|Harman Kardon SoundSticks II 2.1 Plug and Play Multimedia Speaker System
|List Price: $169.99
Our Price: $107.88
You Save: $62.11 (37%)
2 Satellite Speakers and Subwoofer for Stereo Sound / For use with a PC, Mac, MP3 Player, or any device with a standard 3.5mm headphone output Includes AC Adapter with USA plug Volume control on right satellite speaker Compatible with a PC, Mac, MP3 Player, or any device with a standard 3.5mm headphone output
- 3-piece plug and play multimedia speaker system
- Stunning, original design with great sound
- Features computer-optimized multi-band parametric equalization
- Capacitance touch control buttons provide direct access to volume control
- 20 Watts RMS subwoofer power output
- Harmon Kardon SoundSticks 2
I bought these speakers as someone with high end taste and expectations in sound quality. The sound is OK when providing sound directly thru my HDTV. I run them at very low volume and it is a big improvement over the usual rubbish speakers built into the television. The base is weak but adequate - actually what I wanted living in a roommate sharing situation. More importantly, I wanted an inexpensive fix for listening to music thru my laptop. These speakers were a huge disappointment from that perspective. Software EQ such as in MS Media Player is an absolute necessity and the only reason these speakers did not go back. With equalization they are OK if you don't have a good ear or have only mediocre expectations. Mid and high range musical sound quality is marginal at best. Bass response at max is what I expected to be turning down to. Overall volume level would be a real deal breaker if I needed it. I have Logitech Z-2300 speakers at work and they blow the SoundSticks away in sound quality and a satisfying listening experience. Definitely put your hard earned dollars there....more info
- Nice Aesthetic, high quality sound
I have a modern style house and try to follow a minimal, uncluttered, modern look. I initially was interested in these loudspeakers after seeing them on display at an Apple store and was drawn to their unique look. I bought them without hearing them first after reading the mostly positive reviews of their sound quality.
I was not disappointed. They sound exceptional, and they really do look unique and compliment our home. I have bought two sets of these loudspeakers for different areas of the home. I have experienced no problems whatsoever. It would be nice if the on/off switch was in the front, but that would be my only suggested improvement. Recommended++....more info
- Souhops !
Harman Kardon SoundSticks II 2.1 Plug and Play Multimedia Speaker System These speakers are so good we purchased a second set fpr our office. We are in the music business and require high performance from any audio equipment we use. Very cool....more info
- Love this!
We think it's great fun and surprising sound. And it's a conversation piece to boot....more info
This speakers are an excellent value. They deliver great sound. The trebles are clear and the base is great. I would strongly recommend this product to anybody. I purchased the Logitech 2300z first and they had a muffled sound and too much base. The Soundsticks is a much better product. The only complaint is they have a blue light in the base unit that can not be turned off. You have to unplug them to be able to keep the light off....more info
- Not Disappointed!
I had pretty high expectations for these speakers, given the rave reviews they have gotten on here. I wasn't surprised that the speakers lived up to my expectations.
I listen to everything from Sinatra to Nine Inch Nails and they sound great for a wide variety of music....more info
- Sounds great but......
Sounds great but took up too much space on my desk. If you have space for it then you are going to love the speakers
- Excellent Speakers, Crisp Sound
Great speakers. They look really cool and they have volume control is nice. Only thing I don't like is that the subwoofer light stays on constantly, no matter if the computer is turned off....more info
- No more GSM buzz!
Ever since I got an iPhone, I've been looking for a decent set of computer speakers that would not exhibit the dreaded buzz produced by cell phones that use GSM technology, like the iPhone does when connected to AT&T's Edge network. (3G solves the problem, but coverage is still spotty). I'm thrilled to say that my search is finally OVER.
Now I know there are some of you out there don't mind this noise, but it always went right through me and there were times where I wanted to throw the phone right out the window. A friend of mine, also an iPhone user, had a set of these speakers, and he personally demonstrated to me the lack of GSM buzz while using the Edge network. I was sold, and immediately ordered my own.
