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Harman Kardon SB 16

Powered home theater sound bar with wireless subwoofer

20 Reviews

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Item # 532SB16

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Our take on the Harman Kardon SB 16

An easy cure for underwhelming TV audio
Fans of high definition TVs rave about the unbeatable picture quality they produce but rarely even mention the sound. That's because their TVs don't give them much to talk about. That's where the Harman Kardon SB 16 comes to the rescue.

An easy cure for underwhelming TV audio
Fans of high definition TVs rave about the unbeatable picture quality they produce but rarely even mention the sound. That's because their TVs don't give them much to talk about. That's where the Harman Kardon SB 16 comes to the rescue.

Fuller sound without a fuller living room
Harman Kardon knows that while nearly everyone wants better TV sound quality, few want to sacrifice a lot of real estate to speakers and amplifiers. The SB 16 provides an elegant 2.1 speaker solution that takes up little space but delivers spacious sound. The sound bar houses left- and right-channel two-way speaker modules to bring dialogue and music to the forefront. Its built-in amplifier comes out miles ahead of typical TV-powered sound. Just connect your TV, Blu-ray player or satellite/cable box with the included cables and you're on your way to a greatly enhanced entertainment experience.

Bass lost and found
Most televisions today don't produce much bass. The SB 16 comes with a 100-watt wireless subwoofer. Its 10" driver guarantees you'll get the kind of low, tight rumble that makes action scenes something you can feel in your gut. And film scores play a bigger role, with all of the instruments present in full range. And because the sub is wireless you can place it wherever it's convenient for you.

Simple, easy, solid is my take on this. The setup was so smooth and simple that my kid could have done it...that's how easy it was. The wireless subwoofer is just CLUTCH and the sound is just phenomenal and I'm in a fairly large room! Very happy with this

JonnyG, Missouri

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What's in the Box:

  • Active soundbar speaker (SB 16 CNTR)
  • Wireless powered subwoofer (SB 16 SUB)
  • AC power adapter (with attached 8' DC cord)
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 5' Optical digital audio cable
  • 6.5' Stereo audio cable
  • 4 Wall-mount brackets
  • 2 Rubber feet
  • Owner's Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)

Product Highlights:

    Sound bar:
    • 25 watts x 2 RMS
    • built-in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for theater-like sound
    • virtual surround and two-channel stereo listening modes
    • four 3" midrange drivers
    • two 3/4" dome tweeters
    • built-in transmitter sends audio signals to wireless subwoofer
    • learns commands of your existing TV remote
    • adjustable phase and EQ switch to set tone preferences
    • wall mounting bracket and feet for shelf placement included
    • auto turn-on/off
    • requires AC power
    • weight: 8 lbs.
    • 36"W x 4-3/8"H x 3-1/2"D
    • 100 watts RMS
    • can be placed anywhere in the room
    • adds bass punch to movie soundtracks, TV shows, and music
    • 10" woofer for deep bass
    • bass-reflex (ported) cabinet design
    • requires AC power
    • weight: 34 lbs.
    • 18-7/8"W x 13-3/8"H x 13-3/8"D
    • 1 analog stereo RCA input (cable included)
    • 1 optical digital audio input (cable included)
    • 1 coaxial digital audio input

    Harman Kardon SB 16 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (20 Reviews)
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    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Enclosure Sealed(spkr)/Ported(sub)
    Design ---
    Pieces in System 2
    Color Gloss black
    Tweeter 0.75" dome (2)
    Midrange 3" cone (4)
    Woofer None
    Separate Subwoofer Yes
    Subwoofer Driver 10
    Surround Sound Decoding No
    Dialogue Enhancement ---
    Auto Volume ---
    4K Video Compatible No
    HDR Video Compatible ---
    Audio Return Channel ---
    Remote IR Passthrough No
    Works with TV Remote (IR) ---
    Control by App ---
    Bluetooth Connectivity No
    Wi-Fi No
    Wall-mountable Yes
    Mounting Bracket Included Yes
    Surface Mount Stand Included Integrated
    Speaker Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Speaker Labor Warranty 2 Years
    Amplifier Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Amplifier Labor Warranty 2 Years
    System Frequency Response 50-20k Hz
    Powered System Yes
    Sound Bar RMS Power 25W x 2
    Subwoofer RMS Power 100W x 1
    Inputs and Outputs
    Mini Stereo Audio Inputs None
    RCA Stereo Audio Inputs 1
    Optical Digital Audio Inputs 1
    Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs 1
    HDMI Inputs None
    HDMI Outputs None
    USB Port No
    Subwoofer Output 0
    Sound Bar (inches) 4-3/8H x 36W x 3-1/2D
    Sound Bar Weight 8 lbs
    Subwoofer (inches) 19-3/16H x 13-3/8W x 13-5/8D
    Subwoofer Weight 34 lbs

