Harman Kardon AVR 340
- Heaps of components, automatic speaker adjustment
- Ugly on-screen display, No DVI or HDMI
The ideal AV receiver for a home theatre enthusiast
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
In an age of home theatre, where it's possible to have a DVD player, VCR, Playstation, XBOX, set top box and a multitude of other devices all hooked up simultaneously, your poor old television may be groaning under the strain of all those cables. The answer is to buy an AV receiver, a one-stop solution that can handle all those wires plus a whole lot more. Harmon Kardon's AVR 340 is one such device and handled everything we could throw at it without breaking a sweat.
One of the most important aspects of any receiver is the simplicity of the setup process. With all those boxes, speakers and their associated wires this can be easier said than done. The AVR 340 also supports 7.1 surround sound, potentially meaning you'll be connecting eight speakers in total. Thankfully, Harmon Kardon has simplified the procedure as far as possible so we were able to install everything without too much difficulty. The easiest part is attaching the speakers; though the AVR 340 doesn't come with any speakers, Harmon Kardon has used the standard colour coding system to ensure that you don't end up attaching your front right speaker to your back left port.
The AVR 340 comes complete with a slew of inputs. There should be more than enough room for all your home theatre gadgetry, with three sets of component ports, five S-Video, five optical and five coaxial in addition to a bewildering number of composite inputs and outputs. The only things that are lacking are support for DVI and HDMI connections. At the moment this isn't an especially pressing problem but in the next couple of years these will prove to be essential. There is also an extra input for Harmon Kardon's iPod dock, "The Bridge."
Once all this is complete you can move on to configuring the system. Most of this is achieved through the decidedly ugly on-screen menu. Harmon Kardon has taken a functional approach here with no pretty graphics or bright colours. Plain text on a blue background is the order of the day. This isn't really much of a problem, but it's always nice when dreary old menus are livened up with a bit of colour. In any case, using the AVR340 menu is fairly easy as everything is nicely segmented into various categories. From here it's possible to group the various inputs with one another to ensure the correct configuration when using a DVD or playing on your XBOX.
One of the most important features is the ability to tune the speakers correctly. This is usually a time consuming task whereby you must measure the distance between the speakers and the sofa and enter it into the system. Harmon Kardon has drastically simplified this procedure by including a small, pyramid-like microphone. Using this microphone it's possible to run an automated test to program all the speakers. If you're really going to be fussy Harmon Kardon has even included a tripod mount to ensure that optimum positioning can be achieved. It's good to see that Harmon Kardon have included a wide range of surround sound modes including Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, and a proprietary format, Logic 7. These are backed up with various equaliser modes such as 'theatre' and 'hall'.
Like many of their other products Harmon Kardon has really nailed the aesthetics on the AVR 340. AV receivers can be big, bulky and ugly but with the AVR 340 Harmon Kardon has managed to forge a stylish machine. It's still big and bulky but at least it looks pretty. A combination of sleek lines, a deep black finish and an attractive glowing bezel make the AVR 340 a unit that will look good in any living room. Harmon Kardon has even thrown in two remote controls. Apart from the usual remote with dozens of buttons, an auxiliary device is provided that can either be used with a multi-room system, if you have one installed, or as a simplified second remote.
All in all, the AVR 340 makes an excellent purchase for the home theatre enthusiast. It's easy to use, has more than enough inputs, looks pretty and is reasonably priced. We can't really ask for much more.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- Plex embraces Kodi as Plex Media Player becomes available to all
- 'Google Cast' is being phased out in favor of Chromecast for connected TVs and speakers
- PlayStation Vue is now available on Apple TV
- Apple's new TV app puts all the shows and movies you want to watch in one spot
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCHelpdesk Support- LANVIC
- FTInfrastructure EngineerQLD
- FTCampaign AnalystVIC
- CCSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCService Desk Consultant - Must have baseline or NV1 clearanceNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst ( Finance/Banking)QLD
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperVIC
- CCActive Directory EngineerNSW
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Automation TesterNSW
- CCProject Manager - Cabling, Network Sys Design and DeliveryNSW
- CCSenior Change Manager, Wealth ManagementNSW
- CCSenior Java Developer/ WCEM ConsultantACT
- CCIngres DeveloperWA
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTSenior Reporting Data Analyst - TelcoVIC
- FTWeb Developer/ DesignerVIC
- FTCommercial, Contract, Vendor ManagementVIC
- TPSHAREPOINT SPECIALISTQLD
- CCNetwork Engineer - Sydney - Leading OrganisationNSW
- FTDesktop Support Team LeaderQLD
- CCFullstack Developer (AngularJs & Java 8)QLD
- CCChange or Project Manager- Electrical Network EngineeringNSW