Harman Kardon vs Bose

If you are someone who has a speaker or two for music and movies, then you have definitely heard of the two most leading brands: Bose and Harman Kardon. In this review, I will illustrate some crucial differences between Bose vs Harman Kardon and let you decide which one is best for you.

Harman Kardon vs Bose, which is better?  Well, both these manufacturers are famous for their noise-canceling headphones and automotive audio systems. While Harman Kardon delivers unique aesthetics along with supreme audio, Bose produces durable products with the psychoacoustic audio experience.

What Is Bose sound system?

Bose has been in the market for a long time. They are often criticized for overpriced products. However, Bose is famous for its well-balanced sound with good bass and treble.

Similar to Harman Kardon, Bose has multiple portable speakers but not as many as Harman Kardon. Bose also has decent color and design structure in speakers and soundbars.

Bose products are well-known for durability and longevity. When selecting a home theater, most consumers rely on Bose due to its history of audio products in the market and consistency in sound quality.

Key Features of the Bose Sound System

  • Uses active noise-cancellation in headphones like Quietcomfort 35, or headphone 700.
  • Bose deploys psychoacoustic principles so that the audio projection sounds better to people.
  • Bose manufactures headphones, soundbars, speakers, professional audio equipment, and automobile audio systems.
  • Bose emphasizes on ‘listener’s perception’ while describing the quality of audio along with other technical specs like transducers, frequency response, etc.
  • The ‘guide and constrict’ of waves are used in the Bose Wave range. This waveguide speaker technology is used in products like Wave SoundTouch music system IV.
  • Similar to Harman Kardon, Bose has a multi-room option, Bluetooth pairing, and portable speakers of different models.

What Is Harman Kardon?

Harman Kardon is a part of Stamford-based Harman International Industries, a subsidiary of South Korean firm Samsung Electronics. The aim of Harman Kardon is to have the best possible design along with audio quality in a given budget without adding unnecessary features.

They focus on non-technical group and deliver high fidelity audio. They manufacture a wide variety of portable speakers with unique aesthetics such as Auro speakers. The company produces mid to high budget products so that it can reach the audience with different budget.

The JBL, AKG, and Infinity are also possessed by this company. JBL Xtreme is a well-known product and these three brands manufacture a variety of audio speakers and accessories.

Key Features of Harman Kardon

  • Harman Kardon is famous for making home audio products like headphones, wireless speakers, soundbars, Blu-disc players, Audio Video receiver, etc.
  • It makes the best design to suit any home décor or interior design.
  • They focus on producing clean and clear audio with balanced bass and treble so that the audience will be satisfied.
  • They make audio equipment for vehicles like Audi, BMW, or LandRover by using Digital Sound Technology Auravox and Discrete Logic 7.
  • It manufactures Dolby Digital receivers such as AVR 125 that delivers 5.1 channels.
  • Harman Kardon’s product includes noise-canceling headphones like FLY ANC.
  • It worked with famous brands like Microsoft and Apple. Harman Kardon produces a smart speaker Invoke with Cortana, the digital assistant of Microsoft. It partnered with Apple and produced iSub 2000 and Soundstick

Technology

Technology is the vital thing of the speaker. Different brands use different principles and engineering to manufacture their products.

The technology of the Bose sound system

Bose relies on a psychoacoustic method along with hardware improvement. Other propriety technology includes Quietport technology, ADAPTiQ calibration or Direct/Reflect design. These are used in different soundbars or speakers to enhance audio quality.

Bose is famous for its noise-cancellation technology used in Headphone 700, QuietComfort 35.

The technology of Harman Kardon

Harman Kardon started building audio products with integrated receivers (tuner/preamp/power amplifier). They deploy the stereophonic sound in stereo receivers like TA230.

Harman GreenEdge is used in a receiver like HK3770. They have also used Dolby noise reduction to vastly decrease noise in cassette deck CAD5.

