Harman Kardon VS Bose Speakers – (2021 Comparison)

In the headphone and speaker manufacturing industries, Bose and Harman Kardon are two of the biggest names you can find. Bose and Harman Kardon are pedigreed heavyweights in the audio industry, both with long histories of outstanding products. Their forays into Bluetooth technology continue to provide fans with great options. Well, both these manufacturers are famous for their noise-canceling headphones and automotive audio systems. While Harman Kardon delivers unique aesthetics along with supreme audio, Bose produces durable products with the psychoacoustic audio experience.

Harman Kardon and Bose are stalwarts in headphone and speaker manufacturing. With numerous speaker types under their belts, it will be a hard task for anyone looking to choose between these two. Taking into consideration that they are both in the same price range, it is vital to get to know more in order to get the perfect product that fits your needs.

This article brings these two speaker brands head-to-head, showing you the similarities, differences, and everything in-between. So if you’ve been torn between a decision on whether to buy from one or the other, stay tuned. You’ll surely find out something that will help you in your decision.

Harman Kardon:

First up we’ll have a look at Harman Kardon. Harman Kardon has almost a decade on Bose, being founded in 1953. They are a company that manufactures well-designed and classy audio products. Their whole reputation is built around that, everything about Harman Kardon audio is just classy. Harman Kardon has a reputation for sounding great, especially in smaller rooms. You do not have to pump it all the way up to fill the space with sound.

Key Features:

  • Home Audio Products: Harman Kardon is famous for making home audio products like headphones, wireless speakers, soundbars, Blue-disc players, Audio Video receivers, etc.
  • Design: It makes the best design to suit any home decor or interior design.
  • Clear audio: They focus on producing clean and clear audio with balanced bass and treble so that the audience will be satisfied.
  • Brands: It worked with famous brands like Microsoft and Apple. Harman Kardon produces a smart speaker Invoke with Cortana, the digital assistant of Microsoft. It partnered with Apple and produced iSub 2000 and Sound stick.

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Sound Quality

Harman Kardon, as well as Bose, is an audio company, so the sound quality of their products should be your first consideration. As a general rule, Harman Kardon speakers are more directional than the speakers you’ll find from Bose. Harman Kardon speakers have more bass when compared to the mid-and high-range frequencies, which is why their speakers tend to be better for electronic dance or hip-hop music.

Sometimes Harman Kardon speakers come with subwoofers too, like their Sound sticks, which improve the overall sound quality.


Harman Kardon started building audio products with integrated receivers (tuner/preamp/power amplifier). They deploy the stereophonic sound in stereo receivers like TA230. Harman GreenEdge is used in a receiver like HK3770. They have also used Dolby noise reduction to vastly decrease noise in cassette deck CAD5.


Some excellent aesthetic portable speakers can be bought at a reasonable price from $100 to $500. You will find both budget-friendly and costly products in Harman Kardon. Harman Kardon speakers tend to be cheaper, but this is strictly a generality that may not apply if you’re after a high-end Harman Kardon product.

You can compare specific products, like Harman Kardon’s portable Bluetooth speakers, the Onyx Studio line, to Bose’s equivalent Sound link line, and the Onyx Studio speakers still tend to be cheaper.

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When it comes to portability, there are two major components to consider, weight and design. Needless to say, lighter speakers are easier to move. Harman Kardon speakers generally have carrying handles and are best to carry around. Bose lacks these, so I’d say Harman Kardon wins out if portability is your main concern.

Battery Life

The battery life of both Harman Kardon and Bose products depends on the individual speakers instead of the brand. I’d say that the average Harman Kardon Bluetooth speaker will get you about eight hours of sound, if fully charged.

  • Powerful bass sound with no distortion even at max volume.
  • It can be used with non-Bluetooth devices.
  • It has a great design that adds to the décor of your home.
  • These speakers are quite simple to use.
  • Some designs are a bit bulky and may not be as portable as some very compact models.
  • Some of them have few connection options.


