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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 29, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Based on the AVR 700, Harman Kardon is having some trouble keeping up with its competitors in providing useful features at the lower end of its lineup. Compared to recent lower-end receivers from Sony or Yamaha it's really feature-poor, and annoying to set up.

The setup process in particular is deeply annoying. For some unexplained reason, the AVR 700's onscreen menu is only accessible via its composite video output, not via the HDMI connection that is almost certainly the only one most buyers want to use. So setup involves either hooking up more totally unnecessary cables, or using the cryptic, abbreviated menus on the receiver's display, a painfully clunky process.

And the documentation is simply terrible. The receiver doesn't even come with a user manual in the box that would explain its menus; even the PDF of the full manual, once downloaded from Harman's website, does not explain all the menu options in detail. (For instance, the manual's documentation of the receiver's surround modes literally just says "Feel free to experiment"! Thanks, but I was hoping you'd actually, you know, explain what the different settings... do?)

Further, the hardware is limited in other ways. It only has a scant 3 HDMI inputs, which will quickly fill up in most modern home theater applications, compared to many competitors' 4 or more. There are no component video or analog surround-sound inputs at all, and only a few analog stereo inputs. No network functions of any kind are available; even playback of digital files from the USB port is very limited. Most buyers would trade the AVR 700's cool-looking lighted volume control for a better complement of inputs and digital functions, I'd think. The remote control is also extremely cheap-feeling and ugly compared to the nicer universal remotes that ship with some other brands of receiver.

I'd recommend that buyers check out other, more full-featured affordable receivers (e.g. Sony STR-DH540,Yamaha RX-V375) before considering this receiver. It sounds fine, and there's nothing deal-breakingly wrong with it, but it isn't nearly competitive with the best receivers in this price range.

(Edited to add: I've noticed an occasional problem with repeated flickering on HDMI video watched through the receiver. So far, a simple power-cycle fixes it, but this does not bode well for the device's HDMI circuitry.)
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this for use in another room, but I decided to put it through its paces in the main viewing room so I could get a good side-by-side comparison. I am currently using a Sony 7.1 receiver there (but I only use the 5.1 channels anyway). The first thing I noticed in connecting the unit is that all of the speaker connections are of the twist variety. On my Sony, only the Left, Right, and Center channel speakers are connected this way. It is a pain to connect your speaker wires this way, but they are far less likely to slip out later, so this is a plus. The receiver has only 3 HDMI inputs (my Sony has 4) so I had to leave the XBOX out for this comparison. My TV has 4 HDMI inputs too, so this wouldn't be a problem for me, but many TVs now only come with two HDMI inputs, so having only three here might be a problem for you. It also has one digital coax input and two Toslink optical inputs, but I don't use those anymore, so I had no way of testing that.

From the front, the unit is very attractive looking, and the volume knob looks like it was inspired by Tron. The LED display is clear and easy to read even at a distance. Where it really matters is the sound, and this unit produces. The 75 watts per channel signal is more than sufficient to shake the room while playing AC/DC! Likewise, movies sound great too. I tested it with Star Trek Into Darkness, and explosions were loud while dialogue was still comfortable.

On the downside, I don't like the remote design. I find that it almost wants to slip our of my hand with the wedge design. The controls at the bottom are hard to use one-handed. This brings me to the major downside, HDMI control. If it has HDMI control I couldn't find it. I have a Sony Bravia Smart-TV, so when using the Sony receiver, it uses Bravia Sync to allow me to control the receiver via the TV controls. Its like a universal remote, only without the cost and programming. Likewise, if I put a disk in the BluRay player, it turns on the receiver, switched to the correct input, and turns on the TV. While I don't expect the type of connectivity I'd get out of a full set of Sony products, HDMI control is a pretty basic function and very useful. It should tell the TV to mute the built-in speakers and route the sound to the receiver, but the sound comes out of both unless I mute the TV. Likewise, I cannot control the receiver volume through the TV. It may not be a big deal in your setup, but it is something to consider.

Bottom line: great sound, great price, but limited features.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2014
I wish I could rate this higher, but there are a few quirks that make this a great value but with gotchas

I got this receiver for 120 off the listed price and it is a darn good deal at that price point. However, at nearly 300 bucks, there are a lot of receivers that are a better value and better designed.

Overall, I am happy, but would never have bought it at this price point

First, and this caused me to rate this receiver as fair instead of good, you cannot access the menus without switching to TV mode. That is the only place you can get to the menus. This is a pretty glaring design deficiency.

Second, am I too old fashioned by expecting some sort of tone controls beyond sub woofer levels and crossover frequencies?

Third, and this may be a design choice but I think it is a bad one, you must set your subwoofer setting to plus if your speakers are set to large. Why this choice even exists is beyond me. If I do not want the subwoofer, I will simply turn it off. Don't force me to a menu choice to enable it.

