Harman Kardon is a name that is quite well known in the hi-fidelity audio industry. HK is renowned around the globe for a host of products from PC speakers to top-class audio systems for luxury automobiles such as Land Rover, Mercedes and BMW. It’s safe to assume that a company of such repute coming up with a new range of headphones has everyone interested. The question remains whether the latest line of on-ears from HK would uphold the company’s stellar reputation.
HK grabs your attention right from the word “Go”, with a smooth cardboard packaging akin to a bound book. The set comes with a spare headband, a removable headphone cable and a handy little black leather satchel in which to carry around the headphones. HK sure knows how to make a statement. HK has termed this set the Classic or simply CL.
The Classic is made in a minimalist-looking design that reminds you of simpler times, without compromising any modern aesthetics. The earpieces are rectangular, covered with a smooth black colored plastic finish on the outside, flanked by steel grey matte edges. The quality of this feel exceeds all expectations.
The headband frame is detachable and made of steel. The inside of each earpiece is a black leather pad with spots cut out for the Classic’s 40mm drivers.
The earpieces swivel almost 360 degrees at the hinges, allowing the users the luxury of laying them flat for storage purposes or a highly comfortable feel against the ears. The headband adjusts to multiple head sizes, thanks to its elastic that’s tethering the frame. The headphone cable is of removable nature, featuring iOS-friendly mic and connectors. The extreme lightness of the frame of the Classic might seem fragile but this quality is the reason for its most comfortable fit, almost like a fine piece of tailored clothing.
HK deserves extreme applause for its level of balance and detail in the audio. The perfect duet of these makes a very satisfying listening session. The Classic’s unforced clarity and balance enable you to appreciate even the minute details of the music. The 40mm drivers in the Classic produce a deep and distinguished base that is reared in quite well. For the most part the Classic’s midrange grabs the spotlight, pleasantly emphasizing the granular texture from a variety of instruments.
The Classic also performs exceptionally with vocals and acoustic instruments. Putting the Classic through a magnifying glass all that can be said is that there could have been a more three-dimensional effect to give it that extra bit of specialty. But it is a happy trade-off for the level of comfort afforded by this in-ear.
The HK Classic is an exceptionally well designed device that will keep you hooked-in right from the onset. The right dosage of classic and modern styling makes it a potent audio recipe. The headphone might be close to saturation now, but the commitment of HK’s level might see some new and innovative designs following the Classic. If great style mixed with a handsome design and a more than decent fit, the HK is probably the most ideal companion.