AT A GLANCE Plus
Fine tonal balance with genuine deep bass
Very substantial level potential
A few operational and hookup quirks (it’s French!)
No remote-control learn/teach scheme
A 5.1-channel system in soundbar packaging that combines tonal accuracy with impressive low-frequency response and power, plus surround as effective as we’ve heard from an all-up-front affair.
As recently as a couple of years ago, anyone shopping for an “audiophile soundbar” was in danger of being laughed off the lot. The bar scene was dominated by price-driven, mass-market models sold in big-box stores, and most of these were plastic jobs from the mega-mills of the Pacific rim, with just a smattering of somewhat more upscale choices from a few more serious American and Canadian brands.
Homepage photo, remotes, and back panels by Tony Cordoza Sure, when it comes to A/V receivers, the $4,000 flagships get most of the attention in our fantasy lives, and the $399 loss-leaders get most of the play in the Sunday-paper circulars.
(Photos by Tony Cordoza) Let me tell you about my very first hard-disk drive. It was about the size of a VCR and made as much noise as a small refrigerator. It cost about as much as a refrigerator, too-but who cared?
Photos by Tony Cordoza The model numbers for Harman Kardon's latest line of A/V receivers recall those the company used for receivers it introduced some 20 years ago, and I'm betting that's no accident. Back then, HK scored a solid hit with a compact, simple, affordable stereo receiver called the 330C that was modestly powered but provided consistently good sound.
Audio Performance Video Performance Features Ergonomics Value
AT A GLANCE Plus
Powerful yet lightweight
Fast, HD onscreen menus
Limited audio streaming formats
Unfriendly DLNA streaming navigation
Surround-mode selection a bit clunky
A highly competitive audio and video performer in the kilobuck range, H/K’s AVR 3700 should do any home theater justice.
Harman/Kardon is among the quartet of major brands of American audio launched following World War II. (McIntosh, Marantz, and Sherwood are the others.) It’s further distinguished as the only one continuously retained by its owners as a U.S. company—though H/K today is just one brand of the sprawling Harman International empire. (History sidebar: During the Carter presidency, H/K was sold to Beatrice Foods while founder Sidney Harman served as Carter’s Under Secretary of Commerce; Harman then reacquired the company.)