The Quotation Multibeam 1100 is way from Harman Kardon’s first soundbar rodeo. In addition to launching a nicely obtained however pretty price range mannequin, the Citation 700, again in 2020, it racked up in depth soundbar expertise by means of its long-running relationship with Samsung’s soundbar division. Nevertheless, the Quotation Multibeam 1100 is the primary actually critical soundbar to be launched beneath Harman Kardon’s personal title.
There’s an issue with Harman Kardon’s ambitions for the Quotation Multibeam 1100, although. Specifically that its £800 worth throws it proper into the ring alongside a number of extremely acclaimed rivals like Sonos Arc and Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3. Can the Quotation Multibeam 1100 stand out in such an completed crowd?
Harman Kardon Quotation Multibeam 1100
The Harman Kardon Quotation Multibeam 1100 might need a long-winded title, however all the pieces about its seems to be and efficiency is crisp, sharp and to the purpose. Its energy, dynamics, projection and detailing are a revelation with movie soundtracks for such an elegantly designed soundbar, whereas it will get one up on the overwhelming majority of different good-for-movies soundbars by additionally adapting its abilities brilliantly for music.
- Wonderful film and music efficiency
- Elegant single-bar design
- HDMI loopthrough
- No DTS:X help
- No encompass sound impact
Design and construct
- Soundbar dimensions: 1150(w) x 65(h) x 130(d)mm
- Weight: 4.6kg
- Black or gray finishes accessible
- Can add subwoofer and rear audio system as choices
In contrast with the macho, aggressive seems to be of most critical soundbars today, the Quotation Multibeam 1100 seems to be engagingly delicate and well mannered. Its high and pleasingly rounded entrance edges are lined in a top quality Kvadrat material produced from actual wool, and that is offset very successfully by some daring metallic detailing. It is accessible in a significantly enticing gray end in addition to black, too.
It is extensive at 1150mm, however sits low sufficient to suit comfortably beneath the overwhelming majority of TV screens, and it throws in a few actually putting design parts within the form of deep ports on its left and proper ends, used to funnel out side-firing beams of sound. There’s additionally a vibrant, high-resolution LED show on its high edge that doubles up as a touch-sensitive management pad.
This extremely uncommon contact management help has persuaded Harman Kardon to position the Multibeam 1100’s LED show on its high edge reasonably than on its entrance the place the data it exhibits might need been extra helpful for individuals making an attempt to manage/monitor the soundbar’s settings from the consolation of their couch. The sheer high quality of the show, although, does its stage finest to compensate for its controversial placement. Plus Harman Kardon has offered a easy colored LED bulb system on the entrance edge that permits you to know which enter you are utilizing and helps hold a obscure tab on quantity ranges.
The Multibeam 1100’s construct high quality is superb all through, giving the soundbar a premium really feel and suggesting that it is strong sufficient to deal with the 630W of energy its audio system are able to producing with out breaking down into distortions, chassis buzzes or crackles.
Whereas the Multibeam 1100 is designed to work completely ably by itself, you’ll be able to add non-compulsory further Harman Kardon wi-fi sub and rear audio system to create a 5.1.2 system if you happen to really feel like pushing the boat out.
Connections and management
- HDMI output with eARC
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/Airplay/Chromecast/Alexa Multi-room Music streaming help
- Distant management provided
- Works With Alexa voice management help
- Contact-control LED show
In contrast to some rivals at its worth level, the Harman Kardon Quotation Multibeam 1100 carries an HDMI loop by means of. There’s just one reasonably than the 2 you get with a couple of extra premium soundbars, however one is certainly higher than none. Particularly because the Multibeam 1100 HDMI’s loop by means of helps not simply 4K and HDR, however each the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision premium HDR codecs. These carry further scene-by-scene image info to bolster playback efficiency in contrast with the essential HDR10 format.
There is not any official help for the newest gaming options of 4K/120Hz and variable refresh charges by means of the HDMI loop by means of, although we did handle to get 4K/120Hz to go by means of from an Xbox Series X – albeit solely in normal dynamic vary. Valuable few different soundbars, to be clear, presently help 4K/120Hz or VRR both – Sony’s HT-A7000 has 4K/120Hz help if you happen to want it, however remains to be awaiting a firmware improve to help VRR. It additionally prices at the least £300 extra.
The workaround for that is that players with the newest consoles and premium PCs will due to this fact want to connect their gaming gadgets direct to a 4K/120Hz-capable TV and reap the benefits of HDMI’s audio return channel (ARC) function to go sound out to the soundbar. As you’d hope today, the Multibeam 1100 helps the higher-bandwidth eARC model of ARC, which means that it might obtain full, uncompressed Dolby Atmos soundtracks from suitably succesful TVs.
