Harman, most known for their AKG line of headphones, has just released five new models as part of their Kardon brand: two in-ear models, one on-ear, and two over-ear. They are all “square-styled” much in vein of the Bower & Wilkins headphones. They are available now, exclusively at Apple retail stores and Apple.com. Check out the details and photos below.
Harman Kardon NI and Harman Kardon AE – $99/$149 (In-ear)
After reading the press release I am unsure what the difference between these two models is besides the color scheme (the AE has silver housings while the NI has black ones). Both come with an in-line microphone and playback controls. The included silicone ear tips come in the standard three sizes.
Now onto the “headband-style” headphones. All of them share the following characteristics/features:
- 40mm drivers
- Swivel cups for flat-folding
- Steel frame (no plastic)
- Two different sized leather headbands that run under the steel frame to optimize comfort
- Replaceable ear pads
- Detachable cables
- Premium carrying case
Harman Kardon CL – $199 (On-ear)
The CL seems to be the bare-bones version of the BT and NC (besides the fact that the CL is on-ear instead of over-ear). For only $50 more you can unlock a plethora of features if you go for the BT model, but I suppose the CL will be an attractive option for people who like to keep it simple and portable.
Harman Kardon BT – $249 (Over-ear)
The BT looks to be the most feature-rich model of the new Kardon lineup. It can play wirelessly over bluetooth for 12 hours but also comes with a detachable cable for when the battery runs out. The BT also has a built-in microphone and playback control buttons on the side of the ear cup (you can see them in the picture if you look close).
Harman Kardon NC – $299 (Over-ear)
NC stands for noise-cancelling and this is the only model that is not yet available for purchase – it will be later this summer. The built-in battery lasts about 30 hours and is rechargeable via USB, but the battery is only needed when the noise canceling feature is enabled. The cable is detachable and it comes with a carrying case. It will be interesting to see how these perform next to Audio Technica’s latest noise-canceling headphone, the ATH-ANC9.