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Bose Sound System

Here’s a brand you’ve probably known even before your quest for the perfect speakers. Bose was founded in 1964 and have since become widely reputed for their speakers, headphones, and the audio systems that can be found inside cars. Established by Amar Bose, the company sells worldwide and continues to gain satisfied customers for the exceptional sound and design of its home and professional audio systems as well as headphones.

Key Features

  • Active Noise Cancellation: Bose uses active noise-cancellation in headphones like Quietcomfort 35, or headphone 700.
  • Psychoacoustic Audio: Bose deploys psychoacoustic principles so that the audio projection sounds better to people.
  • Listener’s Perception: Bose emphasizes ‘listener’s perception’ while describing the quality of audio along with other technical specs like transducers, frequency response, etc.
  • Wave Guide: The ‘guide and constrict’ of waves are used in the Bose Wave range. This waveguide speaker technology is used in products like Wave SoundTouch music system IV.
  • Multi-room options: Similar to Harman Kardon, Bose has a multi-room option, Bluetooth pairing, and portable speakers of different models.

Also Read: Best 6×9 Car Speaker

Sound Quality

Bose speakers differ from Harman Kardon speakers because of their 360-degree sound. Where Harman Kardon speakers tend to be more directional, more Bose products have to surround sound that’s better for overall coverage.

The sound quality won’t degrade depending on what angle you’re at in relation to a Bose speaker. As for bass, Bose speakers have downward-pointing radiators that add more depth to the bass provided.


Bose relies on a psychoacoustic method along with hardware improvement. Other properties include Quiet port technology, ADAPTiQ calibration, or Direct/Reflect design. These are used in different sound bars or speakers to enhance audio quality.

Bose is famous for its noise-cancellation technology used in Headphone 700, QuietComfort 35.


Harman Kardon’s products tend to be cheaper, there’s no getting around that if you had your eye on Bose. Whether it’s the simplest portable speakers they offer or sophisticated home theatre systems, Bose has consistently pricier tech on the market right now. Although some portable speakers are within reasonable price like $100 to $300, when additional features are added, they can go up to $600. Bose Home theaters start from $1000, while other competitors have lower price tags.


Bose stock a wider selection of larger speakers, so this depends on the individual products you get. Most Bose speakers rely on a slim cylindrical build so that you can grasp them easily. The handles on HK speakers seem a more efficient approach though.

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Battery Life

Bose’s portable Bluetooth speakers have a similar battery life to those that Harman Kardon offers at approximately six to eight hours. What I should add is that the battery life will get depleted if you use the speaker a lot.

  • Great sounding and hassle-free multi-room streaming audio.
  • Intuitive multi-platform app for controlling your music.
  • It offers access to thousands of high-quality internet radio stations in one click.
  • Innovative designs.
  • Expensive for what you get.
  • The battery may get depleted before the time due to overuse.


To Sum Up

No doubt, there are lots of similarities between these two speaker brands. However, there are a few differences too. First, if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll find more options in Harman Kardon than in Bose speakers. When it comes to indoor audio Harman Kardon is better, because most of their audio is designed for indoors and so is their classy and sleek design. If you on the other hand are into the outdoors and exercise then you should probably go for some of the products Bose has to offer.

Hence, you should do some research before deciding which speaker to buy.


What sound system is better than Bose?
Brands like Bowers & Wilkins, Marshall, Sonos, Definitive Technology, Denon HEOS male wireless speakers, and soundbars that sound equally good and many times better than Bose.
Is Harman Kardon a good brand?
Harman Kardon is one of the great brands in entertainment systems and dates back many decades. It was one of the top brands in stereo equipment from the ’70s through the ’90s but has been much less visible in recent years.
Who owns Bose?
Amar Bose, who still owns most of the $1.7 billion company, reinvests all its earnings.
Why do audiophiles hate Bose?
Many Audiophiles hate Bose because their products tend to focus more on lifestyle rather than absolute sound quality.
Why are Bose speakers so costly?
Bose speakers are expensive because they have a massive premium to pay for the huge Bose marketing and advertising program.


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