I will leave the comments on sound purity to others who have better hearing than me. It sounds okay to me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
Verified Purchase
I soent some time reading reviews and looking for a receiver that would be the best for the price i was willing to pay. As receivers can cost a lot, i wanted to make sure i didnt get something cheap that sounded cheap. I bought this receiver because of the reviews and the price. Not cheap but not expensive and i can tell you that it sounds like it would cost 3 times what i paid. What an awesome sound it pumps through. Its easy to use, stylish and comes from a classy maker. If you want to get the most out of your digital sound, especially when running hdmi, this will not fail your expectations.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2014
My background...., 45 years musician, audiophile, owned my own AV Design center...., 6 guitars...., and a good ear.

This amp sounds smoother and more detailed than any of the competition. Big power supply and twist connections for the speakers. NICE.

SETUP

Video. run video sources straight into your LED, Plasma, TV...., run audio straight into the AVR 700. This eliminates extra signal path and devices which attenuate the signal.

Use quality cables and speaker wire..., kimber, cable direct..., big difference in sound and picture.

I am adding a Dayton Audio 12" powered sub to my Martin Logan MLT1...., moving the 8" Logan to the rear of the room...., the 12" Dayton to front stage.

I looped my sources from my Emotiva pre amp into the HK by using the pre amps TAPE OUT...., I now can blend my PSB Monitors / ADCOM GFA 555 250 W per channel amp with the HK / Martin Logan home theatre for extra dynamics.

WHAT A SOUND SYSTEM! Movies, Concerts, and Games are absolute STUDIO QUALITY...., the HK blends quite well with my audio system sound.

Highly recommended!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2014
I have been getting tired of my old Denon receiver, so after some research I decide to go back to Harman Kardon and am I glad I did. I love this receiver. I can't believe how amazing it sounds. I am an audiophile through and through I am picky about my music and the way its projected in my home. The bad reviews don't make sense to me when they should have looked at the specs before purchasing this receiver. Yes it is a very basic, no nonsense receiver. It only has three hdmi inputs which I only need two. It doesn't have the fancy setup that most have. ok big deal I'm used to that anyway. How hard is it to input 8' 8' 8' by 6' 6' for my room measurements, that and a few more things and that was it, it did the rest. What Harman Kardon did is strip it from all the bells and whistles that everyone else has and focus on whats really important, the sound and picture. Some one said it sounds three times it's price, I agree and then some. The sound is very clean, full, warm and detailed. the bass is not boomy at all but controlled yet detailed and big.
If I am going to complain it would be this one little thing, and that you have to go through the menu and turn the speakers off in order to listen to the earphones but not a big deal as it only takes a few seconds to do that.
I know everyone has an opinion but as for me I really love this little receiver especially for what you get for so little a price. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2014
Verified Purchase
I cannot describe with words how amazingly clean the sound emanating from this unit is. I paired this receiver up with a moderately priced Polk Audio front set and a cheap pair of rear speakers, yet the sound effects on this unit are unlike anything I've heard before. I played one of my Victorian Symphony CD's on the "Theater" setting, and I could have sworn I was standing at a music hall.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The HK AVR700 came out at the end of last year but it already feels a bit dated to me. But first of all, let me describe the good stuff. It's 75W per channel, 5.1 surround sound, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD. You can read all those specs from the webpage, and indeed the HK 700 sounds really good, with HK quality sound that you can expect from HK. It's a very solid AV receiver.

And it's got a tremendous number of ports: 3 HDMI inputs, two composite VCR jacks, 3 digital audio inputs, 5 analog inputs and 1 USB port in the front. There are only 3 of the newer HDMI inputs and 5 analog ones plus Harmon Kardon calls the video inputs legacy inputs. Still I feel like I can plug every component I have to this receiver and still have a few ports remaining.

What it doesn't have and that what I'm seeing more is home network capability/wifi, bluetooth, the ability to control and stream from smart devices, etc. Granted, maybe this isn't the niche of this receiver and you can have an excellent receiver without those.

So what do we have? Overall, we have a very good HK A/V receiver at an excellent price. If you don't care about wifi or smart devices, and you've got more older than newer components then you've got a heck of a receiver.

I actually don't need to stream anything and I really like this receiver. The HK AVR 700 is the entry level unit, if you want all of the above plus more HDMI ports, home network connectivity, smart device streaming/control, internet radio and 100W per channel you can move up to the AVR 1700 for a small premium.

Update Jan 2015: Currently, this is the one I have set up and I've been using this as the main AVR. I have a lot of stuff hooked up to it: 2 consoles, 5 speaker system, cable, DVD, etc. Enough power to for my current average sized room.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2014
Verified Purchase
I new the music was going to be great coming from Harman Kardon. But i did`t know how great the H.D. was going to be. It is great. Even with the screw on speaker wire it`s been more than worth it. When i listen , i feel like i`m present at the event.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2014
Verified Purchase
Bought as a replacement for an Onkyo that went bad after the warranty expired. Easy to set up and sounds great.
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