IFA 2012: New products from AKG, Harman Kardon and JBL

There's a raft of new products from Harman Industries making their debut at IFA, including headphones, desktop speakers and home cinema soundbars.

New from AKG are the K551 over-ear headphones with 5cm drivers. The fold flat for easy storage, come with a built-in mic/remote compatible with Apple devices and are available in black/silver with a silver cable, or white/silver with a blue cable. Gold-plated 3.5mm and 6.3mm jacks are provided as standard.

The AKG K551s will be available in the UK from October for £230.

Harman has also added wireless Bluetooth capability to its iconic SoundSticks speakers. Using Harman's TrueStream technology, up to eight Bluetooth-equipped devices can be connected to the 2.1 system.

The Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless, to give it its full name, features a 6in subwoofer, eight drivers and 40W of amplification. The price is £200.

Meanwhile, sister brand JBL has unveiled a range of three home cinema soundbars designed for use with TVs from 32in to 46in. The JBL Cinema SB 100, SB 200 and SB 400 use proprietary signal processing software to create a virtual surround sound effect. They're designed for TVs up to 32in, between 32in and 40in, and 46in respectively.

The SB 400 comes with its own separate wireless subwoofer, while the SB 100 is sold individually and can be paired with any subwoofer via the RCA output. The SB 200 (below) is intended for those who don't have room for an external subwoofer, so uses two drivers with a dual-port design to maximise the bass output.

The JBL Cinema SB 100 (2 x 30W) costs £170, the Cinema SB 200 (2 x 60W + Bluetooth) is £250 and the Cinema SB 400 (2 x 60W + wireless subwoofer) costs £400.

Also new from JBL is the SoundFly, a plug-in speaker that can be connected directly to a mains socket to stream audio from a smartphone or tablet.

There are two versions: the JBL SoundFly Air for Apple Airplay (£160) and the JBL SoundFly BT (Bluetooth) for £150. Both are available now.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.