Harman Kardon AVR 1700 [REVIEW]: My First New Receiver in 10 Years Would Be a Must Buy For Me
March 1st, 2013 10:00am EST
Reviewing an audio/video receiver over the last two months or so has been quite difficult. I’ve loved the device – the Harman Kardon AVR 1700 – but I’m comparing it to my receiver that recently died last December and that I had bought when I was a senior in college. (That’s 2003 folks.)
So new features I might be enjoying for the first time – my receiver didn’t even have any HDMI ports – could have been around in receivers for years and I certainly wouldn’t know it. But putting aside my greenness, I still believe the AVR 1700 is a very worthy device.
The AVR 1700 provides 5.1-channel surround sound—that’s two front speakers, two back, one center and a subwoofer (that’s the .1.) It also features a front-panel USB jack for audio playback and charging, as well as built in Apple AirPlay wireless capability. I didn’t get a chance to test that unfortunately since I didn’t have any spare Ethernet ports to hook my receiver into. Had I set that up, I also could have used my iPad or iPhone to control the receiver—though, I had no trouble at all setting it up to run beautifully with my Harmony remote.
You’ll get six HDMI inputs that yes, I used up all right away with my TiVo, my DISH Hopper, my XBOX 360, my PlayStation 3, my Wii U and my AppleTV. I loved that I was able to set up all the devices with the remote but on my TV screen as opposed to on the receiver itself.
I especially enjoyed that the AVR 1700 comes with a little microphone that you plug into the front and test the power of your speakers with. The AVR 1700 will send out a series of sounds and will use the microphone to test where exactly your speakers are. For instance, my front speakers actually sit on the ground while my back speakers are about 5 feet in the air, so it’s good for the receiver to compensate for that abnormality.
The sound quality was quite good to me, and more importantly was balanced, as I rarely had to change the volume once I found it at a level I liked. Sometimes the sound would cut out and the receiver would overheat—I noticed this especially with certain XBOX games. However, since that happened with only games and not when I was TiVo or DISH, I blame my game console more than the receiver for that issue.
I’ve loved my time with the AVR 1700 over the last few months and while I’m in no position to give a proper review given the age of my old receiver, this is a great receiver with an easy set-up process that provides clear and dynamic sound. I can’t ask for any more than that when I all I want to hear at the end of the day are the deepness of the slashes on The Walking Dead or the haunting background music in Game of Thrones.
The AVR 1700 retails for $499 and is available now.
* Disclosure: An AVR 1700 was provided by Harman Kardon for the purposes of this review. *
Photo Credits: Harman Kardon