Harman Kardon HKTS 16 Review: Should You Buy It?

Harman Kardon HKTS 16 Review

There is nothing quite like enjoying a movie inside the theater, especially an action-packed flick or a heart-stopping thriller.

Part of the enhanced experience is because of the surround sound that these movie houses have. It’s immersive, and you feel like you’re part of the scene.

Home theater systems allow you to replicate that kind of experience in your living room, basement, or mancave. The Harman Kardon HKTS 16 is one of your options if you want an easy way to set up surround sound at home.

With this system, you have everything you need to get that earth-shaking, heart-stopping, and floor-thumping audio. Is this the best for you? Read on and find out!

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Harman Kardon HKTS 16BQ
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The Harman Kardon HKTS 16: Everything You Need to Know

The Harman Kardon HKTS 16 is a complete 5.1 channel surround sound system that is perfect for home theaters. Since you are getting everything from the same company, you don’t have to worry if one speaker will work with the rest.

With the HKTS 16, the answer is yes. Each speaker works with the entire system. In fact, it gives you a seamless sound experience that you’d love.

Harman Kardon HKTS 16

The Harman Kardon HKTS 16 system is composed of:

  • A subwoofer unit that has a 200-watt, eight-inch woofer
  • Four satellite speakers, which are video-shielded and have dual drivers (The satellites can cover the left and right front, left and right rear surround speakers)
  • A dual-driver center speaker that is video-shielded and video-matched

Aside from the speakers, this package also comes with brackets for wall mounting. Plus, you will get all the cables you need to connect this system to your amplifier, pre-amp, or receiver.

Harman Kardon HKTS 16 Features

What are the features of this system that you should know?

Voice-Matched

The HKTS 16’s center speaker and satellite speakers are voice-match. Voice matching is when your speakers have the same tonal quality or timbre. This characteristic is fundamental in a home theater or surrounds sound system as it gives you seamless sound.

Voice matching means that the midrange drivers and tweeters in all the speakers are working together so that you’ll have a seamless surround sound experience.

Video Shielded

Video shielded speakers will not distort pictures on older TVs that use cathode ray tubes. It can also protect a phonograph from damage. Newer flat-screen TVs, however, don’t have that problem.

200-Watt Subwoofer

The Harman Kardon HKTS 16 has a down-firing subwoofer that gives you more intense bass sounds. The subwoofer can fire sounds downward, where it can resonate and bounce back to you. It’s how you get your speaker system to get that rumbling sound when something explodes in the movie you’re watching.

The down-firing action helps your speaker system to fill your room with bass, plus you can put the subwoofer along the wall, unlike with some front-firing subwoofers.

More than that, the subwoofer is also equipped with an eight-inch (200 millimeters) driver that can deliver low-frequency sounds that are deep and compelling. In short, if you want to watch movies as if you’re inside a movie theater, then the HKTS 16 can deliver.

Other Features You Should Know

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make you decide on purchasing a sound system:

  • Bass Boost: The HKTS 16 has a physical bass boost switch that allows you to get more from the subwoofer. One flip of a button and you get astoundingly realistic sounds.
  • Automatically powers on or go on standby: you can toggle the Power-On Mode to auto so that your Harman Kardon speaker system will automatically kick into action once it receives an audio signal. You can toggle it to ON if you want your speakers to always be on.
  • Upgradable to 7.1 channels: You can add two more speakers to this system to have an impressive 7.1 system.

What You’d Like About the Harman Kardon HKTS 16

Harman Kardon HKTS 16 white

If you are on the market for a home theater system that gives you a seamless sound experience, the Harman Kardon HKTS 16 is for you. You don’t have to figure out whether the speaker would go well with the system. All are from the same manufacturer, so the voices match.

These speakers sound great too. You can truly get an immersive movie experience at home with booming bass and surround sound. You don’t have to have date nights at the theater. You can just stay home and catch a flick on Netflix.

What’s more, you can extend the HKTS 16 from a 5.1 channel system to 7.1 channels. Everything you need to set this surround sound system is included in the package, along with the wires, mounts, and the instruction manual.

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Harman Kardon HKTS 16BQ
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What May Make You Stay Away

One of the things that could make or break a company is customer service. Harman Kardon has a dismal rating on TrustPilot, with most customers complaining about the company’s customer service.

Several reviewers give this company a one-star rating because of poor customer service, agents that are not helpful, and complicated returns. Worse, these customer complaints also speak about shoddy product quality.

The company is also not accredited with the Better Business Bureau. They have an F rating with the BBB because they have failed to address 16 complaints against them.

These complaints touched on shoddy product quality, difficulty in processing returns, lack of durability, and poor customer service.

Everything at a Glance: What You Need to Know About the Harman Kardon HKTS 16

Harman Kardon HKTS 16 Features

Are you interested in buying the Harman Kardon HKTS 16? Here’s a cheat sheet of everything you should know about this home theater sound system.

