Harman Kardon, a successful and sought-after name in the audio industry to say the least. The company is better known for having AKG and JBL under its audio belt as well as for its magnitude of outstanding household and desktop speakers, most notably the SoundSticks speakers which are one of the most iconic set of computer speakers ever to be made at a reasonable price. Harman Kardon has recently released it's first ever line of headphones under the Harman/Kardon name.
It is not every day we stumble upon headphones that take excellence into a whole different level. Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones are a good example of that, and even bare a similar resemblance the CL headphones; but even so, the CL are triumphantly unique with their impeccable industrial design. These are ridiculously good looking and one of the more sophisticated amongst the headphones we've had the opportunity to test to date. Harman Kardon are just so good at designing beautifully striking audio hardware that even we think the CL headphones are worthy of being displayed at an art gallery.
The two share a similar design and also feature the same exact drivers and specifications in terms of sonic performance. Both models are exclusively sold at Apple stores so it's no secrete that Harman Kardon designed these specifically to go along with Apple's product line.
We like seeing companies come out with headphones that aren't your run-of-the-mill pair. But it looks like Harman Kardon tried too hard to impress and follow up on their great design work. The CL are meticulously over-engineered, complicated and not the sort of headphones you'd be wearing out in public. Because you'll look ridiculous wearing them. They're beautiful to look at don't get me wrong, but once you put them on, those large oval housings are like a pair of ear muffs. Unlike other headphones with rubber, smooth-touch finishes and fabric lining, the CL feels a lot more like touching a mechanical metal object. You begin to wonder if this is going to be comfortable to wear.