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First Look: Harman Kardon HKTS 20BQ
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First Look: Harman Kardon HKTS 20BQ

1:56 /

The Harman Kardon HKTS 20BQ is a very stylish and affordable 5.1 speaker system with a particularly detailed sound, but it's not our top pick for a system this size.

Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak at CNET.com and this is the Harman Kardon HKTS 20BQ. This is a 5.1 speaker system and is currently selling for around $470 online. Harmon Kardon has a reputation for stylish designs and this system is no exception. There are four identical satellite speakers and they're flat on the bottom so they'll sit on a tabletop and they each have a glossy black finish. Each of the satellites has a half inch tweeter and a 3-inch woofer behind the speaker grill. There's also a center channel which has a built-in stand on the bottom, plus the 200-watt subwoofer which has an 8-inch driver. Harmon also throws in wall mounts in the package and they actually have swivel capability which most competitors don't include. The sole design misstep are the speaker connectors on the back which only accepts bare wire so you can't use banana plugs, but Harmon does throw in speaker wire in the package so it will fit easily in the back. The Harmon sound quality is impressive especially for its size. Compared to other systems that has particularly detailed and clear sound, and it's adept at handling both music and movies. The subwoofer blends well with the satellite speakers. However, if you crank up the volume real loud, it doesn't sound quite as powerful as you might like. If you're someone that cares more about the quantity of bass rather than the quality, this probably isn't the best choice. Overall, the major hesitation with the Harmon system is that we couldn't think of a good reason to recommend over Energy's Take Classic 5.1 which sounds a little bit better and it's a little cheaper so for most buyers, that's gonna be the better value, but if you really prefer Harmon Kardon style, you won't be disappointed with this system and it's a solid value if you can get for under $500. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Harmon Kardon HKTS 20BQ.

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