They arrived today and I couldn't be happier. No more annoying buzz! Man what a relief! And as for how they sound? Once again I couldn't be happier. They sound crystal clear, and the sub helps to round out the bottom end quite nicely. I'm sure there are better sounding speakers out there, but for my purposes (listening to music while working), these fit the bill just fine.
Plus, they look great on my desk! ...more info
- Good overall
Reasonably good sound quality, although will not rival other top speakers in the $100-$150 range. Design quality is excellent, styling is very unique and attractive.
For the sound quality, the highs and mid-highs the sound is very clear and robust, while the low end tends to sound a little disjointed. You'll want to put the subwoofer as close to the center of the soundstage (ideally right underneath the middle of the computer or even behind the monitor) because the sub plays notes high enough in range that it is much more directional than a sub should be. With most subs, you're not supposed be able to tell where the bass is coming from, making placement much more flexible. Since the crossover point on this sub must be quite high, you can most certainly tell where your bass is coming from, making placement more important, and much more distracting if not done properly. The only other, albeit small, complaint I have is that the light from the sub is incredibly bright. If you have your computer in the bedroom or like to watch movies on your computer with other lights turned off, this can be obnoxious. I've taken to covering the sub up in these situations. Otherwise, you have to turn the system off, and the only way to do that is on the sub itself, again, a bit annoying. On the positive side, the power of the setup is surprisingly strong, giving you the ability to turn the volume up without distortion, and the sound quality will impress. These are not just good looking speakers. 4 out of 5 stars overall, a good value as well. ...more info
- Just got it
I just pulled this thing out of the box and I just wanted to follow up on all of the complaints about not being able to turn the speakers off and the blue light staying on all the time.
PUSH IN THE VOLUME KNOB ON THE SUB... It turns both the speakers and the blue light off....more info
- Absolutely amazing!
I'll just start by saying these speakers are absolutely incredible. I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. They are gorgeous, for one thing. I know they were designed to fit in with older Macs (the G4s, I think?), but they still look great. But at the end of the day, they are speakers, meant for audible rather than visual pleasure. And in that respect, they more than deliver. I'm listening to Celtic Woman on them as I'm typing this, and the voices are amazingly clear, while the drums and bass notes and pure and booming. I won't claim to be an audiophile (more of a wannabe audiophile haha) or to know the intricacies of good speakers, but I do know of all of the different speakers I've ever heard, these sound the best. Heck, on that note, I haven't even really played with the EQ at all, and they still sound amazing. They may not be at their best, and they're still the best I've heard. In fact, I know they aren't, because 90% of my listening on them has been MP3s, and the only super-high quality sample I've been able to get my hands on is the free nine inch nails album they release, which, frankly, sounds terrible (sorry to any NIN fans out there). Overall, I could not be more pleased and I would not hesitate to recommend these to anyone willing to pay a little for their speakers....more info
- Great Style, But Not a Long-Term Investment
I purchased these about a year ago for my iMac. They look fantastic and have earned a lot of "Oooo, those are cool" comments from friends. The blue jellyfish light is also very striking. All in all, they complement a design-based setup like an iMac very well.
Unfortunately, their aesthetic design isn't matched by their quality. They worked fine for about 8 months and then started developing "quirks." Small "pops" when they kicked in after not being used for awhile. Loud crackling if you bumped the jack. A very annoying tendency to shut off if anything else on the circuit suddenly drew power (which required me to physically unplug the jellyfish and plug it back in again). And a very loud (as in, almost hurting your ears) feedback hum when the jack is unplugged and touching anything else (like the edge of the computer or your hand).
Given what they cost, a year is not a reasonable lifespan. I can't in good conscience recommend these, as much as I might like the way they look....more info
- Fantastic Sound with a Fantastic Design
I purchased the SoundSticks II for my new Macintosh. I was going to just use my old SoundSticks I (from my old setup) but because I was keeping my old system for my home-office, I just could not give them up. I purchased these so both of my systems would have great sound and great looks. I admit that when I purchased my first set of SoundSticks, I got them for their looks, but I was totally won over by the great sound quality....more info
- Great speakers! Great quality.
