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Harman/Kardon SoundSticks II

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      26.11.2011 14:36
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      Great looks and amazing sound.

      This beauty, simply known as the SoundSticks II, is my iMac's best friend. It blends so perfectly with Apple's modern design even though they look completely different. This is one of the most, if not THE most futuristic designs of any PC sound system on the market. It literally looks like a jellyfish, with it's see-through body and curved lines. Setting this up was a doddle the speaker wires are colour coded for your convenience, and simply slot into the back of your PC or Mac, and then into the colour matching right or left speakers. There is a volume control on the bottom corner of the left speaker making it even easier to recognise. There is also a cool feature of the base system, it illuminates a cool, blue. This is gentle on the eyes as you don't want a bright fluorescent glow right in your face as your trying to work. This just glows away in the background making the jellyfish comparison all the more realistic. But appearances aren't everything, this is a sound system after all. So how's the sound? GREAT! I was and still am amazed by the quality of the sound that comes out of these quad towers. It's clear, so clear that it's amazing to think your listening to something off the Internet. The punch of the base is one of the best things about this system. The bases level is fully adjustable, but if you want it up high, be prepared for an earthquake. I paid £150 for this system and I have never, ever regretted it for a second.

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        04.08.2011 22:44
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        Really nice speakers at a fairly reasonable price. Just handle with care.

        I've owned these speakers for about 3 years now and they remain the most sleek and futuristic things I own. A friend of mine bought them first and when I heard them I was blown away. I had to get myself a set as soon as possible. I remember when they arrived I played various dance tracks to test them and show them off, which I'm sure was not appreciated by the rest of the family or the rest of the street. They look fantastic either side of my imac and they are very easy to set up and use. Two buttons on one of the speakers control the volume and turn the speakers on and off. I have had very few problems with these speakers in the time that I've had them, but I have had some mostly of my own making. One of these occurred when I spilt a cup of tea into the subwoofer. As you can see from the pictures the subwoofer is a large dome with a tube down the middle, and not the easiest thing to clean. It took me a good hour to take the thing apart and it was a lot of trouble to put back together. The left speaker has also come apart, possibly due to my carelessness with electronics, though a similar thing happened to my friend's set. I have taped it back together and have had no further problems with it though it does detract from their space age look a little bit. I would say these speakers offer a very crisp sound and can go rather loud as well which is often great for parties. Definitely worth a buy.

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        16.07.2011 02:36
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        Well worth a few extra pounds

        The only place to start with these speakers is with their appearance! As I've said in the title, they remind me of a jellyfish being dumped on my desk and just about anyone who has seen them has asked what they are!. Being transparent instantly makes them different from pretty much anything else on the market. The sound is good although not exceptional and so premium on the price is more for the aesthetic qualities rather than the audio ones. If you're sat at the computer with the speakers facing towards you then the sound is extremely good with even the tiniest note appearing crystal clear. The issue I do have with the sound is that they struggle to fill a room i.e. If you're not sat with the facing you then the sound quality seems to fall drastically. For me that is not a problem as they're attached to a PC that only I use so only the positive is something I experience. No installation was required and it was purely plug in a play and so they are very easy to set up. In conclusion, this is an excellent set of speakers and well worth the extra few pounds just to have something different sat on your desk! *This review is my own work although I may post it elsewhere on the internet.

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        14.09.2010 09:06
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        Harman/Kardon SoundSticks II

