Harman Kardon’s AVR 460 is a really nice 8 channel AV receiver that provides a lot of functions for those who want the complete home theatre experience. It combines great audio and video processing with a whole lot of other neat extras such as iPod and iPhone connectivity, automated speaker setup and lots more. We’ve already had the AVR 147 for a while now and it’s a killer receiver, but this one’s a more high-end device, so we obviously expect a lot more from it.

Sitting pretty

Design and Performance
I’ve always felt that Harman Kardon’s products are a class apart from the rest; and it shows right from the packaging to the finish of the product. The AVR 460 has a very classy looking, understated design that really works well. The entire unit has a metallic finish and is quite heavy; however, the sturdiness of this receiver more than makes up for its weight.
 
The front of this AVR 460 has a few buttons such as Setup, Info, Surround Modes, etc. These buttons will be barely used, as the remote does all the work for you. As for input, you will see a composite connection, a USB slot, optical in and coaxial input, as well as a headphone jack, which also serves as the input for the setup microphone provided for the automated speaker setup function.

Not as complicated as it looks

Not as complicated as it looks

At the back, you might get a little intimidated with the amount of connections provided; but fret not, as the ones you will use are very simple. The AVR 460 has almost everything you could want as far as input and output options are concerned. These options include three HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, an Ethernet port, Harman Kardon’s proprietary Bridge III iPod docking station, four optical inputs and three coaxial inputs to name a few.
 
I found the most interesting feature to be the automatic speaker setup choice, which uses a proprietary technique called EZset/EQ to calibrate speaker settings such as delay, crossover point etc. This function is really easy to use, and will automatically setup your speakers according to how you’ve placed them. They’ve also provided a manual calibration option, but I recommend that you use this only if you know what you’re doing. I must point out though that even the AVR 147, which is Harman Kardon’s budget model, has this function so it’s nothing extra. 

The auto-calibration function

The auto-calibration function

The AVR 460 has a few options when it comes to surround sound modes, video modes and audio effects. Surround sound modes included are Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6 and Logic 7. Harman Kardon has also provided separate settings for movies, music and gaming, as well as virtual surround and 2-channel, 5-channel and 7-channel stereo. But I’d use those only if I didn’t have a killer home theatre system. Of course, if you can’t be bothered with choosing settings for yourself, you can just let the receiver do it for you with the Auto Select function.

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