These sound amazing! I just don't like how they don't turn off (unless you unplug em, which I do)...more info
- Simple, elegant, stylish, capable office/room speakers
I bought the Soundsticks because I needed a simple but capable speaker system for my iMac. I could not see having thousands of songs on my iTunes Library, hundreds of cds, and constantly streaming music being piped through the tiny iMac speakers. But I didn't want a big, cheap, clunky sound system to ruin the elegant and graceful look of my entire computer setup and office.
The Soundsticks are perfect for someone who looks at style as a key feature when purchasing equipment. The clear plastic is a nice touch, adding a hint of sophistication to a simple design. The two actual soundsticks have four tweeters, so midrange vocals are not easily isolated -- you will have to use your computer's equalizer to capture any details of midrange sound. Otherwise, the sound is adequate for the size, price and design of the speakers.
The main subwoofer points downward to create a substantial boomy effect. It doesn't reproduce the sound as well as many other powered subwoofers, but for the price and knowing these are designed for a bedroom or office, it's pretty decent. Also keep in mind that the downward facing sub will make whomever lives below you (either in a house, condo/apartment) probably not appreciate a bass speaker positioned there, and there is no practical way to redirect the sub. When powered, it has a nice blue light that illuminates the entire globe. Unfortunately, the base level control is on the back of the sub so if you (likely) have it on the floor, you have to have access to the back of it in order to adjust the bass volume/level.
The main volume is controlled by two tiny kidney-shaped chrome pads on the front of one of the sticks. I think the placement is better than having a third cable eminating from the subwoofer (as the Bose system does) but the volume pads are too small and awkwardly placed. Ideally, the volume pads would be larger and placed on either side of both sounds sticks so you'd have flexibility in which one you used for volume. If you have a Mac, I recommend just turning the sounds sticks to their highest volume (which isn't extremely high) and use the keyboard or your music-listening software to control the volume. Some speaker systems have software and a remote to control volume and sound quality. I don't miss those here although I didn't get the sense that there was any layering or surround involved.
Setup was very easy. It is doubtful you will need the instructions. It took about 3-4 minutes to have it ready to go. The power cord, left/right speaker, and subwoofer wire are color coded and is not an issue. The biggest decision will be where to place the soundsticks themselves. I appreciate the fact that they are weighted and have a rubberized base (although the rubber looks like it will become discolored with time, potentially taking away from the elegant and sleek design cues).
PROS: Modern, sleek, stlylish design. Simple setup and easy of function. Does not have a third cord to control volume. Funky blue hue when powered. Crisp highs, and deep bass lows. Good price, designed for an office or bedroom.
CONS: Difficult to capture midrange. Awkwardly placed and tiny volume controls. Longish power cord in comparison to the cable connecting the soundsticks. Bass control awkwardly placed on subwoofer. Sub can only be placed pointing down. Cheap looking rubber "donut" at base of soundsticks. No surround sound or layering detectable.
Bottom Line: A good substitute for standard computer speakers, if you want to maintain a modern, high-tech, look and adequate sound....more info
- Great Product.
I teach and have a set of these in my classroom. I plug my iPod or my Mac in and send clear, crisp sounds to my students while they are working or as they are entering on a theme day. My students come up and ask me where the sound is coming from. My wife teaches second grade and was just moved to a new room with a new computer, Elmo, and projection system. She can play DVD's and clips from the Internet on her computer but didn't have any speakers other than those on her computer. I insisted on buying her a set of SoundSticks II and they really complete the system. All of the music from the DVDs and CDs is clear and crisp. They are out of sight in her classroom and her second graders can't believe that all that music comes from those tiny speakers. She complained that they were too expensive until she heard them. They are worth every penny....more info
- Satisfied with sound & price
I'm happy with the sound I get from this system, and I purchased it on sale so all the better ...