For many individuals the ARC HDMI system works so nicely they could nicely select to ship the sound from all their sources by way of their TV to the Multibeam 1100. Expertise exhibits, although, that ARC may cause audio lag issues with some methods – which is why it is all the time useful to discover a soundbar carrying a lag-free HDMI loop by means of as a again up choice.
The HDMIs are joined by an optical digital audio enter, together with the now just about de rigueur Wi-Fi and Bluetooth choices. You need to use these wi-fi choices to take pleasure in direct Airplay, Chromecast, Alexa Multi-room and Spotify playback.
A decently user-friendly distant management is provided with the Multibeam 1100, whereas ‘on-bar’ controls are offered by the extremely uncommon touch-control LED show on the highest edge. You may also management it together with your voice if you happen to’ve acquired an Alexa gadget to companion it with.
The one factor lacking from the Multibeam 1100’s management choices is an app that may assist you to subject instructions to it by way of your cell phone or pill.
- 11-driver sound system with Beam know-how
- Dolby Atmos playback
- Contact-control show
- 630W of audio energy
- Auto calibration
Contained in the Multibeam 1100’s elegant bodywork could be discovered a promisingly potent and high-tech speaker array comprising 11 drivers able to munching by means of 630W of energy. These drivers embrace six 55x90mm drivers designed in a ‘racetrack’ form to get as a lot sound and dynamic vary out of them as attainable; three 25mm tweeters; and, crucially given the Multibeam 1100’s Dolby Atmos ambitions, two up-firing drivers on the soundbar’s high edge.
All these drivers and Watts are mixed with Harman Kardon’s proprietary Beam know-how, designed to reinforce the multi-channel impact and place particulars in a mixture – particularly a Dolby Atmos combine – extra precisely and dynamically.
It is a disgrace the Dolby Atmos help is not partnered with help for the opposite ‘object primarily based’ sound format of DTS:X, but it surely’s honest to say that Dolby Atmos content material is rather more broadly current within the gaming, music and video (particularly streamed video) worlds than DTS:X is.
We have lined lots of the Multibeam 1100’s star points of interest already in different elements of this overview, so we cannot go over issues just like the contact management show and connectivity once more right here. The soundbar does have a pair extra tips up its sleeve we must always discuss, although, beginning with a really efficient auto calibration system that it is best to undoubtedly run as a part of your preliminary set up course of. This takes glorious account of the place the soundbar is relative to your partitions, and the furnishings you’ve got in your room. Publish calibration, the sound immediately felt extra balanced and cohesive.
A Sensible Sound mode, in the meantime, applies proprietary Harman Kardon processing to sources with comparatively few channels of sound in order that they will reap the benefits of all of the drivers on the Multibeam 1100’s disposal whereas, lastly, vocal readability could be enhanced by a PureVoice processing choice.
Regardless of its cuddly ‘life-style’ design, it would not take listening to many blockbuster motion scenes to understand that the Multibeam 1100 is definitely as laborious as nails when it must be.
Impression sounds, as an example – gun hearth, punches, crashes and so forth – are delivered with actual power, pushing aggressively out into the room with out sounding harsh, over-dominant or poorly timed.
There’s greater than sufficient energy readily available, too, to make sure that the remainder of even essentially the most noisy, dense actions scenes is delivered with sufficient dynamic vary and stability to cease even the punchiest affect sounds standing out too starkly.
It is a comparable story with dialogue. Regardless of being constantly clear and crisp (with none must hassle with the PureVoice function), vocals all the time sound completely contextualised inside the wider film combine, reasonably than rising too brightly. Voices additionally profit from a gentle peak carry, in order that they appear to be coming from the onscreen motion reasonably than being caught within the soundbar under the display screen.
Though the Multibeam 1100 ships with neither an exterior subwoofer or any devoted bass drivers, it manages to provide significantly spectacular low frequency sounds when it comes to each the depths they attain and the way in which it might keep even sustained bass sounds with out them sounding too flimsy or dominant. That is helped by the intelligent inclusion of considerable ports on the soundbar’s rear edge, which shift a lot pressurised air that they blew up clouds of mud from my TV stand the primary time I drove the soundbar laborious.
The Multibeam 1100’s mid-range, in the meantime, is expansive and dynamic sufficient to make sure that the bass doesn’t sound pressured or indifferent from the remainder of the combo. There’s loads of respiratory room for motion film sequences to steadily construct to their epic conclusions with out beginning to sound skinny, compressed or ‘capped off’ when the going begins to get actually robust.