    Product Research

    Harman/Kardon SB 16 Home Cinema Soundbar System: The Harman/Kardon SB 16 Home Cinema Soundbar System offers an elegant and simpler alternative to your typical 5.1ch home theater speaker system. Not every room can accommodate 5 speakers + a subwoofer; and not everyone wants to deal with hooking up rear surround speakers. The Harman/Kardon SB 16 is a two-piece home theater system with a single amplified loudspeaker unit that connects directly to your TV, Sat/Cable box, or Blu-ray player & a single wireless powered subwoofer that can be placed anywhere in your room. The SB 16 Home Cinema Soundbar System delivers true Harman/Kardon sound, whether you are listening to music or watching a movie.

    2.1ch Soundbar System
    Mounting Options

    2.1ch Soundbar System

    Active Soundbar: The Harman/Kardon SB 16 active soundbar speaker houses left & right 2-way speaker modules with a built-in amplifier. The soundbar includes 2-way, dual-driver left & right speaker modules, each with two 3" midrange drivers and a 3/4" dome-tweeter. The active soundbar is powered by a 25W x 2ch amplifier (8-ohms, 20-20kHz, 0.07% THD). Thanks to digital signal processing (DSP) with virtual 3D surround circuitry, the soundbar works in tandem with the included wireless powered subwoofer to provide a complete surround-sound experience. The SB 16 soundbar speaker is designed to fit elegantly alongside your flat-panel TV and is magnetically shielded. The H/K SB 16 simply plugs into your TV, Sat/Cable box, or Blu-ray player with a single analog or digital cable.

    Note: The active soundbar speaker will need to be plugged into an AC wall outlet.

    Wireless Powered Subwoofer: The SB 16's wireless powered subwoofer offers you simplicity in terms of hookup & flexibility in terms of placement. The powered subwoofer receives its signal from the soundbar speaker via wireless technology, so you can place it anywhere in your room without having to run any wires. With a 10" magnetically-shielded woofer and built-in 100W amplifier, the wireless powered subwoofer delivers powerful bass performance when combined with the system's soundbar speaker. And thanks to a bass-reflex enclosure (with rear-firing port), you can also expect more realistic bass performance and higher bass output, since the subwoofer fires downward against the floor instead of against surrounding walls.

    Note: The wireless powered subwoofer will need to be plugged into an AC wall outlet.

    3D Virtual Surround Processing: The Harman/Kardon SB 16 provides a rich, full-bodied theatrical experience with only two speakers (soundbar & subwoofer). The SB 16 produces a 3D virtual surround-sound experience for anyone sitting in front of the soundbar speaker system, without the need for extra rear surround speakers.

    Note: To get the best audio performance out of the SB 16 system, it's recommended that you switch off the sound coming from your TV's loudspeakers.

    Two-Channel Stereo Mode: The two-channel stereo mode is designed for traditional stereo playback when listening to your music or news programs.


    Soundbar Controls: The following controls are found on the active soundbar speaker.

    • Input Select: This button switches between the analog (source 1) and digital (source 2) inputs of the soundbar speaker system.
    • Volume Up/Down: The Volume Up/Down buttons on the soundbar speaker controls the system's overall volume.
    • EQ Switch: The EQ switch lets you adjust the soundbar's bass for wall mounting or table-top mounting to deliver the most natural-sounding bass performance with any installation.
    • Trim Switch: The Trim switch lets you adjust the soundbar's input sensitivity so that it will work with a variety of TVs with different audio-signal output levels.