Specifications

Frequency response

  • 45 hertz to 20 kilohertz

Satellite

  • Dimensions (W by D by H): 3.9 by 3.9 by 9.6 inches (100 by 100 by 243 millimeters)
  • Weight 13.2 pounds (6.0 kilograms)
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 86 decibels
  • Tweeter: 0.5 inches
  • Midrange: Two, 3.0 inches

Center Speaker

  • Dimensions (W by D by H): 9.5 by 3.6 by 4.0 inches (241 by 92 by 102 millimeters)
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds (1.0 kilograms)
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 86 decibels
  • Tweeter: 0.75 inches
  • Midrange: Two, 3.0 inches

Subwoofer

  • Dimensions (W by D by H): 10.5 by 10.5 by 13.9 inches (267 by 267 by 353 millimeters)
  • Weight: 19.8 pounds (9.0 kilograms)
  • Woofer: 8 inches

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Extensible to 7.1 channels
  • Booming bass with excellent mids and highs

Cons

  • You will need to buy a receiver or amplifier separately
  • Stands are not included
  • Customer service can be better

Alternatives to the Harman Kardon HKTS 16

Best Alternative  Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Check Price
Best for Movies SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 System Check Price
Most Affordable Rockville HTS45 Home Theater Check Price

Are you not sold on the Harman Kardon HKTS 16? Here are some alternatives for you to consider.

1. Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel SSE

nakamichi shockwafe ultra 9.2.4

Two heads are better than one, right? But so are two subwoofers. Having two subs will give you a smoother and better sounding bass.

If you’re dead serious about your home theater system and have a little extra to spend, you can’t go wrong with the Nakamichi Shockwave Ultra 9.2.4 Channel SSE. The system includes two 10-inch (254 millimeters) wireless subwoofers and four two-way surround speakers.

The wireless subwoofers bring you amazing bass to mimic earth-shaking rumbling. These subwoofers carry the sound and distribute the bass throughout the room, so there is no localization.

Meanwhile, each of the surround speakers delivers high frequencies that are clear and crisp. The two-way speakers also sport a full-range driver.

Together, the soundbar, the subwoofers, and the surround speakers ensure that you can hear the dialogue clearly, while also getting the best cinematic sound experience at home. What’s more, you can stream music wirelessly with this system’s Bluetooth aptX connectivity. You can set the music with your phone and tablet and let this sound system blast it for you.

But that’s not all you can play with the Nakamichi Shockwave Ultra 9.2.4 Channel SSE. It has easy connections to a variety of devices, including Netflix, fire tv, Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and RokuTV, among others.

Dimensions

  • Soundbar: 45.5 by 3.5 by 3 inches (1,155.7 by 88 by 76.2 millimeters); 7.2 pounds (3.3 kilograms)
  • Subwoofer: 13 by 11 by 20.5 inches (330.2 by 279.4 by 520.7 millimeters); 23.4 pounds (10.6 kilograms)
  • Rear Speaker: 5 by 5.4 by 8 inches (127 by 137.2 by 203.2 millimeters); 2.8 pounds (1.3 kilograms)

Pros

  • Can get as loud as 110 decibels, which is as loud as being in a rock concert
  • Plug and Play
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Expensive

2. SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 Speaker System

SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 Speaker System

The SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 Speaker System The Prime Satellite 5.1 Surround Sound System is a compact system with each speaker measuring 4.9 by 6.0 by 8.8 inches (124.5 by 152.4 by 223.5 millimeters) and a subwoofer that measures 13 by 14 by 13.5 inches (330.2 by 355.6 by 342.9 millimeters).

The satellite speakers each house a tweeter that is an inch (25.4) in diameter and a midrange driver that measures 4.5 inches (114.3 millimeters) in diameter.

These speakers have a frequency range of 69 hertz to 25 kilohertz. Each one is a high-performance loudspeaker that you can mount on any wall or place on any surface.

Meanwhile, the 1,000-watt subwoofer has a 12-inch (304.8 millimeters) driver that delivers a frequency range of 24 to 260 hertz. This subwoofer brings you the lowest of bass sounds. If you like immersive surround sound, then look no further than this product.

Finite element analysis optimized diffusers help make it more durable even when the aluminum dome is poked. This system uses the company’s SoundMatch technology.

SoundMatch allows the passive speakers to have a seamless sound, as well as accurate frequency response. This capability means that a car will sound similarly on each of the five satellite speakers on this system.

Pros

  • The front driving subwoofer and passive satellite speakers sound excellent
  • Voice matched speakers
  • Easy way to set up a surround sound system

Cons

  • Expensive
  • You will miss the benefits of having a bottom-firing subwoofer
  • It may not be good enough for audiophiles

3. Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System

Rockville HTS56

The Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System proves that you don’t have to spend too much on your surround sound system. This product is a turnkey solution with an eight-inch subwoofer that comes with the receiver built-in. On top of that, this system has:

  • One three-inch center speaker
  • Two three-inch front channel speakers
  • Two three-inch rear channel speakers

If you want to tune in to any FM station in your area, you can just use the embedded FM receiver in this system. Meanwhile, the digital display makes it easy to know what your home theater system is doing.

