The Harman Kardon HK 3390 stereo receiver (suggested retail price:
$399) is a solid choice for anyone who wants to build a high-quality
music system on a budget or add good-sounding audio to their home
entertainment system, but can't accommodate a surround sound set-up.
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The HK 3390 is more versatile than the typical stereo receiver of
old, since it also has video, along with audio switching capability. It
can accommodate A/V source components such as a cable box or gaming
system, albeit only via composite video connections. The HK 3390
delivers 80 watts per channel into eight ohms (100 wpc into four ohms)
and offers seven audio inputs, including a moving-magnet-cartridge
phono input and a 3.5-millimeter mini jack for connecting an iPod or
portable audio player. Four composite video inputs are provided, along
with a composite video output. Additional connection facilities include
a headphone jack, tape monitor loop, A/B speaker switching, two
subwoofer outputs, preamp outputs and power amp inputs, a composite
video output, IR in/out jacks and two switched AC convenience outlets.
The receiver has an FM/AM tuner with 30 station presets, and comes with
a remote control that can also operate other Harman Kardon components.
Note those dual subwoofer outputs: they enable the user to create a
two-speakers-plus-subwoofer set-up in two rooms, or a
two-speaker/two-subwoofer set-up in the main home theater room. The HK
3390 is also an extremely attractive piece of home audio gear, thanks
to its two-tone gloss black and dark gray front panel and curved sides,
which set it apart from the typical black box with knobs.
Harman Kardon components have a heritage of delivering good sound
and the HK 3390 is no exception. Like all Harman Kardon stereo and A/V
receivers, it incorporates the company's long-standing high-current,
ultrawide-bandwidth amplifier designs with discrete output transistors.
As a result, the HK 3390's sound is clear, powerful and detailed, and
the receiver can easily drive most loudspeakers (excepting some exotic
audiophile models) to generous volume levels without strain. The HK
3390, like its bigger brother, the HK 3490, leans more towards the warm
and rich side, rather than the lean and bright, although certainly not
to an excessive degree.
Competition and Comparison
To compare Harman Kardon's HK 3390 receiver against its competition, read our reviews for the NAD C 725BEE and the Onkyo TX-SR575. There are more reviews available in our Receiver review section. There is also more information available on our Harman Kardon brand page. Discuss Stereo Receivers at HomeTheaterSpot.com.