    Subwoofer Controls: The following controls are found on the wireless powered subwoofer.

    • Subwoofer Level: Use this control to balance the subwoofer's volume with that of the soundbar. Turn the knob clockwise to increase the subwoofer's volume; turn it counterclockwise to decrease the subwoofer's volume
    • Low Pass Crossover: This knob adjusts the subwoofer's crossover between 50Hz and 150Hz. The higher you set the Crossover knob, the higher in frequency the subwoofer will operate and the more its bass will "overlap" that of the soundbar. This adjustment helps achieve a smooth transition of bass frequencies between the subwoofer and the soundbar for a variety of different rooms and subwoofer locations.
    • Phase Switch: This switch determines whether the subwoofer driver's piston-like action moves in and out in phase with the speakers in the soundbar. If the subwoofer were to play out of phase with the soundbar speakers, the sound waves from the soundbar could cancel out some of the sound waves from the subwoofers, reducing bass performance and sonic impact. This phenomenon depends in part on the placement of the subwoofer and soundbar relative to each other in the room

    Auto Turn-On/Off: Auto Turn-On/Off Circuitry automatically switches the SB 16 soundbar speaker system on when an audio signal is present, and off when there is no audio signal.

    • Soundbar: The soundbar has a signal detector that will automatically turn the unit on when it senses an audio signal at any of its inputs. To minimize power consumption, the signal detector is not activated unless the soundbar first senses any kind of IR remote signal.  The soundbar will automatically enter the Standby mode if no audio signal is detected at any of its Source input connections for approximately 15 minutes. If you have programmed the soundbar to respond to your TV remote's on and off commands, you can manually put the soundbar into the Standby mode.
    • Subwoofer: The subwoofer will automatically turn itself on when it receives an audio signal, and it will return to the Standby mode when it has received no audio signal for 15 minutes. The subwoofer's LED will turn blue when the subwoofer is on, and will turn amber when the subwoofer is in Standby.

    Wireless Code Switch: There is a Wireless Code switch on the rear-panel of the soundbar and subwoofer. The Wireless Code switches let you select between 4 different channels for the wireless subwoofer signal and the soundbar. The wireless codes (1-4) need to be the same on the soundbar and subwoofer.

    TV Remote Control Compatible: You can program the soundbar so it will respond to your TV remote's power off, mute, volume up/down, and source commands. This programming lets you control your whole home theater system with a single remote.


    Analog Audio Inputs: Use the supplied stereo audio cable to connect the soundbar's Source 1 (analog) input to your TV's stereo audio output. If your TV has two sets of audio output jacks, use the set that has a fixed (not variable) output level. This will let you turn your TV's speakers all the way off while the TV still supplies a constant audio signal to the soundbar.

    Digital Audio Inputs: If your TV, Sat/Cable box, or Blu-ray player have coaxial or optical digital outputs, you can use the supplied optical digital audio cable or an optional coaxial digital audio cable to connect them to the soundbar's Optical (toslink) and Coaxial (RCA) digital inputs.

    Mounting Options

    Soundbar Placement: The active soundbar speaker can be placed on a table-top or wall mounted.

    • Table-Top Mounting: If your TV is placed on a table, you can place the soundbar on the table directly in front of the TV stand, centered with the TV screen. Attach the supplied rubber feet to the soundbar to protect your furniture.
    • Wall-Mounting: If your TV is attached to a wall, you can use the included wall-mount brackets to mount the soundbar on the wall directly below the TV screen. There are two different pair of wall-brackets supplied. One pair is to be used when connecting the soundbar via Stereo RCA or coaxial digital, and the other pair is to be used when connect the soundbar via optical digital.

    Subwoofer Placement: Since the human ear does not hear directional sound at the low frequencies where the subwoofer operates, it will perform well from just about any location in your room. However, the strongest bass reproduction is likely to be heard when the subwoofer is placed in a corner along the same wall as the soundbar.

    Note: The maximum wireless operating distance between the soundbar and subwoofer is approximately 50'.

    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 verify what’s in the box, 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.