Possibly the one best proof of simply how potent but additionally refined the Multibeam 1100 is, although, is how spectacularly busy and detailed it sounds. No aspect in a movie’s combine, particularly an Atmos combine, passes the Multibeam 1100 by, irrespective of how quiet or delicate it could be.
Even higher, the mix of ahead/facet/up-firing drivers and Multibeam know-how distributes and locations Dolby Atmos results exceptionally nicely, constructing not only a wall of sound however a real three-dimensional sound area into which results are positioned so nicely you’re feeling as if you happen to may attain up and pluck them from the air.
There are a few limitations with the Multibeam 1100’s film efforts. First, not even the Multibeam system can create a way of any soundstage coming from behind you. So the complete Dolby Atmos impact of enveloping the viewer/listener in the course of a full wrap-around three dimensional soundstage would not occur. That is just about inevitable with any single-bar soundbar resolution, although, and really the Multibeam 1100 does an unusually good job of making a three-dimensional sound area in entrance of you, at the least.
You possibly can repair the shortage of encompass sound, in fact, by including Harman Kardon’s non-compulsory rear audio system. Although if you happen to’re pondering of doing this, take word that these non-compulsory rears aren’t multi-channel fashions like these you get with the newest flagship soundbars from LG and Samsung.
The opposite little niggle finds sudden heavy bass hits sounding somewhat coarse and hemmed in. They quickly get better, however in a soundstage as in any other case immaculate as that of the Multibeam 1100 these temporary moments of bass weak point mockingly stand out greater than they’d on a much less completed soundbar.
As with one of the best of its single part soundbar rivals, the Multibeam 1100 manages to be as authoritative, clear and deft with music playback as it’s muscular and expansive with film soundtracks.
Element ranges are once more an actual spotlight of its musical playback, however once more that is achieved with out leaving any a part of the combo sounding over-exposed or off-kilter.
Music vocals are dealt with superbly when it comes to each their placement on the coronary heart of a stereo combine, their readability and their context – no matter whether or not they’re male or feminine. Swelling strings increase superbly with no harshness within the higher frequencies too, whereas heavy bass sounds seem potent however managed and concerned reasonably than disarticulated from the remainder of a mixture.
Soundbars with exterior subwoofers can inevitably drop decrease and propel bass additional across the room with dance music, however the Multibeam 1100 really does a wonderful job of modifying its bass output to music of all types by built-in soundbar requirements.
The Multibeam 1100 is so good with vanilla stereo music that almost all customers doubtless will not really feel any must play it in every other method. Nevertheless, if you happen to do fancy (actually) mixing issues up, the Sensible Sound mode is obtainable to transform stereo music right into a extra three-dimensional, extra room-filling sound that is a lot much less disagreeable than you would possibly suppose. Particularly with orchestral tracks. Peak trebles can sound a bit too shrill with Sensible Sound processing energetic, however in any other case it is a mode that is at the least price making an attempt out. It is also a secure wager with DTS sources if you happen to’re trying to get them sounding a bit nearer to Dolby Atmos.
Whereas the shortage of DTS: X help is undoubtedly a disappointment given what number of DTS:X soundtracks there are on the market on 4K and HD Blu-ray discs, the Quotation Multibeam 1100 is so robust in different areas that its DTS blindspot should not be a deal breaker for many AV followers.
These different strengths kick off, handily, with its sound high quality. Regardless of being an elegantly sculpted and completed single-bar resolution within the basic soundbar mode, with no exterior subwoofer or rear audio system, it manages to ship a startlingly massive and fantastically crafted soundstage. Its sound is filled with element and precisely positioned results too, all underpinned by immaculately dealt with energy and bass ranges.
It is significantly good with Dolby Atmos film mixes, but it surely has the inner processing cleverness to additionally get glorious room-filling worth out of different much less channel-heavy sources.
These sources embrace stereo music – although purists needs to be reassured immediately that the Quotation Multibeam 1100 sounds fairly lovely, too, when enjoying stereo music in its native two-channel kind. The truth is, the soundbar’s nearly chameleon-like potential to modify between the muscular calls for of film soundtracks and the extra refined and delicate calls for of (most!) music is finally its largest attraction.
Throw in some cutting-edge tech within the form of an extremely high-quality LED show with touchscreen interface and you have got a handsome, great-sounding all rounder that has no should be afraid within the slightest of any of its esteemed competitors.