Comparison Table: Bose vs Harman Kardon

Bose

Harman Kardon

Technology Psychoacoustics, QuietPort, ADAPTiQ, active noise cancellation (ANC) GreenEdge, Dolby noise reduction, stereo-widening DSP

Voice control

The compatibility of speakers with voice assistants makes it easier for users to communicate. The audience can play/pause with a simple voice command and both these brands work with voice assistants.

Voice control of Bose

Bose works with all major voice assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. The following table shows voice assistant compatibility: different models have different voice assistant compatibility.

Voice control of Harman Kardon

Harman Kardon speakers also support this feature. This brings flexibility for consumers. Some models work with Alexa while others with Google Assistant or Cortana.

Best Harman and Bose Voice Assitant Products:

Comparison Table: Bose vs Harman Kardon voice assistant

  Models Voice assistant

Bose

Bose Soundbar 500 Google Assistant
Bose Soundbar 700 Google Assistant
Bose Portable Smart Speaker Alexa
Bose Home Speaker 450 Alexa
Bose Headphone 700 Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant

Harman Kardon

Citation products Google Assistant
Allure Alexa

Harman Kardon Fly Wireless Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
Onyx Studio 4 Siri, Google Assistant

JBL TUNE 750BTNC – Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with Noise Cancellation

Google Assistant

Streaming

The purpose of getting a speaker is the freedom to play music or audio tracks from different streaming sites. Some people are subscribed to Spotify, Deezer while others prefer Pandora or Amazon music.

Streaming in Bose

Bose supports several streaming services, products like SoundTouch has free accessibility in TuneIn Radio. It should be noted that streaming services will vary with regions.

Streaming in HK

Harman Kardon products are compatible with Deezer, Shoutcast, and hundreds of streaming sites to play audio tracks. It allows users the ability to choose the service they like.

Comparison Table: Bose vs Harman Kardon Streaming service

Bose

Harman Kardon

Streaming service
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Amazon music
  • SiriusXM
  • iHeartRadio
  • TuneIn
  • Deezer
  • play
  • Radioplayer
  • Spotify
  • Deezer
  • ShoutCast
  • Google Play Music
  • Pandora,
  • iHeartRadio
  • TuneIn,

Compatibility

The compatibility of a speaker means how flexible it is, whether it supports Bluetooth or can pair up with other speakers. Different models have different features.

Compatibility of Bose

Most speakers of Bose have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility. They often use Bose Connect+ to pair with other speakers.

Compatibility of Harman Kardon

Some Harman Kardon models can pair up to 2 speakers, others can do more. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility varies from model to model.

Best Harman and Bose Products:

Comparison Table: Bose vs Harman Kardon Compatibility

Models Compatibility

Bose

Soundbar 700 WiFi, Bluetooth,

Connect wirelessly with other speakers.

SoundTouch 300 Supports multi-room feature, Bluetooth
SoundTouch 10 Multi-room feature, Bluetooth

Harman Kardon

Harman Kardon Neo Bluetooth
Esquire Mini 2 Bluetooth
Onyx 4 Bluetooth to connect 2 speakers, HK Connect+ to connect up to 100 speakers.

Waterproof rating

Waterproof rating of Bose

Most portable speakers of Bose are water-resistant and come with a waterproof rating that makes it easy to take outdoors. The rating varies from model to model.

IPX4 means the product is safe from water splash and IPX4 means you can place it 1m underwater for 30 minutes.

Waterproof rating of HK

Not all portable speakers of Harman Kardon are waterproof such as Onyx studio 5. This means you don’t have the flexibility to carry them on the beach or poolside party. However, there are other models that are waterproof.

Best Harman and Bose Waterproof speaker:

Comparison Table: Bose vs Harman Kardon Waterproof

Models Waterproof rating

Bose

Revolve IPX4
Soundlink Micro IPX7, IPX4
Portable Home Speaker IPX4
Soundlink Color II IPX4

Harman Kardon

Harman Kardon New IPX7
Onyx Studio 6 IPX7
OMNI 50+ IPX5 splash-proof
JBL flip 5 IPX7

Material

The material with which sound systems are made of differs from model to model. It might be aluminum metal, fabric, plastic, or etc.

