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Harman Kardon Nova Bluetooth Speakers Video Review

Harman Kardon Nova Bluetooth Speakers

Harman Kardon Nova Bluetooth Speakers


  • Product Name: Nova
  • Manufacturer: Harman Kardon
  • Review Date: March 17, 2014 00:00
  • MSRP: $299.99/pair
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Powered 2.0 stereo speaker system with extended bass response.
  • Performance-tuned 2.5” drivers and 1.25” tweeters
  • Harman DSP for Improved Soundstage and Voicing
  • Compatibility with any device via analog, optical, or Bluetooth wireless with NFC
  • Power Consumption: 2 x 20W bi-amp
  • Frequency Response: 70Hz – 20KHz
  • USA Warranty Length: 1 Year Electronic & 5 Years Loudspeaker

I've reviewed so many portable Bluetooth devices, that it is sometimes hard to remember than Bluetooth doesn't have to be limited to speakers and headphones that you take with you. Bluetooth is also the perfect wireless solution to those that don't want to be tied into a particular brand of phone or device. This device agnostic streaming solution, while far from perfect, has come a long way in recent years.

Harmon Kardon is a name was are all very familiar with from their receivers, but they make other products as well. Their Nova offering is a 2.0 Bluetooth speaker system that would be just at home in your office as it would in your living room.

Rather than beat around the bush, lets dive right into these speakers. First of all, just look at them. They have clear plastic enclosures that highlight what looks like a plastic vortex. This is actually a port-like enclosure that has the main drivers on the front side and a passive radiator on the other. 

That's right, a passive radiator. The Harmon Kardon Nova's aren't just about style, though they've certainly got that. No, they also are looking to bring you the very best sound they can. 


To start with, they have a 1.25" tweeter and a 2.5" driver in each speaker rather than the "full range" drivers we sometimes see on this type of speaker. The passive radiator specification was not given but we measured it at about 3".  There is a rubber ring on the bottom to keep the Nova's in place, a 5' cord to attach the two, and a power cord. There is no remote, so to speak, though Harmon does promise that the Nova will be compatible with their remote app eventually. It wasn't working during our review period. 

Other than Bluetooth, there is a 3.5mm input as well as an optical input on the right speaker. A 3.5mm headphone output is available on the left speaker. The right has all the controls including volume, power, and input selection. The entire ring around the speaker grille is covered with capacitance touch controls, which can be very easily hit when you are moving the speaker.  Harmon Kardon included a Ikea-inspired picture-only manual that was nearly useless but we were able to figure out how to control the Nova without too much swearing. 


The Nova speaker has NFC pairing which works very well. All you do is hold your phone up to the NFC logo and it will ask you if you want to pair you device. Press the button and you are ready to play. This worked very well for us and we're glad someone is finally taking advantage of NFC.

Sonically, the Nova speakers sound phenomenal for their size. The claimed bass response down to 70Hz seems about right to us though it may be a bit overstated. We heard some distortion on the top end with some content though, for the most part, we'd call the sound fantastic.

With a speaker this size, you have to expect limitations but the Nova's really exceeded all our expectations, though, at $300, they really should. There are some that will pay for the Nova's because of the name, others for the style, and still others for the size. No matter who you are, you're going to love the sound of these little speakers.

For more information, please visit www.harmankardon.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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