Harman Kardon's newest sound bar may not be the thinnest model yet, but it's awfully close.
Just 1.25 inches thick, the newly announced Harman Kardon Sabre SB35 ($1,000, coming in the fall) is exceptionally svelte, with an aluminum cabinet that only enhances its bladelike shape. The bar itself has eight separate drivers and uses Harman's proprietary Wave digital signal processing to create a surround-sound effect without reflecting sound off walls. Around the back, there's an IR repeater, to ensure your remote signals get to your TV even if the sound bar is blocking the sensor.
The Sabre SB35 also includes a wireless 100-watt subwoofer that not only is similarly thin, but is capable of being placed horizontally, so theoretically you can slide it under, say, an end table.
The SB35 includes three HDMI inputs, although due to the bar's thin profile, the inputs use the Micro-HDMI connector, requiring adapter cables to work with most home theater devices. There's also built-in Bluetooth, making it easy to wirelessly stream from nearly any smartphone or tablet. Behind the speaker grille there's a large front-panel display, making it easy to get visual feedback as you make adjustments.
Harman Kardon also announced the SB26, a more conventionally sized sound bar that looks a lot like the excellent Harman Kardon SB16. The sound bar includes four 3-inch drivers and two 1-inch tweeters, paired up with a 100-watt subwoofer that features a 10-inch driver.
The SB26 also includes two HDMI inputs, as well as built-in Bluetooth. Like the SB35, it has an IR repeater in case the sound bar blocks your TV's remote sensor. The SB26 will have a list price of $600 and is shipping in September.