For more than 50 years, Harman Kardon products have been engineered to deliver the ultimate listening experience. That tradition continues with Harman Kardon AVR 2600 65W 7.1 channel Home Theater Receiver (Black). High performance starts with a high-current, ultra-wide amplifier design which delivers uncomprimised realism and dynamics from your all your music and movies, including today’s latest high-definition sources like Blu-ray. Connect your Blu-ray player to the AVR 2600 and it will play back the high-resolution Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks with stunning detail. The AVR 2600 can even deliver an exciting 5.1 or 7.1 surround experience from sources that aren’t in encoded in surround sound using proprietary Logic 7 processing. This includes an iPod or iPhone with the optional Bridge III dock for iPod.The AVR 2600 adds the latest sound processing technology from Dolby laboratories called Dolby Volume processing. Set your preferred volume once and Dolby Volume maintains that level across all your content no matter what source you happen to be listening. When it comes to video, the AVR 2600 sets the same performance standard that it does for audio. Using advanced Faroudja processing, video is upscaled to stunning 1080p resolution while display settings can be indpendently optimized by source for the best picture possible. Setting up and using the AVR 2600 couldn’t be easier. A newly developed high-definition full-color on-screen menu system utilizes both pictures and text to guide you in setting up your home theater system while calibration and equalization is both easy and accurate with the included EzSet/EQ calibration system
- Dolby Volume maintains volume across all your content no matter what the source while also improving surround sound performance
- High-current, ultra-wide-bandwidth amplifier generates 65Watts per channel for uncompromised realism
- EzSet/EQ automates room-equalization and system-calibration for simple system setup and optimal audio quality
- Optional Bridge III iPod dock allows playback of music and movies from your iPod, iTouch or iPhone in rich
- Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding delivers high-resolution sound from today’s Blu-ray discs
Like any receiver, you can spend a good amount of time setting this one up, and getting everything right. Harman/Kardon has done a lot to help with the graphical user interface and a very clean and easy to use OSD which is digitally converted and upscale by the receiver so that you do not need to run an analog cable to see the OSD…you can see it right through your HDMI if you want. The easy EQ Setup is okay — it was very good at gauging speaker distances (and therefore delays), but terrible at determining levels/volumes for each speaker. I have 2 speakers (front left and front right) that are equadistant from the listening point…the HK system set one to +2db and the other to -7db…no idea how that happened… Anyway, I can overlook this as I am fully capable of setting these levels myself and the GUI makes the manual adjustment simple.
I have read on forums that some people have had trouble with the video, and even with HDMI bypass. I did not see this at all, and I tested the HK rigorously in this regard. My experience was that the HDMI Pass-Through worked flawlessly as tested from my HDTV Tuner, my Xbox 360, my Wii, and my standard def TiVo. All of them passed through as expected if I set the HK to do so. Similarly, if I allowed the HK to upscale or downscale, it did that too! I did not have a PS3 available to test at this time…but I soon will and will edit this review if necessary!
Audio Lag: There is a moment of audio lag upon switching sources…but my HK AVR-435 had this also and have many other receivers I have toyed with. I take it as expected. So I lose the first 1 second of audio…if it is really important I can usually pause the video feed and wait for the HK to make adjustments before playing (so I don’t lose the sound)…but seriously, how often are the first 1-3 seconds of audio that important when starting any game/video? Once the audio has begun, I get no audio drop-outs whatsoever.
Dolby Volume is awesome! I hated the fact that with my old receiver I always had to remember to crank the volume way down before switching from my Xbox 360 (connected via component) to my TiVo (connected via RCA) because the TiVo volume was SO MUCH LOUDER naturally. Now, not only does Dolby Volume control loud commercials…but it keeps a constant volume from one input to the next…so if I switch from my TiVo to my Xbox and back to my HDTV, then over to my Wii…the volume is always consistent without me having to fight it!