Gone are the days where the concept of a sound bar was alien to the masses and restricted only to audiophiles. The reason why many people are acquainted with the concept of a sound bar is mainly because the price for them has dropped drastically over the last couple of years and the market is filled with sound bars from various manufacturers at prices that cater to most budgets. As flat panel HDTVs become common, the popularity of sound bars have also increased. This is because sound bars can add a minimalistic look to one’s room as opposed to a 5.1 channel speaker set while setting up a home theatre system.
Minimalistic design on the entire speaker set
Harman Kardon, one of the world’s most popular manufacturers in audio equipment have introduced the SB 16 soundbar. This home theatre solution is designed to be a simplistic alternative as compared to the 5.1 channel home theatre system set up as it doesn’t involve complex connections.
Design and Build Quality
The Harman Kardon SB 16 is designed for those who have a flat panel HDTV measuring 42-inches and below. If one has a bigger television, then this may not be the ideal option for them as it will take away the look of the HDTV instead of complementing it. This sound bar measures 110mm x 920mm x 89mm and looks a lot better than most of the others available in the market at this price. It is finished in glossy black which gives it a rich look. However it does attract a fingerprints and can take away the look of the speaker. Essentially, the speaker has a minimalistic design which can appeal to a consumer if they like things that are not too flashy and want an option primarily for performance and not only looks. However, this is by no means a bad looking system.
An interesting feature of the SB 16 is the subwoofer. We say this not because it comes with a subwoofer as many soundbars in the market come with subs but because the size of this particular subwoofer is a lot larger than something that would come with a sound bar. The subwoofer that comes with it measure around 18-inches high, around 13-inches wide and weighs a whopping 15.4kgs. It is a good thing this needs to be carried around rarely as it is really heavy. However, this subwoofer has a distinct advantage which is not found on most others as it can be connected wirelessly. This reduces the need to have a wire snaking around the ground of one’s home.
Sound quality is really good
Connectivity options for this soundbar are located at the back and these include coaxial, optical and an analog input. The rear also has a toggle switch which acts as a code to connect wirelessly to the subwoofer, which also features the code. There is also the toggle switch for 'Trim' located at the back. The only thing lacking in this speaker system is that it does not come with a remote control. Instead one has to use the buttons on the top of the soundbar for accessing different functions.
The main feature of this speaker system is that it is designed to save on space in one’s home. This is basically a two way sound bar that features dual-drivers, soundbar speaker channels on either side featuring two midrange drivers of 3-inches each and at the extreme ends a .75-inch tweeter. The driver featured on the subwoofer measures at 10-inches and is downward firing. The subwoofer fires at 100W and features a frequency response of 45Hz – 200Hz. The total power output of the speaker set is 150W.
The meshing is designed to allow one to view the drivers
An interesting feature of this sound bar is at the back, there is an option to adjust the 'Trim'. It is recommended to adjust the switch here to anything other than 1 as the sound quality is really soft. Another option at the back is that there is an equalizer mode that can be adjusted to be set to either wall or table. This setting can be adjusted to where the soundbar is placed. The maximum distance one can keep from the soundbar to the subwoofer is 50 feet and this should be fairly sufficient for using in most homes. The subwoofer also features a phase crossover which plays an important part in the smooth transitioning of the sound. Like all soundbars aiming to emulate a surround sound experience, this model uses DSP technology.