Question about The Harman Kardon Stereo in 2016 Optima SXL
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Thread: Question about The Harman Kardon Stereo in 2016 Optima SXL

  1. #1
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    Question about The Harman Kardon Stereo in 2016 Optima SXL

    Hi all! I am new here, and am very grateful to have found this forum! I am about to purchase a 2016 Optima SXL from a Kia dealer in another state. It only has about 18,000 miles on it and from the pictures I have seen, it looks pristine. However, I noticed the other night that the faceplace on the stereo does not say "Harmon Kardon" in front of where it says "HD Radio" and "SiriusXM." I asked the dealer about this, and he said that it does have the Harman Kardon stereo system that comes with SXLs, and sent me pictures of the front door speakers and the subwoofer in the back, and they are all branded with the Harman Kardon logo.

    However, this still makes me a little nervous/curious as to why the faceplate on the stereo itself does not say Harman Kardon. We probably looked at 100 2016 SXLs online, and every other one of them say Harman Kardon on the stereo faceplate.

    Is this a reason to be concerned? Any thoughts as to why the faceplace wouldn't have Harman Kardon on it, but the speakers do? I wish I could see the car in person before making the purchase, but it isn't possible. However, this is a pretty big Kia dealer - and he couldn't answer why the name Harman Kardon wasn't on the faceplate. I'm hoping someone here might have some ideas, or could at least put my mind to rest. The premium Harman Kardon system is one thing we absolutely love about the SXLs and want to be sure this one has it before I sign the dotted line....

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  3. #2
    Riding Lawn Mower
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    Not familiar with how the 2016 dash looks, but in my 2019 SX there is no branding on any type on the dash, all of it is on the speakers.
    The reason is fairly simple,, everything I see on the dash are nothing more than controls and a screen. All of the guts are actually behind the scenes just hooked up to these controls. Gone are the days when car stereos were all one self-contained unit (unless you had external amps).

  4. #3
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    Thank you for the reply! The branding I have noticed on the other SXL's is on the plastic faceplate that goes around the stereo and ac controls. All the SXLs I have seen say "Harmon Kardon HD Radio SiriusXM" written in small gray letters on the black plastic stereo faceplate. But the SXL I am looking at only has "HD Radio Sirius XM" written on the faceplate. But, the speakers all say Harman Kardon on them. I just wanted to be sure that there was only ONE type of Harmon Kardon system that came in the SXLs (It was my understanding that the SXLs all came with the same Harman Kardon stereo equipment as standard). I'd love to hear any other thoughts...

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  6. #4
    Riding Lawn Mower
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    I take back part of my previous comment. Mine does say Harman Kardon in very light gray, couldn't see it until I had the car out of the garage in bright light.
    Maybe that trim piece has been replaced.

  7. #5
    Lot Attendant
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    Possibly a moot point now, but my 2018 SXL came with the Harmon Kardon option, and the radio faceplate does say Harmon Kardon:

    Question about The Harman Kardon Stereo in 2016 Optima SXL-img_1109a.jpg

    Also, I believe the UVO Harmon Kardon-equipped radios have the Quantum Logic sound feature setting (Setup -> Sound -> Advanced -> Quantum Logic Surround) as well.
    Last edited by tonester; 06-05-2019 at 11:41 AM.

  8. #6
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    The SXL's are not supposed to come with any other stereo other than the Harmon Kardon's, right? Isn't that considered "Standard" on the SXL, so there should be no reason for it NOT to have it?

  9. #7
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    Snow White Pearl - ................ Aubergine Nappa
    FWD a LINK to THIS POST to Dealer (or Snip a JPG of this PIC and attach/Insert in an email ) ... Ask the Dealer to confirm IF this Button Panel and Quantum Logic Soft Button choice IS ON YOUR CAR.
    THIS from my '16 SXL with the Face-Plate as you described .....
    Press (hard) SETUP Btn/ SOUND / ADVANCED Soft Btn bottom left/ look for Quantum Logic ON/OFF Soft Btn ..... I DOUBT a substituted Head would have this as seen.
    GET written agreement that Radio Head IS Factory Head as all others like mine and WHAT happens IF a subsequent check proves NO.
    Good Luck! BTW, IF you get this car my Quantum Logic ON Setting goes OFF sometimes so periodically chk it. NOT a HUGE sound difference but worth having ON.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by COS-16SXL; 06-09-2019 at 04:16 PM.
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  10. #8
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    COS, thanks those pictures were very helpful and I appreciate you doing that. We already jumped on the car though, and it just got delivered today! And, I'm proud to say, it absolutely DOES have the premium Harmon Kardon sound system with the 3D Surround and 10 speakers......and....it....sounds....incredible!!! ! I'm just blown away by everything about this car, and it is going to be HARD to sleep tonight!

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rek84 View Post
    COS, thanks those pictures were very helpful and I appreciate you doing that. We already jumped on the car though, and it just got delivered today! And, I'm proud to say, it absolutely DOES have the premium Harmon Kardon sound system with the 3D Surround and 10 speakers......and....it....sounds....incredible!!! ! I'm just blown away by everything about this car, and it is going to be HARD to sleep tonight!
    Glad everything worked out -- and THIS IS the best car I've ever owned.
    Don't forget the Quantum Logic setting somehow Re-sets to Off periodically ( a thread earlier had guesses what audio action might cause it) so Check every now & then for "ON".
    Built 12/14/15 -- Bought 12/23/15
    Nav Software v13 5/7/19
    Yokohama Advan Sport A/S ... 235/45R18 (10++ So far)
    Castrol Edge 5W40 SYN
    Trunk-Lift Spring
    HuskyLiners Floor-Trunk



    Diapers, Politicians, & the Media All Need Changing for the Same Reason



  12. #10
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    Will do! I noticed it was "On" when it arrived and has seemed to stay on so far. I LOVE it!

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