VIDEO: Harman Kardon develops new headphone range, from £90 to £220

Harman Kardon is no stranger to the headphone market, with sister company AKG picking up a Product of the Year Award in 2011for its AKG 450 model.

Now Harman Kardon has developed its own bespoke range of headphones, with four models on sale from today, and a fifth due to arrive in August.

The line-up comprises two sound-isolating in-ear models, the NI (£90) and AE (£130), plus the £170 CL on-ear model and £220 over-ear BT Bluetooth version. The fifth one will be a sub-£300 noise-cancelling headphone.

All five models are aimed at music lovers "seeking a refined industrial design true to Harman Kardon's rich acoustic heritage".

The on-ear/over-ear models come with a sand-blasted steel outer headband in two sizes, ensuring the correct fit, while a leather inner band provides added comfort. Magnetic leather earpads sit on a steel frame containing 4cm drivers, and have detachable cables. They fold flat to go in the slim carry case provided.

Both in-ear styles are designed for passive noise cancellation, so minimising sound leakage when listening on the go. Buyers get a tangle-free cable and small, medium and large silcone inserts. You can opt for custom-fit inserts on the AE model.

A three-button remote control with mic is standard, enabling the user to make and receive phone calls as well as control volume and playback of music.

Details of the four Harman Kardon headphones are as follows:

• Harman Kardon NI (£90)

Features a 9mm driver, rectangular black housing, tangle-free cable with built-in mic and smartphone/player controls.

• Harman Kardon AE (£130)

Use the same 9mm driver as the NI, but feature an aluminium outer casing for "superior acoustic damping to deliver extended bass response". A Comply foam sleeve is offered as well as the three standard sizes of silicone sleeve.

• Harman Kardon CL (£170)

Metal hinges, a sand-blasted meatl finish and rectangular ear pieces "designed to reflect the iPhone's iconic design" are the key features here. Memory foam earpads, ported drivers and a 1.4m woven, detachable cable with a 2.5mm-3.5mm jack complete the spec.

• Harman Kardon BT (£220)

Bluetooth, apt-X compatible wireless headphones with an integrated mic and built-in playback/volume controls on the side of one ear cup.

The battery lasts for a claimed 12 hours and can be recharged using the supplied USB cable. If the battery dies on you, the headphones can be used passively with a direct cable connection to your iPod/iPhone.

These four models will be available exclusively in Apple Stores across the world from today. The noise-cancelling NC version will be sold from August.

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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 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.