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Harman Kardon SB 26

Powered home theater sound bar with wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth®

8 Reviews | 1 question - 2 answers

Item # 532SB26

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Harman Kardon SB 26

"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.

Not with a bang, but a whimper

"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.

Give this story a happy ending

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.

Discover the bass you've been missing

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.

HDMI and Bluetooth connections

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.

Product Highlights:

    Sound bar:
    • 30 watts x 2 (RMS power)
    • dual two-way driver system, each with a 1" dome tweeter and two 3" midrange drivers
    • built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
    • listen in stereo or virtual surround sound mode
    • built-in Dolby Digital decoding
    • Harman Volume helps keep listening levels consistent across drastic volume shifts such as during commercials
    • learns your TV remote's commands for single-remote use
    • EQ switch to optimize bar for wall or table placement
    • wall mounting brackets included
    • includes IR repeater to extend TV's infrared reception for use with TV remote
    • HDMI switching: 2 in, 1 out (one HDMI cable included)
    • optical digital audio input (cable included)
    • analog stereo RCA input (miniplug-to-RCA cable included)
    • 36-3/16"W x 4-5/16"H x 3-1/2"D
    • weight: 7.9 lbs.
    • 100-watt built-in amplifier
    • 10" down-firing woofer
    • connects wirelessly to sound bar for easy placement
    • adjustable crossover for seamless blending with the sound bar
    • volume control via included remote
    • bass-reflex (ported) cabinet design
    • weight: 20.7 lbs.
    • 12-5/8"W x 14-5/16"H x 14-3/8"D
    • on-screen display allows you to view settings and options on your TV (requires HDMI connection)
    • system frequency response 38-22,000 Hz
    • warranty: 1 year (electronics), 5 years (speakers)
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    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.

    Pao lee, Portland or

    What's in the Box:

    • Active soundbar speaker
    • Wireless powered sub
    • AC power adapter (w/ attached 4' DC cord)
    • Two 59" AC power cords
    • Remote control (CR2025 battery installed)
    • 40" HDMI cable
    • 39" Optical digital cable
    • 46" Stereo minijack-to-RCA cable
    • 41" IR repeater cable
    • 2 Wall-brackets
    • 2 Self-adhesive rubber pads
    • Quick-Start Guide
    • Important Safety Instructions

    Harman Kardon SB 26 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (8 Reviews)

    Harman Kardon SB 26 soundbar

    destiny W from Illinois on 2/8/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    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!

    Harman kardon

    Pao lee from Portland or on 6/9/2014

    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

    Cons: Nonoe

    Fantastic sound quality

    DarkA from Lake Worth, FL on 5/25/2014

    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.

    Sounds Great but Imperfect

    Frank P from Los Angeles on 3/31/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    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.

    Not what I expected

    Lagermeister from Howell, NJ on 3/30/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    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.

    You get what you pay for.

    Anonymous from Lake Stevens, WA on 2/17/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    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.




    Desert Music Guy from Arizona on 2/13/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    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)


    Mamba from Kansas City, MO on 1/10/2014

    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


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Enclosure Sealed (bar)/Ported (sub)
    Design Bar
    Pieces in System 2
    Color Black
    Tweeter 1" Dome (2)
    Midrange 3" Cone (4)
    Woofer None
    Separate Subwoofer Yes
    Subwoofer Driver 10" cone
    Surround Sound Decoding 5.1-channel
    Dialogue Enhancement No
    Auto Volume No
    4K Video Compatible No
    HDR Video Compatible ---
    Audio Return Channel Yes
    Remote IR Passthrough Yes
    Works with TV Remote (IR) Yes
    Control by App Apple iOS, Android
    Bluetooth Connectivity Built-in
    Wi-Fi No
    Wall-mountable Yes
    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
    Powered System Yes
    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
    HDMI Inputs 2
    HDMI Outputs 1
    USB Port No
    Subwoofer Output Wireless
    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

    Product Research


    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.