        I just love the way they look: Harman/Kardon SoundSticks II I love to play games, watch movies and listen to music on my computer and since one year and a half I have been using the Harman/Kardon SoundSticks II. They aren't cheap unforgettably but since my computer is in the living room I wanted speakers that would stand out in a positive way. No boring speakers for me but nice and funky ones and goes along with the rest of the furniture. Like I said the speakers don't come cheap but I suppose they aren't that expensive either. I see that you can buy them now for around hundred pounds and I think I paid a little bit over that for these ones. Are they worth it? Absolutely. First of all the way they look. I felt in love with them the first moment I saw them and thought they looked so fresh and modern compared to some other boring black speakers. It's a three piece speaker system containing one subwoofer and two satellite speakers. When you turn them on you get this beautiful soft blue light which looks very nice especially when the whole room is dark. Installing the speakers is quiet easy but of course it's always a little puzzle in the beginning with the wires but easily to figure out. The subwoofer is connected to one speaker and the other again connected to that. You have your wire connected to the adapter and the mini stereo jack connection. So not that complicated really. Connecting and installing it on your computer is more easier since it's a plug and play system which means you don't need to install anything. You can also use they speakers with your Ipod or mp3player but I only use it with my computer. The sound is quiet good but it's more the looks where the speakers really shine. The sound is good and clear but I do have a few problems. First of all the bass is really hard and you need to turn it almost all the way down to prevent a earthquake. When it's turned down the bass is still a little bit hard but ok. The speakers don't really do that well when the volume is turned up high. You can tell the music sounds less and the tunes don't come out as pretty as before. This is only when you turn it up quiet high though which I hardly really do. In overall are the Harman/Kardon SoundSticks II speakers excellent when it comes to the way they look and good when it comes to the sound. I only use these ones for the computer and not so much for my other music. I love the soft blue light shining up and how easy it is to install.

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        12.08.2010 11:35
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        Temporary mid-priced option while you save up for a Bose alternative

        THE BASICS Comprise a three piece speaker system (one subwoofer and two satellite 'soundsticks') specifically designed for use with Macs and iPods, though suitable for use via a mini stereo jack connection with any PC or audio system. It retails at around £99.99. THE LOOK The subwoofer is a shiny transparent plastic dome with a 24cm diameter, which is illuminated with bright blue lighting. Internal components can be seen in its base, neatly fitted together and all with a silver hue. The instructions advise that it's placed on the floor, for instance under a desk and this makes sense given it's size but renders it's sleek appearance somewhat extraneous. Images found on the web of this system are quite misleading, giving the impression of a wireless system. In fact a fairly thick grey wire trails from the subwoofer to one satellite speaker, and on to the other. The wires are sufficiently long for the subwoofer and speakers to be placed some distance apart (as required by the instructions). A further wire passes to the mini stereo jack connection on your Mac/ iPod/ etc... and a last one, with an adaptor, provides the power source via the subwoofer. So, quite a lot of wires! Nevertheless, they do look pretty good with Apple products. The speakers proper sit on grey plastic donut shaped bases; they're attached using hinges allowing adjustment on a pivot as desired. As with the subwoofer, they're transparent (in this case elongated lozenge shapes 5 cm in diameter and 25 cm in height) with pale blue lighting. For some reason we could never get the lighting working on ours, which we felt was no great loss - and given Hardman customer services were pretty unhelpful decided not to go through the complicated process of having them replaced. Touch sensitive volume and mute controls are found at the base of one of the soundsticks. FUNCTIONALITY I don't quite get why people are raving about these speakers.... They very much seem to be a case of style over functionality. The sound quality is good, but you have to turn the base right down if you're to avoid shaking your floor (and your neighbours) to within an inch of its life..... all the energy seems to go into the shaking too, since the base sound isn't particularly good quality and leaves music sounding rather fuzzy around the edges. As with high base, these speakers struggle with both high volume and high range leading to much snap, crackle and popping! As a plus point, they are very easy to set-up: literally plug in and go. However the lack of a conveniently located 'off' button means you do have to unplug if you want it turning off (unless you're prepared to spend your time crawling under your desk). A minor annoyance, but one all the same. RELIABILITY For a middle of the range system you generally expect at least middle of the range reliability. Unfortunately mine conked out just after the two year warrantee period had expired, and I've heard numerous similar reports. While the options provided by the likes of Bose are more expensive, they combine style with functionality and reliability that the Harman Soundsticks just can't meet.

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        21.07.2010 23:46
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        perfect for any person looking to kit out their computer with some top quality speakers

        The sound Sticks II sound system are fantastic. they are not the cheapest sound system you can buy for your computer but after hearing the super crisp sound quality you will be able to justify your money. the two towers take up next to no space and are amazing for busy computertables as they squeeze into the smallest of gaps. The quality of the sound is only matched with its volume. turned up to full you realise just how much of a kick you can get out of them. lets just say i wouldn't sit too close if you are pumping these up to the max. this makes them amazing for parties and social functions. the only issue i have with these is the price. If you shopped around im sure you could find a decent set of speakers for less but i can garentee you will loose out on quality. i would definatly recomend these speakers to anyone looking to kit out there computer table.

