This year at the NAMM Show 2020 in Anaheim, California, we had the pleasure of meeting with entertainment industry professionals from around the world to demo some of our latest products. The HARMAN booth was buzzing with artist meet and greets, live acoustic performances and daily recordings of our Stories Behind the Sessions series hosted by Christian Hand of Los Angeles FM radio station KLOS, which featured legendary artists, engineers and producers including Robby Krieger of The Doors as they broke down some of the most iconic songs of all time.
Hand, along with Joe Baressi and Garth Richardson also conducted a touching tribute to the late Rush drummer Neil Peart, where they celebrated his genius by playing and discussing isolated drum tracks from Rush classics. And Nic Harcourt joined us to host an exclusive interview with Bill Hanley, the live sound engineer for Woodstock, widely regarded as the father of festival sound.
In partnership with NAMM, HARMAN took over the scheduling and hospitality for media covering the show. The JBL/AKG Mobile Studio, which served as the Official NAMM Media Center, was the base of operations for dozens of media outlets conducting interviews including CNN, LA Times, Backstage360, and more. Many media podcasters used the AKG Lyra and the K371 headphones for all their recording.
Also in the Mobile Studio, we hosted a series of live performances, trainings and even a daily live podcast recording of the Up for Discussion podcast, which included interviews with a variety of renowned industry professionals such as Eveanna Manley, Lenise Bent and Karrie Keyes.
Visitors were excited to check out the new AKG K361-BT and K371-BT headphones, JBL IRX Series powered loudspeakers with Bluetooth and the AKG Podcasting Essentials bundle, as well as our best-selling products from 2019, including the AKG Lyra and JBL EON One Compact. On Saturday, the new JBL VTX A8 line array speakers were honored with a 2020 TEC Award in the Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers category.
Watch the NAMM 2020 Wrapup Video
AKG K361-BT and K371-BT Professional Studio Headphones with Bluetooth
AKG K361-BT and K371-BT headphones are ideal for artists, engineers, podcasters and beatmakers who want the flexibility of wired or wireless connectivity combined with studio-quality sound. The K361-BT and K371-BT feature an over-ear, closed-back design that is precision-engineered to reproduce natural, balanced audio in exceptional detail, so users can make more confident decisions when mixing and editing.
JBL IRX Series Powered Loudspeakers with Bluetooth
JBL IRX Series portable PA loudspeakers provide musicians, performers and presenters with iconic JBL sound in a highly portable, feature-rich package. With class-leading volume and clarity, IRX Series speakers deliver detailed, intelligible sound for vocals and music. A durable, lightweight design makes IRX Series speakers easy to transport, ensuring professional sound quality in any environment. Versatile features like Bluetooth audio streaming, custom presets and automatic signal processors make it easy to dial in great sound for a wide range of applications.
“These days, portable PA customers are not recording engineers, they’re musicians, corporate presenters, fitness instructors, and soccer coaches. They want to be heard, and when they’re heard they want to sound good,” said Brandon Knudsen, HARMAN Professional Solutions Loudspeaker Product Manager. “So when we created the IRX series, we wanted to give these customers just that: loud, legendary JBL sound that’s push-button easy to use. The IRX112BT and IRX108BT pack versatile “sound good” features like Bluetooth streaming, EQ presets, automatic feedback suppression, and ducking in a compact, lightweight design. Best of all, they are the loudest PA speakers in their class for the lowest price JBL has ever offered.”
“Today, millions of people are listening to their music over Bluetooth. At HARMAN, we felt the time was right for the pro industry to embrace this technology. So we’ve set out to give engineers, producers, and content creators reliable resources that they can count on to reference their recordings over Bluetooth,” said Chris Hansen, HARMAN Professional Solutions Director of Recording and Content Creation. “ Late last year we introduced the JBL 104-BT desktop monitors with Bluetooth and here at NAMM we are happy to introduce the K361-BT and K371-BT professional studio headphones with Bluetooth, which combine class-leading frequency responses and clarity, in comfortable, foldable designs that are perfect for today’s mobile creative lifestyles.”
AKG Podcasting Essentials Bundle
Designed to give podcasters, video producers and content creators a professional edge, the AKG Podcasting Essentials bundle includes the new AKG Lyra USB microphone, AKG K371 headphones, Ableton Live 10 Lite audio production software, a four-part Berklee Online recording class, and a full set of audio and USB cables.