Material of Bose

Bose is well-known for producing sturdy and durable products. Unlike other brands, they don’t change the speaker’s material very often. Generally, they use metal grille along with fabric so that the products will be long-lasting.

Materials of Harman Kardon

Harman Kardon is well-known for its classy design of speakers. its portable speakers have different shapes with materials, some looks like a purse, others have retro-look.

Best Harman and Bose Material Speaker

Comparison Table: Bose vs Harman Kardon Material

Models Material
Bose Soundbar 700 Metal grille and tempered glass top
SoundTouch 300 Glass, metal, plastic
Bose Revolve + Aluminum chassis, rubber base
Harman Kardon Harman Kardon soundbar 1300 Fabric
Sabre 35 Aluminum body, clothe grille
Onyx 4 Fabric, plastic, rubber

Audio format

Dolby Atmos and Digital are responsible for creating more profound surround sound. However, there are some differences. The Dolby Digital uses 2.0 to 5.1 or above channels whereas Dolby Atmos uses 3.1.2 to 4.1.4 channels.

In Digitial speakers are arranged horizontally while in Atmos speakers are both horizontally and vertically arranged. Digital delivers audio from the current speaker while Atmos uses Software along with hardware.

Audio format in Bose

Bose doesn’t support Dolby Atmos but Dolby Digital, DTS:X, True HD these are common in speakers or soundbars. These are successful in producing excellent surround sound.

Audio format in Harman Kardon

Different models of Harman Kardon support varying audio formats. Some are compatible with Dolby Digital, True HD, while others work with Atmos.

Comparison Table: Bose vs Harman Kardon Audio format

Models Audio format

Bose

Lifestyle 650 Dolby Digital, Digital Plus, TrueHD, DTS
SoundTouch 300 Dolby Digital, DTS

Harman Kardon

HWQ70R Samsung Harman Kardon  Soundbar Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
Sabre 35 Dolby Digital, TrueHD, DTS HD

Cost

The price of speakers in Bose vs Harman Kardon varies with functionality, compatibility, drivers, the technology used, and on several other factors. Sometimes the aesthetics and sturdy material used in building the speaker increases the cost.

Cost of Bose

Although some portable speakers are within reasonable price like $100 to $300, when additional features are added, they can go up to $600. Bose Home theaters start from $1000, while other competitors have lower price tags.

Cost of Harman Kardon

Some excellent aesthetic portable speakers can be bought at a reasonable price from $100 to $500. You will find both budget-friendly and costly products in Harman Kardon.

Bose Harman Kardon
Price Most are expensive Mid-range to costly products.

Find out more about Polk and Klipsch comparison

Product comparison:

Soundbar:

Bose 700 vs Enchant 1300

If we compare Harman Kardon enchant 1300 vs bose 700, then we see that Bose 700 latter has voice assistant compatibility and less number of channels compared to the Enchant 1300.

The surround sound of Enchant 1300 is more cinematic that makes the audience feel like the sound is coming from height, similar to Dolby Atmos.

Bose soundbar 700:

Best features:      

  • 8 microphone that has echo cancellation and near field detection.
  • Built-in Alexa, supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy connectivity
  • Can wirelessly connect with other Bose, like Boss Module 700, Surround Wireless speaker.
  • Support streaming from services like Spotify, Amazon Music, Internet Radio.
  • It is a 3.0 setup with good performance from the center channel.

Things that are not so good:

  • The glass coat above the bar attracts dust and fingerprints

Harman Kardon Enchant 1300 soundbar

Best features:

  • 13 audio channels, bass port with side-firing tweeters.
  • Made with Harman’s propriety sound processor, Multibeam.
  • Easy setup with Automatic Multibeam Calibration (AMC)
  • Built-in Chromecast that allows 200+ online service.
  • Made of fabric and metal that will last long.
  • Delivers 7.1 or 7.1.2 surround sound

Things that are not so good:

  • Doesn’t support Alexa.
  • Doesn’t have Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.