I was a little surprised at the construction- the sticks are solid but they look kind of cheap- and the stick bases look and feel like dog toys or something ...
But i think speakers should first be judged for sound quality, and these are good- sub and sticks....more info
- good pc speakers....
Good PC speakers... Good warm bass, not overwhelming or intrusive, nice crisp high ends with good mids. Overall, these speakers produce a nice clear balanced sound. I find them visually pleasing, the blue light radiated from woofer can be relaxing in a darkend bedroom. Set up was easy. The bass knob positioning and volume botton "problems" that others have mentioned are more or less true but are minor and secondary to this reviewer, sound being the most important factor... One thing should be pointed out about this system, the speakers are very directional and you must be positioned right in front of them for full sound enjoyment. Sitting at your computer, with a speaker to your immediate left and right, they truly sound great, but if you get up and position yourself elswere in the room (laying in bed perhaps) the sound is still good but not as balanced and dynamic, you will notice the difference. That said, if you can get them for under $100.00 these are very good PC speakers and are well worth the money......more info
- Not a Bose, but really good for this price.
I love the shape and the voice quality of this wonderful sound system.I was using with my Macbook pro.
I recommend for everybody for this low price. It's not the Bose Companion 3 quality, but not the same price.
It's very good.
- Excellent, well priced speakers!
These speakers have great sound for a very good price! We own other high priced speakers and these are stiff competition. My kids love the way they look! Very modern. ...more info
- Disappointing product.
I had the usb soundsticks 1 for several years and they worked great until I bought a new Intel Mac and the drivers were no longer supported. I bought the Soundsticks II expecting the same performance but they lacked the same bass and volume that my previous pair had. This set may have been defective but I was so disappointed that I returned them for a refund....more info
great speakers and cool look.the sound it's clear and strong,i have no negative comments about this product,i recommend to anyone wants to get high quality speakers for a resonable price....more info
- What's a mom to give a teen for his B-day?
Perfect gift for a teenager with an iPod. My three sons all have this system and love it. Save the box to take to College!...more info
- Good value
Good sound quality and attractive, spacy design. Unfortunately no on/off switch (you have to unplug), no remote and you can't play and charge your i pod at the same time because the jack is too wide and doesn't fit next the the charger jack on your i pod. very bad thinking. ...more info
- Sounds good, looks great, but stopped working in 8 months
I bought this in march 08 mostly because of the online reviews and it's looks. The subwoofer looks like a mini-spaceship and never fails to elicit a reaction from someone who sees it for the first time, as it lies near my computer!
The sound quality is quite good though the volume isn't v loud. It's loud enough for games and music, but don't expect to use it for parties. I do think the bass could've been a touch better, it wasn't crisp or "punchy" enough. For the price I paid though, the sound's great.
My only gripe is the build quality and durability. The little black power connector to the subwoofer became a little loose around the 5 month mark and I often had to jiggle it a bit to get it to work. Also, the speakers stopped working after abt 6 months, probably because the power adapter couldn't handle the erratic power we get in India. However, I would have liked to see it last longer than 6-7 months! So those of you using it in countries like mine, you should probably hook it up to a UPS or something.
- Love 'Em, But Mind the Blue Light!
My wife and I have these in our kitchen hooked up to an Apple Airport Express or occasionally our iPods. The sound is clean and crisp, and the attractive design begs to be left out in the open on our kitchen counter!
Some of the controls are interesting if not unusual, but the appeal of these speakers are that they are a little above ordinary. You have touch-sensative volume controls one of the satellites, a bass knob on the sub-woofer and the rubberized bases on both satellites that makes them easy to adjust and stand up.
The single complaint I have, which isn't mentioned in the product description, is that the sub-woofer has a small blue light that stays on 24/7 (since there's no way to turn these speakers off). In a way, this adds to the style, reflecting off the glassy curves of the sub-woofer, but it's a consideration for rooms where blue is a bad color, or in a bedroom where you don't want a blue night-light on all the time.
Overall, I'd strongly recommend these speakers, however. They're a good-performing, stylish choice!...more info