Harman Kardon Omni+ Expands Wireless Hi-Res Audio for Whole Home Applications

September 7 2016, 03:00
Among the many announcements from Harman International during IFA 2016, the new Harman Kardon Omni+ is certainly one of the most promising products. This next generation of Wi-Fi HD home audio systems from Harman, combines improved speakers with advanced streaming capabilities, from single speaker to multi-room and whole-home audio configurations. The highlight is the support for high-resolution wireless streaming using technology from Blackfire Research.

Harman’s new Harman Kardon Omni+ systems are elegantly designed from the inside out and deliver an appealing alternative in terms of indoor/outdoor speakers, while allowing for high resolution wireless streaming of sound sources up to 24bit/192kHz, with digital and analog connectivity. There are three speakers in the series, with the Omni 50+ featuring two 90mm woofers and two 19mm tweeters for a rated power of 4 x 25W; the Omni 20+, featuring also 2 x 90mm woofers and 2 x 19mm tweeters for a rated power of 4 x 15W; and the compact model, Omni 10+, using one 90mm woofer and one 19mm tweeter both at 25 watts. The Omni 50+ also features a rechargeable battery with support for up to 5 hours playback time and is splash-proof, and weather proof (IPX5 rated).

All speakers support Dual band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and 802.11ac network connections, resulting in a faster, robust and more stable wireless connection, with support for Spotify Connect and Google Cast audio, while the Link button effortlessly connects multiple Omni+ speakers in any room at the touch of a button. Control and setup is also provided through the new, redesigned Harman Kardon Controller App for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. With this app, speakers can be controlled separately or rooms can be grouped together. Party Mode lets homeowners play the same music throughout their connected home.

The Harman Kardon Omni+ lineup also supports a wealth of streaming services including Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal in addition to stored local content on any device accessible via the Harman Kardon Controller App. The Omni+ line supports quick setup, including Apple WAC, so users can spend less time configuring their system. Each speaker also supports Bluetooth and auxiliary audio inputs that can be restreamed to any Omni speaker in the home. 

The main feature in the new Harman Kardon Omni+ series is the implementation of true lossless high-definition music streaming (24-bit/192kHz) for audio sources at higher resolution than a CD. The technology implemented for hi-res wireless streaming comes from Blackfire Research, the same platform already used in other Omni speakers from Harman Kardon, but no further details are provided for the moment. www.bfrx.com

In spring 2017 Harman promises to expand the Omni+ series with a compact soundbar (Omni Bar+) and the HD Wireless Audio Adapter (Omni Adapt+). The new Omni+ products are mostly compatible with the first generation Omni products so users can upgrade and connect their Omni+ speakers with their first generation Omnis.

“The Harman Kardon Omni+ line is unique in its true HD sound quality, versatility and functionality,” says Michael Mauser, EVP Harman and President of Lifestyle Division at Harman. “Customers want to stream from many different sources, control their speakers from their phone or tablet and have one system to meet all of their needs. Whether they want one speaker or five, this Harman Kardon home audio system provides the best in wireless HD sound quality and access to all the content they care about.”

The Harman Kardon Omni 10+, Omni 20+ and Omni 50+ speakers will be available this fall, 2016. The Omni Bar+ and Omni Adapt+ will become available Spring 2017.
www.harman.com | www.harmankardon.com
related items