The preset equalizer can help you get the best sound out of anything you’re listening to. Each speaker in this system has its own volume control, as well, so you get to fine-tune the sound.

Affordable Alternative
Rockville HTS45 5.1 Home Theater
$134.95
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This system also comes with:

  • Bluetooth v2.1. USB Input
  • SD Input
  • Two microphone inputs with echo function for karaoke
  • Five RCA audio outputs
  • Six RCA DVD audio inputs
  • Two RCA AUX inputs
  • FM antenna input
  • Remote control

Further, you can customize the lights using the four lighting modes and seven colors. You can even choose multiple colors.

What makes this system easy to recommend is the affordable price and the fantastic sound quality it offers. There is no audible distortion in the sound, even when you have the volume all the way up.

The subwoofer measures 9.3 by 13.2 by 14.6 inches (236.22 by 335.28 by 370.8 millimeters), the center speaker measures 3.9 by 4.1 by 14.6 inches (99.1 by 104.1 by 370.8 millimeters), the front left and right satellite speakers measure 3.9 by 4.1 by 14.6 inches (99.1 by 104.1 by 370.8 millimeters), while the rear speakers have the same width and depth as the front ones, but are shorter at 9.3 inches (236.22 millimeters).

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality for the price
  • Easy to set up and install

Cons

  • No HDMI or optical ports
  • The wire to the rear speakers are not long enough for most living rooms

FAQs

Question: What is surround sound?

Answer: The Harman Kardon HKTS16 is a surround sound system. But what is surround sound, really?

Surround sound makes for more realistic audio and is usually used for recording live concerts or action movies. Surround sound utilizes many channels, and the usual set up is the 5.1 layout.

In 5.1, the first number stands for the number of satellite speakers, and the second number stands for the number of subwoofers. As such, there are six channels delivered by

  • Left front speaker
  • Center front speaker
  • Right front speaker
  • Left rear speaker
  • Right rear speaker
  • Subwoofer

These speakers surround you with sound, making it feel like you’re watching a movie in a theater, or being in a live concert in person. If there is a sound that is supposed to be behind you, then the rear speakers will blast it so that you can hear it coming from the back.

There are other setups, such as a 2.1 or 7.1 channel system or the less common 6.1 and 10,2 systems.

Question: What does each speaker do?

Answer: The subwoofer is a larger speaker that handles the bass and low-frequency audio. This speaker uses air pressure to give you that rumbling and growling sound. You can place subwoofers on the floor to ensure the best booming effects that fill the entire room.

The center speaker is what most people consider to be the most important in a surround sound setup. Center speakers are usually bigger than the satellite speakers. The center speaker receives all the significant sounds in whatever you’re listening to. The dialog in a movie is often coursed through the center speaker.

Satellite speakers are those speakers that are placed on the side of the center speaker. The satellite speakers broadcast ambient sounds.

Question: Is it worth it to buy a surround sound system?

Answer: Surround sound makes movies and music even more enjoyable and realistic. It’s not just to make an action movie with all its explosions and blasts feel like you’re there dodging bullets and avoiding debris, but it also makes for a more immersive listening experience for your music.

Audio quality is excellent if you have the right equipment. But rather than just having a subwoofer that delivers the right bass tones, or satellites that have outstanding sound quality, these speakers are working together to make things sound a whole lot better.

You may think that surround sound systems are expensive, especially if you compare them to simple multimedia speakers. But there are a lot of setups that involve fewer speakers and more affordable price tags.

Also, consider that you will probably not feel the need to spend tickets for a movie at theaters because you’re having the same sound experience at home.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy the Harman Kardon HKTS 16?

When it comes to sound quality, you will probably find everything you need with the Harman Kardon HKTS 16. It has everything you’re looking for when it comes to surround sound and an easy to install home theater system.

With voice matching, you no longer have to worry about one speaker sounding different from another. The system reproduces sound from a very low 45 hertz to 20 kilohertz. Plus, this compact system will not take up too much space.

However, there are quite a few complaints about the quality control for this product, and it seems there are customers who have bought lemons. What’s worse, a lot of them have problems dealing with the company’s customer support. If that scares you off, then there are some options that you can get.

If you can spend more, you might as well consider the Nakamichi Shockwave Ultra 9.2.4 Channel SSE. This system might be thrice the price of the HKTS 16, but it provides you with more speakers and two subwoofers for a more engaging surround sound and cinematic audio experience.

You can also consider the SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 Speaker System, but it is more expensive than the HKTS 16. It is also somewhat weak for music playback, but it’s an excellent system for watching movies.

If you’re working with a tight budget, give the Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System. For less than $200, you can have excellent home theater surround sound without the hassle.

This system is easy to install and set up and can give more expensive systems a run for their money. However, it’s not something that will impress audiophiles. However, for those who are looking from some thump for their bass and some excellent sounds for their movies, this system is just perfect.

Great Quality
Harman Kardon HKTS 16BQ
$649.99
Check Price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
04/14/2021 09:38 pm GMT
Affordable Alternative
Rockville HTS45 5.1 Home Theater
$134.95
Check Price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
04/14/2021 09:38 pm GMT

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