Harman Kardon SB 16 soundbar

Fat sound for thin tellies

Spatial awareness

The SB16 doesn’t have a full surround sound decoder built-in, but instead uses Harman Kardon’s own 3D processing, which can be enabled or disabled from a button on the top of the soundbar. When active, it significantly expands the width of the stereo image adding a lot of extra space and depth to movie soundtracks or even TV dramas.

Harman Kardon SB 16

There’s no remote, but the system can be programmed to respond to your TV’s zapper

Given the size of the sub, it’s a surprise to find that it provides such tight, controlled bass and it doesn’t over power the main soundbar. Dialogue in movies remains tightly centred and even music played through the system exhibits excellent punch and clarity. The only real downer is that it’s not capable of producing really believable rear channel effects like Yamaha’s YSP-2200. To be fair, though, that system does costs over £200 more.

Verdict

Considering the high price of the system, the lack of HDMI connectivity is rather baffling. Also, the remote control configuration won’t suit every TV, but the SB 16’s ability to delivery a wide soundstage with beautifully balanced audio goes a long way towards making up for these shortcomings. ®

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Harman Kardon SB 16

Harman Kardon SB 16 soundbar

Six-speaker soundbar with a hefty active sub.
Price: £500 RRP