Harman Kardon Sabre SB 35 vs Bose SoundTouch 300

Between Harman Kardon Sabre SB 35 vs Bose SoundTouch 300, the main difference is the presence of a subwoofer and 5.1 surround sound of Sabre 35. Sabre 35 is very thin and made of different materials compared to ST 300.

The number of channels and drivers also varies. The audio quality is comparatively better with ST 300, however, Sabre 35 delivers adequate bass.

SoundTouch 300

Best features

  • the soundbar has a good design with a tempered glass top.
  • Uses PhaseGuide technology and delivers 3.0 surround sound
  • It has QuietPort technology that deals with the bass of the audio.
  • SoundTouch Wi-Fi system allows streaming from Spotify, Pandora
  • Supports multi-room and works with ST 10 or higher models
  • Supports Dolby Digital & DTS
  • Uses the Auto-calibration feature to adjust audio.

Things that are not so good:

  • To add bass, need to buy an extra subwoofer which is costly

Harman kardon sabre sb 35

Best features:

  • Speaker made of aircraft-Al metallic body and cloth grille.
  • Comes with a subwoofer that has a 4.5” driver and crossover dial.
  • It has 8 channels and 10 drivers: 6 1.75” mid-range and 4 1” tweeters.
  • Supports DSP and delivers 5.1 virtual surround sound.
  • Works with Dolby Digital, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD.
  • Classy and very slim soundbar with elegant remote control.

Things that are not so good:

  • Too bright treble

Speaker

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs Bose SoundTouch 10

While comparing Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs Bose SoundTouch 10, we see that there is some major dissimilarity. Although Onyx is heavy-weight, it is still portable but ST 10 isn’t portable at all.

ST 10 doesn’t have a battery and needs a power supply; its volume is also lower than Onyx. Onyx 4 has an 8-hour battery life; it has a passive radiator and noise-canceling microphone.

Bose SoundTouch 10

Best features:

  • Active speaker, compact in size that is ideal for multi-room.
  • Room-filling sound but lacks accurate balance.
  • Allows streaming from Spotify, Amazon music, etc.
  • Can pair up with 10 speakers
  • It can be controlled with remote control or app.
  • Ideal to use as a standalone speaker at home.

Things that are not so good:

  • Audio might distort at high volume.
  • Not portable or weatherproof resistant.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4

Best features:

  • Long-lasting fabric in front and plastic at the back with rubber lining.
  • Uses Bluetooth to connect 2 speakers at a time
  • Uses HK Connect+ to connect more than 100 speakers.
  • Delivers powerful and resonant audio with bass
  • It has 2 3” woofers and 2 0.8” tweeter.
  • The volume of the speakers is very high compared to other speakers.

Things that are not so good:

  • Heavyweight and large in size, not easy to carry
  • Not waterproof, so it isn’t suitable for outdoor.

Bose Revolve Plus vs Harman Kardon Go Play

When making a comparison between Bose Revolve Plus vs Harman Kardon Go Play, we see that they have few differences. The first one is portability, although both speakers come with handles, the Go+Play weighs around 3.5kg while Revolve Plus is 0.9kg.

Go+Play doesn’t have NFC for pairing; it isn’t weather-resistant and has a battery life of 8 hours only. Revolve Plus has NFC pairing, IPX4 rating, and 16 hours of battery span.

Bose Revolve Plus

Best features:

  • Aluminum chassis with a rubber base and built-in handle to carry it easily.
  • Integrated microphone for speakerphone calls, delivers 360-degree omnidirectional sound.
  • 1 3.6” driver, dual-opposing passive radiator.
  • Supports NFC or can connect wirelessly with another speaker via the Bose Connect app.
  • Powerful bass and louder than other portable speakers. 

