X

Harman Kardon AVR 2600 (photos)

The Harman Kardon AVR 2600 is a handsome 7.1 audiovisual receiver with a great GUI, but it's hard to recommend with its high price and comparatively lackluster performance.

Matthew_Moskovciak.jpg
Matthew_Moskovciak.jpg

Matthew Moskovciak

See full bio

33770776_OVR.png
1 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Harman Kardon AVR 2600

Harman Kardon isn't like other AV receiver manufacturers. The company generally doesn't roll out new products every year, its line of receivers has a distinctive look, and its prices are generally a bit higher than the competition's. The Harman Kardon AVR 2600 may have come out in the fall of 2009, but surprisingly it's still competitive, thanks to a firmware update that makes each of its four HDMI inputs 3D-compatible. The AVR 2600 also has one of the better graphical user interfaces we've seen, and it still includes 7.1 analog inputs--a rarity these days.

33770776_FT.JPG
2 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Design

Harman Kardon receivers may cost more, but they always look better, too. The AVR 2600 is no different, with a handsome two-tone look. The top half has a glossy black finish, with a bright LCD display in the center of the unit.
33770776_DT2.JPG
3 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Front panel connectivity

The bottom half has a gray matte finish, with additional connectivity in the lower right, hidden behind pop-out covers.
33770776_BK.jpg
4 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Back panel

Video connectivity is on par with most midrange AV receivers. The AVR 2600's four HDMI inputs should be enough for most home theaters, although it's worth pointing out that the Yamaha RX-V667, Onkyo HT-RC260, and Pioneer VSX-1020-K offer more. Altogether, you can connect and switch between six HD devices on the Harman Kardon, which is slightly fewer than most receivers we've tested recently.
33770776_SD.JPG
5 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Side view

33770776_RMT.JPG
6 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Remote

The remote feels oversized, even by AV receiver standards. It has a lot going for it, with its relatively uncluttered design and main buttons like volume and mute clearly separated from the rest of the remote. While the remote gives the appearance of being backlit, actually only the setup button in the lower left lights up--strange. We would have liked larger buttons for choosing inputs, but since the AVR 2600's GUI can be used to select inputs, it's not a big loss.
33770776_DT1.JPG
7 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Autosetup

Harman includes an autosetup mic with the AVR 2600, but unfortunately we found it didn't work every well in our test environment.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Rolls-Royce's Second Boat Tail Is Brown and Beautiful

More Galleries

Rolls-Royce's Second Boat Tail Is Brown and Beautiful

62 Photos
'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

More Galleries

2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

53 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos