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Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Review (Streamer)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ wired and wireless streamer. It is on kind loan from a member and costs $200.

I really like the look of it:
Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Review Tidal Wifi Ethernet Streamer Spotify.jpg


The back panel shows attractive set of options:
Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Review Chromecast Tidal Wifi Ethernet Streamer Spotify.jpg


A chunky USB adapter comes with it but as you read below, I was able to also power it using the USB hub in my monitor.

What is cool is support for Chromecast. If it works it means good compatibility especially with my favorite music player, Roon.

Manual is cryptic, short and in multiple languages. Had to watch a video just to find out which app to use with it (out of nearly a dozen apps the company produces). The app seems to be designed to look for 'speakers' and it took me a while to see the option for this device.

Note: our company, Madrana Digital is a dealer for Harman products. So read whatever level of bias you like in my comments.

Harman Kardon Omni Adap+ Measurements
I started with testing analog audio out and streaming my test signal using HK control app on Android with the device powered with its own adapter.

Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Measurements Streamer Spotify.png


Distortion level is rather low at -98 dB but performance has dropped due to high amount of mains noise which I could not impact whatsoever with grounding. So I am assuming it is leakage within the included power supply. To test that, I powered the unit using my monitor USB hub and that indeed improved the situation:

Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Measurements USB Power Streamer Spotify.png


I am unhappy about low output of just 1 volt instead of 2 volt we get from standard DACs. And SINAD of course is nothing to write home about at 88 dB.

I switched to using Toslink input to see if eliminating the network makes a difference. It sadly produced horrible results:

Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Measurements Toslink USB Power Streamer Spotify.png


The spurious output changes with sample rate so there is clearly something butchering the digital bits when using Toslink input.

I then moved to Toslink output and that surprised me with its full 24 bit transparency:

Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Measurements Toslink Out USB Power Streamer Spotify.png


So you can pair a DAC with this thing and get excellent performance. That is, if you use their own app. Switching to Roon player which properly recognized the device as supporting Chromecast protocol, produced horrid results:

Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ Measurements USB Power Roon Chromecast Streamer Spotify.png


Same results were produced with analog output as well (not shown). There is some clocking error and or resampling going on, causing severe modulation of the streamed digital bits. This unfortunately rules out usage for many of us in a hi-fi setting where we want to use our own favorite apps and such and not HK's.

Conclusions
We have excellent connectivity and good looks. The DAC performance is "OK" and typical of what we see in this class of consumer device. Toslink output is excellent. Sadly you can't take advantage of this hardware using Chromecast, at least with Roon as a client. I guess even if you could, and could find the original Chromecast, it would do the just much, much cheaper anyway.

Overall, I can't recommend the Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

fordiebianco

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While my FrankenPis are definitely less pretty, they measure considerably better. I think I'll keep them for the moment.
 

YSC

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+ wired and wireless streamer. It is on kind loan from a member and costs $200.

I really like the look of it:
View attachment 168147

The back panel shows attractive set of options:
View attachment 168148

A chunky USB adapter comes with it but as you read below, I was able to also power it using the USB hub in my monitor.

What is cool is support for Chromecast. If it works it means good compatibility especially with my favorite music player, Roon.

Manual is cryptic, short and in multiple languages. Had to watch a video just to find out which app to use with it (out of nearly a dozen apps the company produces). The app seems to be designed to look for 'speakers' and it took me a while to see the option for this device.

Note: our company, Madrana Digital is a dealer for Harman products. So read whatever level of bias you like in my comments.

Harman Kardon Omni Adap+ Measurements
I started with testing analog audio out and streaming my test signal using HK control app on Android with the device powered with its own adapter.

View attachment 168151

Distortion level is rather low at -98 dB but performance has dropped due to high amount of mains noise which I could not impact whatsoever with grounding. So I am assuming it is leakage within the included power supply. To test that, I powered the unit using my monitor USB hub and that indeed improved the situation:

View attachment 168152

I am unhappy about low output of just 1 volt instead of 2 volt we get from standard DACs. And SINAD of course is nothing to write home about at 88 dB.

I switched to using Toslink input to see if eliminating the network makes a difference. It sadly produced horrible results:

View attachment 168155

The spurious output changes with sample rate so there is clearly something butchering the digital bits when using Toslink input.

I then moved to Toslink output and that surprised me with its full 24 bit transparency:

View attachment 168156

So you can pair a DAC with this thing and get excellent performance. That is, if you use their own app. Switching to Roon player which properly recognized the device as supporting Chromecast protocol, produced horrid results:

View attachment 168157

Same results were produced with analog output as well (not shown). There is some clocking error and or resampling going on, causing severe modulation of the streamed digital bits. This unfortunately rules out usage for many of us in a hi-fi setting where we want to use our own favorite apps and such and not HK's.

Conclusions
We have excellent connectivity and good looks. The DAC performance is "OK" and typical of what we see in this class of consumer device. Toslink output is excellent. Sadly you can't take advantage of this hardware using Chromecast, at least with Roon as a client. I guess even if you could, and could find the original Chromecast, it would do the just much, much cheaper anyway.

Overall, I can't recommend the Harman Kardon Omni Adapt+.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
even before seeing the results, I am really surprised seeing the Harmon stuffs with headless panther
 

Veri

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People really need to pay attention to the review, the Toslink output is only clean when you use the Harman Kardon app to play music.

Lets not confuse the general public by saying this would be a good streamer if you have an external DAC.
Good distinction to make indeed.
 

Music1969

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Switching to Roon player which properly recognized the device as supporting Chromecast protocol, produced horrid results:

What the fook is happening here.

I thought bits are bits :)
 

Tangband

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Sadly to see another streamer being compromised in some ways, so much that the device is useless for the average consumer .

My guess is that the unit has a bad SRC , and probably also a bad digital volume regulation and bad clocks.

Amirm: the really good result using optical out and H/Ks own app , is that without any digital volume control option in the digital domain ?

It would be really interesting to see measurements toslink out, with volume regulation set at - 20 dB ? Can you do that ?
If that would show good results, with a SINAD better than, say 100 dB , this unit would be great as a digital preamp to active loudspeakers with toslink input.
 
Last edited:

617

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It's a good thing I never sold my two CCA units :), never looked for a dedicated streamer with Topping taking care of the optical out.

Who knew that years after discontinuation the CCA would still be the best way to add streaming capability to a DAC.
 

solderdude

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@amirm How did it sound in the various modes ?
 
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