Harman Kardon BDS 270

Score

Sections

View All

Pros

  • Superlative design and build quality
  • Classy sound quality
  • Plentiful connections
  • Quick disc loading

Cons

  • No network streaming or web content
  • Lacks Wi-Fi
  • Dolby Virtual Speaker ineffective

Key Features

  • Review Price: £649.99
  • 3D Blu-ray playback
  • 2 x 65W power
  • BD Live
  • Dolby Virtual Speaker
  • 3 x HDMI inputs
  • USB media playback
View All

You can find 2.1-channel Blu-ray systems for peanuts these days, but if you’ve set your standards higher than a supermarket cheapie then Harman Kardon is here to show you what’s on offer with a bigger budget. At around £650 the BDS 270 ain’t cheap but it oozes luxury from every pore, and if its sound quality is equally luxurious then we might have a must-buy on our hands.

Harman Kardon BDS 270

The system comprises the main BDS 270 unit, which includes a 3D-ready Blu-ray player and a 2 x 65W digital amplifier, plus the HKTS 200BQ/230 2.1-channel speaker pack (it’s sold in a single box). After unboxing the components it’s immediately clear that the BDS 270 is a cut above your average all-in-one system. The build quality of both the speakers and Blu-ray receiver is simply stunning – heavy, solid bodywork fashioned from high-grade materials across the board.

Harman Kardon BDS 270
It also looks gorgeous. At 102mm high the Blu-ray receiver is chunky but in a good way, while the glossy black finish, curved corners and front-mounted disc slot are chic, distinctive touches. The white ring of light around the volume dial is another eye-catcher, although in the dark it’s a little distracting so you might want to dim it in the setup menu.

Harman Kardon BDS 270

Tucked underneath this dial is a USB port, which allows you to play your digital media on the fly. The central dot-matrix display panel is easy to read, and on the brushed top panel you’ll find metal power and open/close buttons – the rest of the keys are reserved for the remote.

The rear panel is just as impressive, with a plentiful array of connections. Most pleasing is the provision of three HDMI inputs for running other HD kit through the system and an Audio Return Channel-compatible output. You even get component video input. Elsewhere there are two analogue stereo inputs and one output, three digital audio inputs (two optical, one coaxial), a remote control input, line-level subwoofer output and a linked trigger port that deactivates the sub when you switch off the main unit to save power.

Harman Kardon BDS 270

You can also connect an iPod/iPhone via Harman’s optional The Bridge III dock (connected to the proprietary port) and there’s an Ethernet port for the player’s online functionality (which is sadly limited to BD Live). Even the heavy duty gold-plated binding posts are of the highest order, not the cheap springclips found on lesser systems.

Speaker build quality has a massive bearing on the overall performance, and thankfully they don’t let the side down. The front speakers are almost cylindrical in shape, solid as oak and styled in an alluring gloss black finish. On the back are push-clip cable connections, and cleverly the wires can be hidden away by feeding them through a hole in the removable stand.

Even the subwoofer is a visual treat – with its curved corners, lustrous gloss-black finish and compact dimensions you won’t want to hide it away.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money