Things that are not so good:

  • Expensive, need to buy a charging dock separately.

Harman Kardon Go+Play

Best features:

  • Fabrics weave in front with an Aluminium handle that makes it easy to carry.
  • Classy, retro design to suit any both indoor and outdoor.
  • 2 3.5” driver, 2 1” tweeter, and passive radiator which is responsible for bass.
  • Delivers room-filling sound with superior bass and accurate mid-range.

Things that are not so good:

  • Doesn’t have Wi-Fi compatibility

Headphone

Bose headphone 700 vs Harman Kardon Fly ANC

The comparison between Bose headphone 700 vs Harman Kardon Fly ANC leads us to several factors. Both these headphones have 20 hours of battery life and excellent noise-canceling features.

While Fly ANC can be folded, has a higher battery capacity and battery level indicator, the 700 model doesn’t.

Bose headphone 700

Best features:

  • Slimmer in size, headband made of stainless steel and soft pad.
  • Touchpad for volume and play/pause control
  • 8 microphone to easily take calls and Bluetooth pairing
  • 3 noise-cancelling levels, 0,5, 10.
  • Drivers deliver crisp and clear audio.
  • Uses patented active noise-cancellation (ANC) technology.

Things that are not so good:

  • The highs may sound harsh.

What is difference btween Home Theatre and Home Cinema

Harman Kardon Fly ANC

Best features:

  • Strong metal headband and slow retention foam earpads.
  • Has a cord from Apple device inline remote or microphone.
  • Delivers audio with excellent clarity and satisfying bass.
  • Built-in Google Assistant & Alexa.
  • Interchangeable metal bows to adjust the headphone.

Things that are not so good:

  • Battery life should be improved

Bose QC 35 II headphones vs Harman Kardon Soho wireless

The comparison between Bose QC 35 II headphones vs Harman Kardon Soho wireless lies in a few factors. The QC 35 II is more comfortable, has higher battery life, and dedicated voice assistant buttons.

The Soho has a low battery life of 6 to hours but no voice assistant buttons. The QC35 has an LED indicator but Soho doesn’t have it.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones

Best features:

  • One of the most comfortable and lighter headphones to wear and carry.
  • Body made of Alcantara, leather, metal, plastic; earpads made of leather.
  • Propriety technology and different levels of noise cancellation
  • Has dedicated Google Assistant and Alexa button
  • Drivers deal with EQ to deliver balanced audio.
  • 20 hours of battery life and works with Bose AR

Things that are not so good:

  • Does have EQ adjust the setting.

Harman Kardon Soho wireless

Best features:

  • Headphone made of durable metal parts and has square earcup.
  • It supports NFC and Bluetooth connectivity
  • 30mm driver and neo-transducer deliver balanced audio
  • Can be used in wired mode when the battery dies
  • It can be folded and easily taken into a backpack while traveling

Things that are not so good:

  • Poor battery life

Bose vs Harman Kardon car speakers

Bose and Harman Kardon are the leading companies in the automotive industry. The Bose vs. Harman Kardon are competent with each other and continuously improving themselves in their technology.

The main difference is in their propriety technologies that deal with issues like reducing noise, balancing audio, adjusting the volume as you speed up, and ensuring all car members hear the same 360-degree surround audio.

There are also technical differences like power, number of speakers, and channels. These companies target different cars to integrate their audio like Bose has: Hyundai, Infiniti, Cadillac, and Harman Kardon has: BMW, Subaru, Maserati.

Advanced technology series: Panaray of Bose

Best features:

  • Deliver listening experience of 34 speakers with 4 amplifiers.
  • A 20-channel amplifier works with digital signal processing that makes the audio sound unique.
  • Excellent surround sound in the car with clarity and no distortion
  • It has a 10” woofer, 6 4” speakers, 2 1” tweeter
  • Produces 360-degree surround experience
  • The enclosure is made so that it is less prone to vibration or buzzing.

