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Harman Kardon AVR142 REVIEW!

Updated on September 12, 2011

The Harman Kardon AVR142

I have recently purchased the HK AVR142 and would like to show you what this receiver really is beyond the internet image.

The receiver is rated at 35X5 watts with Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Surround and more.

Few Words before we begin.

High Quality, Cheap, Durable and Totally Underestimated.

That what I have to say, and you are about to know why

Features

General

1. HDMI inputs

2. High Ampere current (±25 amps)

3. Optical and Coaxial Inputs

4. 35W x 5 At 8 Ohm

Encoders

1. Neo:6

2. DTS 96/24

3. DTS 5.1

4. Dolby Digital

5. Dolby Pro-logic II

6. Logic 7

7. 5CH Stereo

Radio

1. AM/FM digital tuner

2. 30 memory slots

Inputs

1. 2 Component inputs

2. 3 HDMI inputs

3. 3 A/V inputs

4. 6 S/PDIF inputs (Coaxial/Optical)

5. Front A/V input

6. Direct 6CH input

Additional Features

1. Triple Crossover bass management

2. Remote control capable of learning up to 6 additional devices.

Technical Specifications

General:

Power Requirement: AC 230V/50Hz.

Power Consumption: 72W idle, 580W maximum.

Dimensions:

Width - 440mm

Height - 165mm

Depth - 382mm

Weight - 9.6 kg

Audio Section:

Stereo Mode

Continuous Average Power (FTC)

40 Watts per channel, 20Hz-20kHz, @ < 0.07% THD, both channels driven into 8 ohms

Five-Channel Surround Modes

Power Per Individual Channel, all channels driven simultaneously

Front L&R channels:

35 Watts per channel, @ < 0.07% THD, 20Hz-20kHz into 8 ohms

Center channel:

35 Watts, @ < 0.07% THD, 20Hz-20kHz into 8 ohms

Surround channels:

35 Watts per channel, @ < 0.07% THD, 20Hz-20kHz into 8 ohms

First Impressions

The AVR142 comes packed up pretty well and proves to be kind of heavy which in technical language means better parts quality. When turning the receiver on it has two buttons. First one is 2-position button which is basically power switch. The second one is regular button the powers and shuts down the receiver. Turning it up reveals cool led lighting which can be adjusted in case it's too bright.

The Remote Control

The remote at first look is quite complicated but with supplied instructions it's a piece of cake to operate. It has input selector on the top of it, after that some volume and menu keys, further down there are the radio and encoder buttons, last but not least is the DVD-Oriented buttons.

Configuring First Use

Configuration is dead easy, you select your input and afterward play a bit with the volume of each channel. It's also possible the change the delay of each channel though I didn't need to change it. I chose different types of encoders and started to test the sound "performance" of this receiver. I was glad to find out that the receiver simply does what you wanted him to do. if you afraid from the low wattage that was declared I can tell you that HK always understates their wattage and their receivers always work with high ampere. I powered my 100W (per channel) speakers and the receiver was so strong I couldn't hear myself. Remember, 35W channel power 100W speaker to extreme volume levels. And no I didn't even reach 2/3 of the max volume.

Games

In this test I played FIFA 2007, Unreal Tournament 3 and Red Alert 3.

In FIFA 2007, the crowd sound and the commentator are the main sounds that you hear as you play. When I turned on the Dolby Pro-Logic II I felt like the crowd surrounds me and when I scored my mind almost exploded from excitement, I couldn't help it, the crowd and the commentator where shouting and it felt amazing.

Unreal Tournament 3 supplies totally different sounds along the game (as obvious), when people shoot at you can actually hear where it comes from. Performance quite similar to the FIFA, clear sound the puts you in the middle.

Red Alert 3 was like unreal tournament, real-time action with mind blowing sound. I was speechless after that.

I can say that the receiver defiantly provides the right sound effects in the game and gives and amazing circumferential feeling.

Lets move on to music.

Music

In order to test this section I simply played all my songs from all kinds to hear any difference or poor quality in performance.

When it comes to electro and club music the receiver performs really well. I find it kind of hard to say the same about more quite music. the pro-logic II doesn't perform well on that kind of music. Although when I turned to 5CH stereo it was a lot better. Other genres like rock and pop sounds pretty well. I get the feeling that as less the monotonous the song is the better it will sound on surround encoding. Otherwise the stereo outperforms it.

For conclusion, it provides good sound quality though in here you might need to play a bit between the encoders.

Video

This is the strength of this receiver as I see it. It Might be because movies are best suited for 5.1 encoding unlike songs and sometimes games.

Anyway I played many types of movies, action, romantic, sci-fi, comedy and more. The surround feeling is felt the best in this section. I believe mainly because like I mentioned before, movies are made with 5.1 audio encoding. The sound was outstanding and I was blown out of my seat when I watched action movies. I highly recommended as it comes to movies.

For conclusion, Final thoughts

The AVR142 is an amazing receiver that performs way beyond expected. Exciting surround effects that put you in the middle of the action. High Watt output, although it says 35W it powered my 100W speaker with no problem and I bet it can do more.

In that price I don't think there is much to think. You literally get what you paid for. Currently also enhancing my cable TV sound experience. It's amazing what this receiver can do. The AVR142 comes with endless encoders for every type of sound. It doesn’t heat when pushed to maximum volume.

Harman Kardon AVR142 Photos

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi. Just wondering if the HDMI connections carries audio as well as video. Basically, is it HDMI repeater? Many thanx!

    • punkgrinder profile image

      punkgrinder 6 years ago

      Great in depth review, i like how you went through each type of media. I haven't had surround sound before but i would love to get this as a gift at Christmas, commence the hint dropping!

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 6 years ago

      Nicely presented! Good job.