    • Active Soundbar Speaker: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 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 1" dome-tweeter. The active soundbar is powered by a 30W x 2ch amplifier. Thanks to digital signal processing (DSP) with Harman Display Surround technology, 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 in front of or below your flat-panel TV. The H/K SB 26 simply offers HDMI audio/video, analog audio, and digital audio connectivity.
    • Wireless Powered Subwoofer: The SB 26'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" 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. The following controls are found on the wireless powered subwoofer.
      • Subwoofer Level: Use this level control to balance the subwoofer's volume with that of the soundbar.
      • Low Pass Crossover: An adjustable subwoofer crossover lets you achieve a smooth transition of bass between the subwoofer and the soundbar for a variety of different rooms and subwoofer locations.
      • Phase Switch: The Phase switch lets you fine-tune bass performance to your listening environment and taste.
      • Auto Turn-On/Off: 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.

    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.

    • Virtual Surround: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 provides a rich, full-bodied theatrical experience with only two speakers (soundbar & subwoofer). The SB 26 produces a virtual surround-sound experience for anyone sitting in front of the soundbar speaker system, without the need for extra rear surround speakers.
    • Two-Channel Stereo: The two-channel stereo mode is designed for traditional stereo playback when listening to your music or news programs.
    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.

    • HDMI (v1.4) Connectivity: With dual HDMI inputs, the Harman/Kardon SB 26 provides convenient connection for multiple HDMI source components; such as your Satellite/Cable box and Blu-ray player. It also includes one HDMI output with Audio Return Channel (ARC), which sends the TV sound back to the soundbar. This setup simplifies switching and makes the system easier to use.
    • Analog + Digital Audio Inputs: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 features both analog (minijack) & digital (optical) inputs to connect your flat-panel TV and a Blu-ray/DVD player, or satellite/cable box to the system.
    • Bluetooth Audio Streaming: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 soundbar speaker supports Bluetooth (v.2.1+EDR) A2DP wireless audio streaming. This allows you to stream stored music and music apps from your Bluetooth-enabled device (such as your Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/table, or computer/laptop) to the SB 26 soundbar speaker system. You will continue to navigate your music and view song/artist information from your Bluetooth-enabled device. This unit pairs with your Bluetooth-enabled device with a single press of a button. Once paired, the SB 26 will automatically re-connect with your device when in wireless range (up to 33').

    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.

    • IR Remote Control: The Harman/Kardon SB 26 comes with a credit card-sized IR remote for wireless operation. However, 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. In case the soundbar is blocking your television's IR receiver, insert the included IR repeater into the back of the soundbar and place it in front of the IR receiver of the television.
    • Harman Kardon Remote App: Downloading the free Harman/Kardon Remote app from the iTunes App store onto your Apple iOS (5.0+) device or from the Google Play Store onto your Android (2.2+) device lets you control the SB 26 soundbar speaker system from your smartphone or tablet device. You'll also be able to control your Apple iOS or Android device's stored music from the Harman/Kardon Remote app.
      • Source Selection: You'll be able to access and select all of the SB 26 speaker system's source inputs (HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI TV, Optical, Aux, or Bluetooth) through your Apple iOS or Android device with the Harmon/Kardon Remote app installed.
      • Audio Settings: You have control of the SB 26 speaker system's Volume, Sub Level, Harman Volume, and Harman Display Surround Modes through the Harman/Kardon Remote app and your Apple iOS/Android device.
      • Music Control: You can control all the music you have stored on your compatible Apple iOS/Android device through the Harman/Kardon Remote app. You'll be able to search your music by Song, Artist, Album, Playlist, and Genre. You also get basic playback functions such as Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track, Fast Forward/Rewind, and Repeat/Random. To access music apps, you'll need to exit the Harman/Kardon Remote app and select your desired music app on your iOS or Android device.

    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').

    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.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    1 question already asked

    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