Harman Kardon Mercedes Benz

Best features:

  • Digital multi-channel amplifiers along with Logic 7 responsible for 360 surround sound for each person.
  • 14 high-performance loudspeakers produce 5.1 surround sound
  • The amplifier works with DSP to make audio have crystal clear treble and superior bass.
  • Speed-Sensitive Volume Adjustment (SSVA) increases volume as the speed increases.
  • Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) ensures lossless procession of sound.

Bose Performance Series

Best features:

  • 13 speakers with Bose Advanced Staging Technology signal processing make the soundstage feel broader.
  • Bose Twiddler speaker covered with metal grille.
  • 11-channel Bose digital amp
  • Propriety Bose Centerpoint for surround signal processing and Audiopilot for the noise-compensation process.
  • 1” tweeter and multiple woofers.

Harman Kardon and Volvo

Best features:

  • The 12-channel amplifier and Direct Unison method that accurately produces sound in in-seat and between-seat.
  • Vehicle noise compensation: the amp identifies the speed, regulate volume, and EQ.
  • Quantum Logic Surround sound deliver 7.1 sound
  • It has 13 speakers with woofers and subwoofers
  • Automatic Level adjustment technology with no distortion at high volume.

JBL vs Harman Kardon

Many people still don’t know that JBL is owned by Harman Kardon. The JBL Xtreme 2 vs Harman Kardon Onyx 5 is one of the hottest topics among consumers.

JBL Xtreme 2  has a nylon-fibred grille and a rubber seal on the back. It is a sturdy portable speaker that has an IPX7 rating and is weather-resistant and dustproof. It is ideal to take it out beside the pool or parties by wearing the strap.

It has 2 tweeters, 2 drivers, and passive radiators that are responsible for the bass and good quality audio. It is an active speaker with a built-in amp. Onyx 5 comes with an Al handle so it can be carried easily. It has a 5” woofer, a tweeter, and 2 passive radiators.

Compared to Xtreme 2, it delivers better bass, has low battery life, and isn’t shock or waterproof.  It also can’t connect with other Onyx speakers while Xtreme has JBL Connect+ that allows it to pair with up to 100 JBL speakers.

Feature

JBL Xtreme 2

Onyx 5

Drivers 4 1
Weather/water resistant IPX7 No
Battery life 15 hours 7 hours
Charging time 3.5 hours 5hours
Bass with the lowest frequency 55
Noise-canceling microphone yes no
Pair with other speakers Up to 100 speakers one speaker

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Question: How to use HK Connect with Onyx Studio 4?

Answer: Download and install the HK Connect app on your smartphone. Connect the Onyx Studio 4 with your mobile.

Connect app will identify the Onyx 4 and then the voice assistant can be turned on or you can pair with devices supported bye Connect+.

Question: Is Bose Soundlink loud enough?

Answer: Bose Soundlink Color has significant high volumes.  The measurement of sensitivity is around 90dB and the audio is played at high volume with little distortion.

Compared to other competitive speakers, the loudness of Bose Soundlink is very high and room-filling.

Question: how does Bose reduce surrounding noise in cars?

Answer: Among many other technologies, Bose uses Road Noise Control. The noise comes from the up and down of roads, tires, and chassis movement. The RNC adjusts audio and reduces the noise using active and adaptive technology.

It uses accelerometers, signal-processing software of Bose, microphones to minimize the unwanted sound and maximize the audio.

Parting Words:

I hope you have read the review and at this point have a clear idea about the companies. Although Bose is costly, it is ruling the audio industry for so long and you can rely on its product and audio quality.

Without listening to bad reviews, know that things like placement, amp, subwoofer make a huge difference in audio. Harman Kardon delivers sound with accurate tremble and sufficient bass even in portable speakers. they have some speakers with outstanding designs such as Go+Play and Aura studio 2.

Now that you know the basics of these two brands and their products you can easily choose whether the Harman Kardon or Bose is the best one for you.

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