Harman Kardon Audio
Harman Kardon is a division of Harman International Industries manufacturing home and car audio equipments. It was founded in 1953 by Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon. HK is the supplier of audio equipment to a variety of vehicle manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, MG Rover, Subaru and Tata Motors. The stated product goal of Harman Kardon is the highest possible design quality for the price, rather than unnecessary features.
Harman Kardon Audio
In the year 1953, Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon, by investing $5,000 each, formed the Harman Kardon Company. In 1954, the company launched Festival D1000, world's first AM/FM Compact Hi-Fi Receiver. By 1956, Bernard Kardon decided to retire and sold his interest to Sidney Harman. As the sole head of the company, Harman continued to keep Harman Kardon as a technical leader in Hi-Fi products. In 1969, Harman bought the major speaker manufacturer JBL. In the year 1976, Jimmy Carter became the President of USA, and appointed Harman to be the Undersecretary of Commerce. So, Harman sold Harman International to Beatrice Foods for $100 million. After the Carter presidency, Harman wanted to regain ownership of Harman International. In 1980, he purchased Harman International from Beatrice Foods for $55 million. Finally, in 1985, he was able to buy Harman Kardon back. His flagship company was in his hands once again. Harman retired from Harman International in 2007 at the age of 88, and hired Dinesh Paliwal to succeed him as CEO.
Since it’s establishment, Harman Kardon has always been the first one to launch new technology and products in the market. In 1958, it introduced the first stereo receiver, the Festival TA230. After few months, HK marketed Citation II, the first ultra wideband stereophonic tube amplifier. In 1970, the company launched the first stereophonic cassette recording deck with Dolby B noise reduction. Its next product came in after almost a decade; the Citation XX high current amplifier. In the beginning of the 21st century, the company brought out the AVR-7000 audio video receiver. Lastly, in the year 2004, Harman Kardon marketed the AVR-330 audio-video receiver. Thus, the purity of Harman Kardon’s design principles has remained constant to this day and has also evolved with changing trends and fashions to maintain cultural relevancy.
Apart from launching new products in the market almost every year, the company has hailed some bigger milestones in recent years. In the year 2007, the Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design gave its ‘Good Design’ award to Harman Kardon’s DMC 100 digital media centre. After a year, the prestigious Electronic House magazine bestowed ‘Product of the Year’ honours on Harman Kardon’s AVR 354 audio-video receiver. Not only this, Harman Kardon’s famous SoundSticks have been a firm fixture in the Museum of Modern Art for almost a decade now. Lately, Harman Kardon also partnered with Apple to design and manufacture iSub 2000 Subwoofer and SoundSticks. These products won Industrial Design Excellence Awards and were featured on the cover of I.D. magazine. Hence, it is the combination of boundless scientific energy and homespun dedication that makes the Harman Kardon magic come alive!
So, what’s ahead for Harman Kardon? More innovation, more attention to its customers’ needs and more great sound. Those are the principles on which Sidney Harman started the company. And they’re the principles that guide it today.
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