View Full Version : Harbeth for Home Theater duties

17-06-2011, 10:44 AM
Hi, I'm wondering if there are anyone using Harbeth Speakers for Home Theater duties? Or should I put it as "Are Harbeth speakers suitable for home theater usage? Or they should only be use for music? The reason for me asking is most ppl will play quite loud when watching movies to get the effect and I remember reading somewhere that it is not advisable to play too loud on Harbeth as you might have a blown driver?


17-06-2011, 11:23 AM
I remember reading somewhere that it is not advisable to play too loud on Harbeth as you might have a blown driver?
"Too loud" is an entirely relative concept. Unless you like to listen to your films at 95dBA++ (at your peril) I doubt there will be a problem.

What you have to bear in mind is that Harbeths (or most any speaker designed to work properly on normal music & speech) may not reproduce the thunderous, unreal bass that underpins the soundtrack of many modern action films. For that, a sub may be desirable.

17-06-2011, 12:17 PM
They can be used and will sound fabulous if it is 'natural' film sound it is you are after. They are not optimised for very high playback levels in large rooms, but I have heard 5x HL-P3ES2 sound absolutely fabulous in surround, in a small room at lower levels. Very unforced and natural film sound!

In all cases (except when you are using 40.1 up front), use a subwoofer and set all speakers to 'small'.

17-06-2011, 02:31 PM
I'm actually using it as 2 chanels instead. I hook up the bluray player and the media player thru my Luxman L505u driving the SHL-5 and set the volume knob around 11 and it can actually gives me thumping bass that are good enough for me. But I'm not sure if Harbeth are being made for such purpose and are they able to withstand this kind of usage and hence the questions.

17-06-2011, 03:24 PM
i personally will never want to do any harm to our beloved speakers... Treat it with love and respect..:D

17-06-2011, 04:50 PM
Harbeths are optimised to be played at low/moderate volumes and are used by broadcast networks for monitoring their programmes. Speech and ambient sounds will form a large part of this, so if you watch drama, comedy and other dialogue-heavy movie genres, at normal domestic volumes you should find Harbeths to be equally good for movies as they are for reproducing natural acoustic instruments in music.

Since I've got my P3ESR speakers, I've been really impressed with how good TV sounds through them. I don't watch noisy action films much and I don't like loud sounds so I never have any problems using my Harbeths for TV and films, in fact as I have stated before, I find the Harbeth bass performance to be perfect for me and surprisingly weighty too.

Unless someone is very enthusiastic about loud walloping bass, I think Harbeths would be ideal for films. As Pluto suggested, add a high quality subwoofer if you must that can be adjusted to match the Harbeths seemlessly.

Surround-sound music (like SACD or DVD-A) is another question entirely and one that would be ideal for Harbeth speakers to shine with.

Gan CK
18-06-2011, 10:25 AM
I think its ok to watch movies using Harbeths provided the volume is kept in check. I occasionally watch movies using my SHL-5 too but at moderate levels & they are pretty satisfying. Don't feel the need for a sub as the bass goes reasonably low & extended.

19-06-2011, 12:58 AM
I use my shl5 speakers in a 4.1(no center speaker) set up. I watch a fair number of action films at a normal sound level and occasionally at louder sound levels and the speakers sound great. I've been doing this for over three years.