|Harman Kardon HKTS60 5.1 Speaker System Preview|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Michael Palmer|
|Monday, 06 December 2010|
Harman Kardon calls the HKTS60 the most advanced speaker package they've ever made, designed specifically for movies and today's high-definition content sources. The four identical satellites and matching video-shielded center channel speaker each feature a 1-inch dome tweeter made of HARMAN's advanced CMMD Lite material. CMMD Lite is "a sandwich of aluminum and ceramic, which creates a tweeter that is extremely strong yet lightweight, so it can reproduce high frequencies with incredible detail, accuracy, and clarity." Each of these tweeters sits in a Harmon Kardon "constant directivity waveguide" which purports to create an "incredibly wide stereo image over a large listening area."
In addition to the 1-inch tweeter, each satellite has dual 3-inch flat-diaphragm, carbon fiber coated, midrange drivers with a honeycomb design. Flat-diaphragm drivers are certainly uncommon in this price range, but Harmon Kardon wanted to "improve imagine and tonal balance while delivering a huge, spacious soundstage over (you guessed it) a wide listening area." All five speakers have been tonally matched.
Fancy as all that sounds, 1-inch tweeters and dual 3-inch midrange drivers are useless without LFE to fill in auditory frequency gaps. Plus, everyone loves it in movies when the filmmakers and sound mixers drop in what the industry calls a "room shaker" -- which at the very least demonstrates to any home theater enthusiast that he or she is using all this equipment to the fullest. For the HKTS60's bass frequencies, Harmon Kardon offers an ultra-rigid, high-excursion 8-inch 200-Watt powered subwoofer. Adequate for smaller room and some medium sized rooms, Harmon Kardon also includes a specially designed bass-boost circuit with DSP and a phase switch level control. The subwoofers line-level LFE input includes an "audio sense" circuit to turn itself off automatically when it's not in use.
What makes the HTKS60 really attractive in this price range is that it also includes a number of accessories and convenience features which are often extra money. First, each of the five satellites comes with a mini-stand for table top placement for the four satellites (floor standing stands, the HTFS 3, are extra and sell for steep $170/pair) as well as wall-mounting brackets for all five channels. A subwoofer cable and speaker wire for all the other channels are also included right in the box, though the wire's specific gauge is unlisted (depending on who you speak to, and how far the wire runs end up being, most enthusiasts recommend at least 14 gauge wire, and some even 12. For a system in this price range, however, 14 or 16 should do be plenty. Most likely, though, I'm guessing the HKTS60 includes 18 or above.).
The HKTS60 5.1 Home Theater System from Harman Kardon is the flagship in its HKTS speaker packages, and can be found online and in stores for around $1,100.00. For this price, it offers a range of features found in more expensive systems, and is small enough to hide in many living rooms.