to hear new sounds through games and movies that you simply cannot hear through the original TV speakers. There is no sound distortion and the subwoofer provides that deep low needed for Action movies. My test movie was James Bond Skyfall and it makes the movie come alive. You will not be disappointed with Harmon/Kardon, they are above the rest and this unit in my opinion is best quality for the price. I only wish I got this sooner.
Pros: Design is fantastic and 10" subwoofer is bigger and better than most other Sound Bar packages out there.
Cons: Very few controls and small remote.
The HK SB25 sounds great, but after an evening of set-up and listening I boxed it up and returned it. I ultimately purchased the Denon S514 and am much happier with it. The reasons why I returned the HK:
1. The HK doesn't work at low volumes. Level 1 is about as quiet as can be, but Level 2 is actually louder than we typically watch TV. Apparently others have had this problem too. This was a deal breaker.
2. The HK had a really difficult time learning our DirecTV remote's commands and after an hour, it still didn't work correctly. The Denon, incidentally, learned them immediately.
3. It was cumbersome to pair the subwoofer and soundbar, and once paired, it was difficult to set the subwoofer sound level. The Denon paired automatically.
4. It is a bit on the tall side, so it is more likely you will have to use the IR repeater if you are using it on a shelf in front of the TV.
Pros: Low volume control; poor remote learning; frustrating to set-up.
Cons: Subwoofer seems good; nice looking.
I am particularly keen on having good solid bass. This unit delivers that. The speakers have decent treble but I thought it lacked good quality midrange sounds. Hooking it up should have been easy. My TV has HDMI ARC port for one wire hookup. I should have been able to plug it in and go, but 3 or 4 minutes of trying to get it to work failed. Finally after pressing source buttons, speaker options, etc I got it to work. Tried the bluetooth and it worked fine playing my Iphone music. Went back to the TV source and could not reconnect; no sound again. Had to go through the same routine of trying different things on TV and Speaker remote to get TV sound back. Since then every time I use the speakers I have a similar experience. Also I wanted to have the onscreen volume, bass, etc indicator and did have it once but never saw it again. Had to send the speakers back. In all fairness I could have had a faulty unit but the reason I didn't want another one was no onscreen indicator, but mostly the mediocre mid-range. Glad I bought it at Crutchfield because they have the no hassle return. Still undecided which set of speakers to choose now.
Pros: Packed very well, Bass response is excellent. Loud volume levels. Bluetooth works fine. Speakers and subwoofer power on when TV comes on
Cons: No printed owner's manual nor cd provided - must download a pdf from Harmon, however a 30 page safety manual in as many languages was included to satisfy Harmon's lawyers. Plus you got a fairly useless quick set-up sheet. Chintzy tiny remote that would surely have gotten lost in my couch. Wife thought subwoofer was way too big.
Had the sound bar for about a month and I am very pleased. It was twice the amount for what I budgeted for but it is twice the sound quality of Sony, LG, etc. As good if not better than the Bose sr1 at a third of the price. The Klipsch sb1 has a deeper base but the highs aren't as clean and the sb1 is not bluetooth capable. I use it for my bedroom which is bit of an overkill for sure.
Agreed with previous review on brightness of sound, but seriously crisp and clean overall. The brightness factor will be reduced by placement of this bar. Ours is placed on top of a bookshelf rather than under a TV.
Do not be fooled by the 30W specification, this soundbar is loud, far louder than any Bluetooth device or speaker I've used or sampled. From both Iphone and Ipad, anything above 3 clicks on the volume slider is deafening in our living room (20ft w x 50ft l x 12ft h). The bass is clean, pure and non-directional; what I mean is that I have the sub about 15ft from the bar and no matter where I'm at in the room the bass fills it nicely.
Set up was simple, though my only complaint is that the manual did not accompany this exquisite piece of engineering. I had to search online for it, but it was not difficult at all. The .pdf file came right up and setup was a snap. Pairing a device is easy though only one device can be paired at any given time. In this case, iphone pairing has to stop before ipad pairing can happen, but the total time to swtich is maybe 5-10 seconds at most.
If you don't want to spend a fortune on a receiver, wires, and speakers this unit will blow your socks off. Especially in a "man-cave", it's borderline excessive! For me, Blu-Ray and HD is not about separation and surround quality, but just being able to hear it in all its crisp, digital glory. This unit provides all that in one simple, sublime package.