“I don’t need to tell you that podcasting and video production has just exploded over the last ten years, but the people who are creating this content, for the most part don’t understand how to get professional sounding audio, they just want to make a great show,” said Chris Hansen. “With the AKG Lyra Ultra-HD USB Mic, K371 closed back headphones, plus production software, cables and even a 4-part Berklee Online recording class, our new Podcasting Essentials Bundle takes the guesswork out of capturing a great sound, whether you’re recording or livestreaming on your computer, tablet or phone.”
AKG LYRA, EON ONE Compact, and JBL 104 BT
A number of new HARMAN products also made their NAMM debut, including the JBL EON ONE Compact personal PA system, the AKG Lyra ultra-HD USB microphone, and the new JBL 104-BT desktop reference monitors with Bluetooth.
JBL Professional and AKG Earn Prestigious Awards at 35th NAMM TEC Awards
JBL Professional and AKG were honored to take home these prestigious awards at the 2020 NAMM Show.
The JBL VTX A8 loudspeakers earned the 2020 NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Award in the “Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers” category. The 35th annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards honored best-in-class products in the professional audio community.
“JBL Professional is extremely honored to receive a NAMM TEC Award for the JBL VTX A8,” said George Georgallis, Director of Product Management, Line Array Systems, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “I would like to thank the JBL Engineering team for their incredible work on VTX A8, and the entire line of JBL VTX A-Series. From groundbreaking acoustic research to cutting-edge product development, we are committed to creating the most innovative and powerful audio solutions in the industry.”
The JBL EON ONE Compact received The Music & Sound Award for “Best Speaker of 2019”. Presented by The Music and Sound Retailer, the Music & Sound Awards are prestigious awards based on a poll of leading manufacturers from across the industry.
The AKG Podcaster Essentials bundle earned the NAMM-U Best in Show Award in the “Gotta Stock It” category. The NAMM-U Best in Show Awards are selected by a panel of music retail gear experts, who vote for their favorite products across the entire NAMM show.
“We are honored by the incredible awards JBL Professional and AKG received at the 2020 NAMM Show,” said Erik Tarkiainen, Vice President of Global Marketing, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “We couldn’t be more excited to accept the second TEC Award for JBL VTX Series speakers, and we are thrilled that new solutions like the AKG Podcasters bundle are already gaining recognition throughout the industry. We look forward to continuing our tremendous growth and innovation, and we appreciate the support from our partners as we move the industry forward in 2020.”
Laura Lawrence, Director of Global Marketing at HARMAN Professional, won a grant to attend the 2020 Smart Women in Music (SWIM) Leadership Summit. Presented by the NAMM Foundation, the SWIM Summit program supports women working in the music products industry to connect, support and grow their leadership and professional abilities. The grant awards were announced at the 2020 NAMM Show.
The Father of Festival Sound
HARMAN hosted an exclusive interview with the ‘Father of Festival Sound,’ Bill Hanley. Best known as the front of house engineer for the iconic Woodstock Festival in 1969, Hanley also ran the soundboard for Bob Dylan’s controversial ‘electric’ set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, among many others.
Stories Behind the Sessions
KLOS’ Christian Hand hosted a series of exclusive Stories Behind the Sessions, with legendary musicians, audio engineers and record producers where he broke down their most iconic songs by playing isolated tracks and discussing exactly what was going on in the studio as they made them. The series included “LA Woman” by the Doors with guitarist Robby Krieger and engineer Bruce Botnick, “The Stage” by Avenged Sevenfold with audio engineer Joe Barresi, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder with record producer Robert Margouleff, “Killing In the Name” by Rage Against the Machine with producer Garth Richardson, “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes with singer-songwriter and producer Linda Perry and “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen with producer Toby Scott.
All-Star Meet and Greets
Some of our favorite performers stopped by the HARMAN booth for a series of meet and greets, including legendary artists such as, Bootsy Collins, Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, Sixx AM guitarist DJ Ashba and others.
Official NAMM Media Center powered by JBL and AKG
The JBL/AKG Mobile Studio acted as the Official NAMM Media Center, where we hosted product demos, social media photo ops, Tech Talks and a daily podcast. Interviews included Eveanna Manley, president of Manley Labs; Mona Tavakoli and Becky Gebhardt of Raining Jane; Lenise Bent, engineer for Steely Dan’s Aja; Susan Rogers, engineer for Prince; and Karrie Keyes, engineer for Pearl Jam and founder of SoundGirls.
Live Acoustic Performances
On Sunday, we wrapped up the weekend by celebrating with a full day of live acoustic performances by rising stars such as MJ Ultra, Halle Johnson and Peter Hayes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
We sincerely thank everyone that stopped by the booth and/or supported HARMAN at NAMM this year and we look forward to seeing you at NAMM 2021 and other HARMAN exhibition events in the future.