Quick Review: Harman Kardon SB 30


A client who returned a MartinLogan Motion Vision soundbar opted instead for the Harman Kardon SB 30. This review will be short, though, because even though we were very pleased with the device, there are even better ones just around the corner. My buying advice would be to wait on a soundbar if you want one, as 2013 should be the year that soundbars finally enter the big leagues. If you need to buy one now, I still like the HK SB30, but I’d only get it if you could purchase it for a discount (like the client did).

Pros: It looks good. It sounds great. And it even does a surprisingly decent job simulating actual surround sound. The wireless subwoofer is attractive enough that you don’t need to hide it.

Cons: The less expensive HK SB16 actually offers a larger wireless subwoofer. The SB 30 doesn’t have HDMI inputs, an on screen display, bluetooth, or any number of other features that should be standard in high end soundbars in 2013. You also can’t really adjust the sound in any detailed way (bass, treble, etc.). ¬†At $800, the price isn’t as steep as competing high-end soundbars from MartinLogan, Bose, and Sony, but it’s still a little more than it should be.