Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III Review

If you’re looking for some stunning speakers, look no further. The Harman Kardon Soundsticks III has got to be the wildest looking 2.1 speaker system on the planet. In fact, these things are so wild, that their predecessor gained a permanent home in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Not only are they stylish, but they even manage to sound pretty good too. That’s pretty impressive for a speaker. Hmm, I wonder if they’ve got any gophers in that museum.

You won’t find a more futuristic set of speakers than the Harman Kardon Soundsticks III anywhere, unless you happen to get picked up by some little green men some night.

The Product

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III 2.1 Channel Multimedia Speaker System with Subwoofer Harman Kardon Soundsticks III 2.1 Channel Multimedia Speaker System with Subwoofer
List Price: $168.25
Sale Price: $139.95
You save: $28.30 (17%)

Description

A 6-inch, 20-watt downward-firing powered subwoofer. Eight 1-inch full-range transducers. Plug-and-play compatibility with virtually any multimedia device. And stunning industrial design that perfectly matches the clarity of the sound...

Features

  • Compatible with all devices with a stereo minijack output
  • Outstanding bass performance
  • Touch volume and mute controls.Satellite Height (inches) 10. Satellite Height 10 inches
  • Subwoofer volume control and Angle-adjustable satellites
  • Amplifier output power 10W RMS per channel

Our Review

Let me put it in one simple word, “Awesome.” Harman Kardon has taken speaker design to new heights with the Soundsticks. The eight full range transducers in the satellite speakers produce some really crisp high end sounds, while the woofer fills in the bottom end with desktop moving bass. The woofer is downward facing, so if you happen to have a wood desk, you’ll get some really nice harmonics off of the desk.
The Harman Kardon Soundsticks III speakers come with a built-in 40 watt amplifier, so if you decide to crank it up, you’d better not have anything loose on your desk; otherwise it will go bouncing right off to file 13 all by itself. The woofer has a bass volume control, giving you some degree of tone adjustment, but for the best sound, you might want to use an equalizer in your computer. The bass volume control also acts as the push-button power switch, so don’t say you we didn’t warn you if you can’t find it.
The sticks are mounted on a heavy black donut shaped base and are adjustable for angle. Several of the gophers who have tried them out say that for the best sound you want the satellites spread far apart and pointed right at your head for the best sound. That’s why the satellites are adjustable, to get them pointed at your head. One of the satellites is touch sensitive for volume control and touching both gives you an instant mute.

Our Harman Kardon Gallery

The Look

Who ever thought a clear plastic speaker would look so cool? I mean, these things have got coolness down pat. The twin “soundsticks” look like they could be controls for some futuristic space ship, they even have an angle adjustment so you can accelerate. The round woofer housing looks like it should house a throbbing, glowing brain. The only thing missing is a goldfish swimming around in the woofer.

Setup

Hey, they’re speakers, plug in the cables, and you’re ready to go. No prob. On the other hand, if you want the best possible sound, you might want to consider a little equalization app in your computer.

Sound Quality

Okay, they’re plastic, you know. You’re not going to get booming bass sound out of plastic speakers; you need wood cases for that. Putting your woofer on top of something wood, like a wood desk top will help, but plastic just doesn’t resonate like wood does.
Having said that, they’re really pretty good sounding speakers, especially for a 2.1 desktop set. Probably the best sounding speakers you’re going to find in their price range. The strong point on these babies is the highs, which are nice and crisp. The mid-lows come out pretty good, because of the woofer; but the mid tones can use a little boost and the low-lows, well, don’t expect much around 30 Hz.

Should you buy it?

For the price, there’s no way you’re going to beat the Harman Kardon Soundsticks III speakers. Not only have they got good sound, but the coolness factor is over the top. You’ll blow your friends away when they see this setup on your desktop. You can probably even convince them that they were beamed down from the Starship Enterprise.

Pros

  • The look… hey baby, these can’t be beat
  • Really great sounding highs
  • Touch sensitive volume control
  • Touch sensitive mute
  • Great overall sound for their price range

Cons

  • No goldfish
  • If you’re a girl, you might have trouble getting your boyfriend to take his eyes off the speakers and put them on you

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