Harman Kardon’s new Bluetooth speakers bring back a Jony Ive design icon, with a twist

It’s been 70 years since Dr Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon established their hi-fi company in Westbury, New York. The company has been responsible for some game-changing products over the past seven decades, and the company has announced three new products to celebrate.

The most striking of these, at least in terms of design, is the Aura Studio 4 Bluetooth speaker. Harman Kardon is far from the first company to revisit past glories when developing a product to celebrate a big birthday, and given that Harman’s Jonny Ive-designed SoundSticks speakers now form part of the permanent collection in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the company has been more than justified in taking some inspiration from what is unarguably an iconic product. 

The Aura Studio range particularly evokes the subwoofer of the famous glass SoundSticks design, and is both a striking piece of industrial design and a thoroughly specified speaker – and as a bonus, the Auro Studio 4 represents Harman Kardon’s first use of recycled materials in its range.

Harman Kardon Aura Studio 4 on left, SoundSticks 3 sub on right

Here’s the Harman Kardon Aura Studio 4 next to the subwoofer for the Harman Kardon SoundSticks 3. (Image credit: Harman Kardon)

A downward-firing 132mm bass driver works in conjunction with a six-driver array in an effort to create a spacious, precise sound. The transparent cabinet affords a view of 324 individual crystals at its base – these illuminate in different colors to put on a fun light show to match the music, which is a new addition for this fourth version.

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