Harman Kardon produces a number of different audio components for personal and professional use. The company also makes car audio amps such as the R50, which converts the power necessary to create a high-volume audio experience. The R50 audio amp was available as an optional upgrade for Mini Coopers produced from 2002 through 2006.
The R50 is a 480-watt, 10-channel amp. This high wattage means the R50 is capable of producing clear sound at a high volume and is stronger than most stock audio systems. The R50 is also capable of outputting to eight speakers for full, engrossing sound coming from all sides of the car.
The R50 also contains a preamp with digital signal processing. This feature is controlled through the user controls in the front of the car. The preamp allows the user to switch between various audio modes and apply different listening themes that optimise the audio, depending on the type of music being played. For instance, a "Rock" theme will attempt to digitally enhance the guitars and vocals of typical rock music, while "Rap" or "Hip Hop" may raise the bass of a track.
The R50 is stored in the right side of the boot behind a plastic panel. This specific amp was replaced by the R53, R55, R56 and R57 amps in later models of the Mini Cooper. Due to having similar specifications and size, these later versions could be used to replace a faulty R50 unit.