Harman Kardon has launched what might be the slimmest floor-standing stereo speakers we've ever seen – and in spite of their slight frames, the wireless speakers come with some beefy audio features that could make them the perfect additions to your home cinema setup.
The Harman Kardon Radiance 2400 wireless home audio system comprises the aforementioned speakers, along with a subwoofer and a digital hub that you can connect to your TV.
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- Read our Harman Kardon Citation 200 review
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The new speakers boast a rather breathtaking design, standing at 1.8 meters while only being 51mm wide and 58mm deep.
Much of the tech is packed into their circular bases, which contain the wireless components and digital amplifiers for the system.
Normally, the larger a speaker is, the more powerful it will sound. However, by opting for a long, thin design, we're hoping that Harman Kardon has found as way to deliver an impressive audio performance without sacrificing precious floor space.
With each speaker containing 24 1.25-inch transducers, the company says that they'll deliver “superior sound coverage from corner to corner”. So, you can expect a pretty wide soundstage, then.
They also come with the company's Digital Loop Amplifier technology, which is designed to correct distortion and errors associated with digital amplification, restoring the audio quality.
Taking care of the bass is the 200W 10-inch subwoofer, which also comes with a wireless design – so you won't have lots of cables snaking around your living room.
The included digital hub comes with an LCD touch screen, allowing you to control your music playback – or there's a Bluetooth remote control if you don't want to keep getting up to adjust the volume.
This digital hub can be connected to your TV, which means you could use the Radiance 2400 system as a home cinema setup, in place of a soundbar or wired multi-channel speaker system. It can also be hooked up to games consoles and other AV devices.
As the system comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can stream your music in high definition through the built-in Chromecast technology, or via Apple AirPlay.
Both Chromecast and AirPlay allows for a multi-room setup throughout your home, so you could combine the Radiance 2400 system with other compatible speakers, such as the Harman Kardon Citation series.
As you may have already guessed, the wireless audio system will cost you a pretty penny. Available to buy from October this year, you're looking at a £3999.99 price tag for all that multi-room audio tech. While global pricing is yet to be announced, that works out at around $5,500 / AU$7,400 – ouch.
Analysis: the latest in a long line of unusual designs
Harman Kardon is no stranger to experimenting with unusual speaker designs – its Citation series is proof of that.
The range includes countertop speakers, a soundbar, a subwoofer, and a pair of tower speakers all available in gray or black wool fabric. The tower speakers are the most eye-catching of the bunch, looking like elongated pyramids – or perhaps more accurately, the cooling towers from a nuclear power plant.
In 2020, the company expanded the range with a beside speaker that features an alarm clock, as well as a portable smart speaker (the Citation 200) – both of which continued the series' architectural aesthetic.
Unfortunately, the Harman Kardon portable speaker didn't quite live up to our expectations. For starters, the onboard Google Assistant only works when you’re connected to the Wi-Fi, so you can forget any dreams you had of using it to turn on your smart thermostat at the park before you get home.
We also found the bass to be overpowering, often muddying the other frequencies – though the company has since released a software update that allows you to tweak the EQ settings of the smart speaker.
In any case, we were more enamored with the Citation Towers, which, as floorstanding speakers, will probably offer a better preview of what the new Radiance 2400 system will sound like.
Like any hefty stereo speakers, we found the Citation Towers need positioning sympathetically. They’re not phobic about being in a corner, but they’re far happier out in a little free space – say 12 inches from a rear wall as a minimum.
That's something to bear in mind if you're thinking of buying the Radiance 2400 as a space saving measure – though we'll be interested to see if the long, thin design will have an effect on where the speakers can be placed.
We like the sound of the Citation Towers, though – and if the Radiance 2400 sound anything like them, you can expect a well-balanced audio performance with a wide, spacious soundstage. We just can't wait to hear them for ourselves.
- Looking for something more simple? Check out the best soundbars of 2021