HARMAN International powers sector and unveils the latest audio innovations at IFA

HARMAN recently reached a major sales milestone in the field of portable audio. We asked Dave Rogers – President – Lifestyle Audio at HARMAN to tell us more.

Our JBL brand has reached the incredible milestone of 100 million portable speakers shipped worldwide, cementing its position as the portable audio leader and category shaper. Since the brand was launched in 1946, JBL has been pushing the boundaries of innovation and bringing music to life in ways audiences everywhere can feel. Today, not only does JBL power the world’s most epic musicians, athletes, venues and automobiles, it is also the market leader in portable speakers with an impressive 34.2% market share.

What are the key products you are showing at IFA this year?

Let me start with our new JBL Pulse 4 portable speaker. It provides incredible sound, with a light show to match. Then, we are presenting our new True Wireless headphones JBL LIVE 300TWS with JBL Signature Sound. For me, the great thing about them is that they let you unleash your sound, anytime, anywhere.


The JBL Link Portable and Link Music are two other new products we have on show. With 360 degree JBL Signature Sound, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, Chromecast and Google Assistant built-in, they’ve got brains to match their beauty.

We are also showing a new soundbar series that offers slimmer, punchier bass and more immersive sound. With our soundbars, JBL has definitely taken home entertainment to the next level.

These products all have one thing in common: they pay tribute to the fact that how we listen to music is changing. People now have much greater appreciation that music isn’t just a series of notes. It’s a total experience that encapsulates emotional nuances that deliver the artist’s message. HARMAN constantly explores more holistic approaches to enjoying music in its emotional and creative perfection.

You’ll be showing a new technology called Personi-Fi at the show – what is that all about?

Leveraging our unique blend of expertise in connectivity, cloud and premium audio we have developed Personi-Fi as the world’s world’s first personal brand agnostic audio platform that gives consumers the freedom to custom tailor their own audio experience. The JBL LIVE 300TWS will be the first JBL headphones to feature it.

In-vehicle entertainment and connectivity are becoming increasingly important in the automotive sector. How is HARMAN progressing in this field?

The value of a vehicle is moving from RPM to EPM, “Experiences Per Mile,” therefore it’s important for automakers to provide consumers with enhanced in-cabin experiences and add more value to their vehicles. As a connected technologies powerhouse, HARMAN has been leading the charge in democratizing vehicle experiences through solutions that help automakers choose technologies to provide greater connectivity and value within their vehicle.

Last year, you opened the first “Experience Store” in Europe in Munich and just recently added a Luxury Audio Studio to it. What exactly is this, and what has the reaction been like since it opened?

Our new Experience Store and Luxury Audio Studio in Munich feature award-winning audio solutions from JBL, HARMAN Kardon, AKG, Mark Levinson, Revel, Lexicon and more. It highlights how our rich heritage of craftsmanship merges with innovation and cuttingedge technology both in the store and in the products on display, creating a whole new dimension of excellence for audio lovers. As one might expect, the reactions to it have been fantastic.

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Photo: Dave Rogers, President, Lifestyle Audio at HARMAN