Harman Kardon Celebrates 70 Years of Beautiful Sound

After seven decades of acoustic excellence, the Harman Kardon brand continues to inspire the next generation with a promise to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary through new and exciting products
Aug 15, 2023 9:00 AM ET

Originally published on HARMAN Newsroom

Amsterdam, August 15, 2023 /3BL/– HARMAN International, focused on connected products and technologies for automotive, consumer, and enterprise markets, is proud to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Harman Kardon audio brand, whose rich legacy has made its name synonymous with acoustic and esthetic excellence. Over the past 70 years, the Harman Kardon brand has merged form with function, matching beautiful award-winning design with rich, multi-layered sonic performance that adds depth and dimension to every moment – transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. The Harman Kardon story is also one of cutting-edge innovation; many Harman Kardon technologies have become standards in the audio industry.

The Harman Kardon adventure began in 1953, when Dr. Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon founded their own company based on a shared passion for music and the arts, helping to create an entirely new high-fidelity audio industry. Their very first product, the Harman Kardon Festival D1000, was the world’s first AM/FM compact Hi-Fi receiver. Its unique combination of breakthrough technology and stylish design made the Harman Kardon Festival D1000 an immediate success, setting the tone for what would become a legacy of developing premium-quality products known for their unmatched performance, ease of use, and elegant industrial design. In 1958, another breakthrough was achieved with the introduction of the first-ever stereo receiver, the Harman Kardon Festival TA230. This was followed one year later with Harman Kardon Citation II, the world’s first ultra-wide bandwidth tube amplifier. In 1970, the Harman Kardon CAD5 was introduced, which was the world’s first Hi-Fi cassette recorder, featuring Dolby noise reduction. In 1992, the Harman Kardon brand made its automotive sound system debut in the Land Rover Range Rover, laying the foundation for a rich and rewarding history of collaboration with numerous automakers including BMW, Mini, Subaru, Volvo, Polestar, VW, Renault, and more.

“Harman Kardon has a truly exceptional history that has left a lasting impact on the entire audio industry,” said Carsten Olesen, President of Consumer Audio at HARMAN. “When listeners choose a Harman Kardon product, they reap the reward of 70 years of unparalleled expertise, both in technological innovation and award-winning design. Harman Kardon’s deep devotion to beauty is truly the brand’s north star, and the reason that Harman Kardon products are so stunning, both in their appearance and in the quality of audio they deliver.’”

The Harman Kardon brand continues to introduce breakthrough products that further enhance the listening experience as it continues to influence the shape of sound. Harman Kardon acoustic engineers harness the very latest technologies, like noise reduction, high-speed dubbing, surround sound, and voice control, while paying meticulous attention to design detail, winning hundreds of design and technology awards along the way. These include an iF Design Award for its digital path receivers, and an Industrial Design Excellence Gold Award award for its SoundSticks. The fruit of an exceptional collaboration with iMac designer Jonathan Ive, the SoundSticks not only received multiple awards but was also added to the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 1999 for its exceptional design.

As the most recent Harman Kardon products demonstrate, the deep commitment to beautiful sound and beautiful design remains as steadfast as ever; the new Harman Kardon Aura Studio 4 Bluetooth wireless speaker bears the iconic soft silhouette of the Harman Kardon Aura family, with a distinctive transparent dome, presented in a 360-degree layout for an omnidirectional light and sound experience; the Harman Kardon Go + Play 3 portable speaker features premium craftsmanship and an iconic design, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in rechargeable battery for a superior sonic experience anywhere around the user's home; the Harman Kardon Luna portable speaker offers an iconic silhouette combined with premium materials, packing a remarkable acoustic performance into a compact and portable form factor.

Harman Kardon products have always had the rare ability to set themselves apart, both acoustically and esthetically. A unified vision of design excellence is built on four key characteristics, resulting in a trademark Harman Kardon style: iconic silhouettes and elegant forms, the use of high-quality and multi-sensorial materials, sophisticated details and refined elements, and minimalistic and sophisticated user interfaces. All Harman Kardon products are designed as holistic timeless pieces that stimulate emotions, both through their unique artistic beauty and through beautiful sound. Today, the Harman Kardon brand proudly looks back on seven decades of leading the way in both sound and design, driven by a deep passion for music. With a profound influence on the audio industry for 70 years, the Harman Kardon mission remains unchanged: to harness the power of beauty and technology so that people can better explore and enjoy their passion for music and entertainment.

For more information contact:

Carole Campbell 

Follow us:

HARMAN Corporate Twitter

HARMAN Corporate Facebook

HARMAN Corporate LinkedIn

HARMAN Corporate Instagram


Harman Kardon creates beautiful sound that adds depth to every moment. For 70 years, the world-renowned audio brand has seamlessly merged function and form, through the highest quality sound, elegant design and meticulous attention to detail. Cementing the brand’s design status, the iconic Harman Kardon SoundSticks are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Harman Kardon also partners with the world’s finest automotive brands to create listening experiences that enhance each minute behind the wheel.


HARMAN International (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.

© 2023 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson are trademarks of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, registered in the United States and/or other countries. AKG is a trademark of AKG Acoustics GmbH, registered in the United States and/or other countries. Features, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.


Carole Campbell
Director, Lifestyle Communications