When Sidney Harman joined forces with Bernard Kardon in 1953, he had one driving principle – everyone deserves great sound. From humble beginnings to becoming a central brand in a global audio powerhouse, the secret to the success enjoyed by Harman Kardon®1 has always been to listen to consumers rather than engineers. The result is beautiful sound that’s affordable and easy to use.
Click to learn about the Harman Kardon heritage.
From the first stereo receiver, to the first stereo cassette recording deck with Dolby® B noise reduction, to the first CD audio recorder with 4x dub speed, Harman Kardon has a rich heritage of innovation. Throughout the years, the company has earned dozens of international awards for both audio excellence and outstanding design. In fact, Harman Kardon SoundSticks® are featured in the design collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Today, Harman Kardon audio components for home theaters and premium in-car entertainment systems continue to follow Sidney Harman’s vision.
Subaru first turned to Harman Kardon for brand-name audio systems in the 2009 Legacy and Outback, then the 2010 Tribeca, 2014 Forester, and 2015 WRX and WRX STI. Whether listening to radio, CD, or an iPod®, each system is designed to deliver beautiful sound, mile after mile.
What makes these audio systems “premium”? Stated simply: advanced speakers, powerful amplifiers with digital signal processing (DSP), and intensive engineering effort.
For example, the front-mounted midtweeters in the 2014 Forester use metal matrix diaphragms (MMD) and neodymium magnets. MMD speaker material is a layered composite of thin ceramic on a lightweight metal base. It is very strong and specifically designed to issue bright, clear high notes as well as bold, natural low notes with greater accuracy.
Neodymium is a rare earth element that makes a more compact and powerful magnet than traditional iron-based materials. These lightweight yet powerful magnets ensure superior dynamic sound performance.
In the 2015 Legacy and Outback, an eight-channel, 576-watt equivalent2 amplifier divides the audio signal into eight channels, delivering specific digital output to each of the specialized Harman Kardon speakers. Proprietary DSP converts analog signals, such as radio broadcasts, into digital, and continuously examines more than 100 specific parameters to issue rich, powerful, and fully nuanced audio to the listener.
All of this is just the foundation for a superior audio system. HARMAN International and vehicle engineers from Subaru collaborate on audio system design, speaker placement, and, most critically, the final tuning of the system for the unique acoustic characteristics of each Subaru model. Only after hundreds of engineering hours is a Harman Kardon audio system deemed ready for the public.