Pros: Wireless sub (10" picks up the lows much better than most wireless subs which are 8") Great volume (30w sounds more like 300w) Control is a snap from ipad/iphone, the app is not necessary (but it is cool, very sharp too) Borders on perfection, especially at the price range (other top end units are double/triple this price)
Cons: Manual did not come with device and included pamphlets are not intuitive (simple search found .pdf manual in less than 5 seconds)
Love the new features available on the SB26, from Bluetooth to HDMI inputs. Well thought out design overall. Nice smooth bass response from its 10" woofer; surprisingly efficient. Gave me the needed punch for movies such as The Dark Knight, and it flawlessly handled the title track from Boney James' "Pure" album. Perhaps a bit too bright from the mids and tweeters, however, there is great separation that leads to the highs being very clean. Overall, a great tonally balanced Soundbar that stands out in a crowded category.
Pros: Smooth, rich bass Clean highs IR repeater
Cons: Perhaps a touch too bright on the mids/tweeters
|Enclosure||Sealed (bar)/Ported (sub)|
|Pieces in System||2|
|Tweeter||1" Dome (2)|
|Midrange||3" Cone (4)|
|Subwoofer Driver||10" cone|
|Surround Sound Decoding||5.1-channel|
|4K Video Compatible||No|
|Audio Return Channel||Yes|
|Remote IR Passthrough||Yes|
|Works with TV Remote (IR)||Yes|
|Control by App||Apple iOS, Android|
|Mounting Bracket Included||Yes|
|Surface Mount Stand Included||No|
|Speaker Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Speaker Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Amplifier Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Amplifier Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|System Frequency Response||38-22k Hz|
|Sound Bar RMS Power||60|
|Subwoofer RMS Power||100|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Mini Stereo Audio Inputs||1|
|RCA Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|Optical Digital Audio Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Sound Bar (inches)||4-5/16H x 36-3/16W x 3-1/2D|
|Sound Bar Weight||7.9 lbs|
|Subwoofer (inches)||14-5/16H x 12-5/8W x 14-3/8D|
|Subwoofer Weight||20.7 lbs|
Harman/Kardon Home Theater Soundbar System: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 Home Theater Soundbar System offers a simpler alternative to your typical 5.1ch home theater speaker system. Not every room can accommodate five speakers and a subwoofer; and not everyone wants to deal with hooking up rear surround speakers. The Harman/Kardon SB 26 is a two-piece home theater system with an amplified soundbar speaker that connects directly to your TV/Blu-ray player/Satellite/Cable Box, and a wireless powered subwoofer that can be placed anywhere in your room. The SB 26 Home Theater Soundbar System delivers true Harman/Kardon sound, whether you are listening to music or watching a movie.
Harman Display Surround + Dolby Digital Decoding: Drawing from Harman expertise in movie theater audio, the SB 26 lets you add cinema sound without adding multiple speakers. Employing proprietary Harman Display Surround technology, it creates a virtual surround-sound experience for multiple listeners from a two-piece soundbar/sub system. The Harman/Kardon SB 26 can also decode Dolby Digital soundtracks via HDMI and optical digital connectivity, which eliminates conversion stages that reduce sound quality. You can choose from two Harman Display Surround modes.
Note: To get the best audio performance out of the SB 26 system, it's recommended that you switch off the sound coming from your TV's loudspeakers.
Variety of Connection Methods: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 soundbar speaker system offers HDMI (v1.4), analog (3.5mm), digital (optical), and Bluetooth (A2DP) connectivity.
Harman Volume: Harman Volume helps you maintain the same volume level, no matter what you're watching; be it a film, TV show, or TV commercial.
On-Screen Display: The on-screen display (via HDMI) lets you control functions of the SB 26 soundbar speaker visually on your flat-panel TV. The on-screen display does not support song/artist information.
Remote Control: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 soundbar speaker system comes with an IR remote control, can be programmed to respond your TV's remote, and offers a free remote app for Apple iOS/Android devices.
Mounting Options: You can place the SB 26 soundbar speaker on a shelf or tabletop, or wall-mount it with the included brackets. A dual-position equalization feature optimizes the soundbar's performance for either location, so you can mount it where you choose without compromising sound quality. Because the system's powered subwoofer is wireless, you can position it any where in the room (within 25').
I haven't sound tested the SB 30, so unknown. [ Kevin Jan 03, 2014 ]
Thanks for your question Jose. It doesn't look like we've gotten feedback from other customers, so I wanted to let you know that the SB 30 is now discontinued and no longer available. If you would like to get some comparison information on the two units I would recommend contacting an Advisor by phone or online chat. They'll be able to give you information on the differences between the two units. [ Jeff Dec 14, 2013 ] Staff