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        31.05.2010 12:07
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        I got this speakers couple of years ago whenever I bought myself an iMac. I told myself that I needed a new fancy speaker to go with my new fancy iMac. While I was browsing through Apple store, i stumbled upon this great amazing looking speaker and thought that this was it for my iMac. First impression of this SoundSticks II, it looks as if it is from another planet with its clear and transparent look. What makes this speaker so special is, i think, how round the shapes are. Also, the design of the bass is really elegant and well thought through and it really does maximises the purpose of the bass. Even more, the void inside in the middle just makes it easier to hold and carry it around the room when deciding to relocate it to another house or something else. Also, the speaker is fairly light as well. Whoever designed this speaker should definitely get an award in innovation. I also think it is great to see the wire-work on this masterpiece. It just really shows you how powerful this speaker is. When i keep looking at this speaker, somehow I always relate it to Mars - perhaps because of it's roundness and the transparency? Installation of the wires are extremely easy with no confusion, especially to figure out which left and right speakers go in place. The wires for the speakers are split into two and the colours co-ordinate the right and left speakers. This installation was very easy that I completed the setup within minutes. The actual speakers look exactly the same from afar however, there is a difference. The left speaker is actually with manual touch volume key on the lower parts of the body. Up and Down is distinguished by - and + signs and you can either slightly touch repeatedly or just even holding it will decrease or increase the volume. The bass itself looks brilliant when it is turned on. Clear soft blue light is turned on and it really does make your room very distinctive. Especially, when the room is dark, you can clearly see where your speaker is and because of its light, it also makes it very retro look and almost feels like you are in a club. The sound on this system is absolutely amazing and does not let down by its aesthetics. It is very crisp, bold and clear. I have been using this speaker for more than a year and the sound quality is still immaculate. Sometimes, I link my iPod Touch with this just to hear its amazing quality. The bass does make the system even better. You can even turn the volume of this bass by turning the nozzle on the bass itself. It really does blow your mind and your neighbour will definitely be ranting about it, unless they are into hard bass. I have had couple of incidents involving this. Especially if you are living on the 1st floor, or 2nd floor, the house below will hear your bass quite clearly even though the volume of the bass is on moderate. Perhaps, it is wise to live on the ground floor. One of the downside to this system is the retail price, which is 130 pounds. No doubt, this is pricey for a speaker. However, I have seen this item on eBay for around 70 to 80 pounds which I think is quite reasonable. If you are not into eBay, then make a visit to Amazon and you can buy for 100pounds for a new condition. Bottomline, this speaker truly is legendary and will definitely pimp your room and you r music. You won't be disappointed!

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          19.06.2009 21:33
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          Very stylish and fantastic sound quality.

          The first thing anyone notices about these speakers is what they look like. That could be said about most things, but in the Soundsticks it's a massive feature. There is one cool designer at the Harman/Kardon studio, and they'll looks perfect sat next to your shiney new mac. Both the speakers and the sub are decievingly heavy, which is nice as you know they want slide around or be knocked over easily. The volume is controlled with two touch sensitive pads on the front of one speaker, and the bass know is on the sub, which can be a bit fiddily to adjust. Sound quality, is great. The sub works best in the corner of a room, but I can't help put mine on the desk it looks so nice. The speakers are very crisp and clear sounding, and the quality is comparable to more high end audio set ups. I'd seriously consider these when you want a new 2.1 system, they not only sound great, but look really unique as well. I'm glad I've got them.

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          18.01.2006 23:23
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          Great looks and the sounds quality is superb

          ---Brief--- I bought these speakers to replace an old aiwa 2.1 system for my computer. The speakers looked the part and i wanted to buy something that could equal the sound of my hifi system. The reason for this being that i now store the majority of my music on my computer and rarely use my hifi system. Sorting through albums and songs on something such as media player, is far easier than sorting through a big pile of cd's and ending up in a mess! ---Sound--- The speakers are strongly built and very soild. They sounded a little stiff brand new, but from experience with other speakers i expected that. I ran them at low volume for few hours to break them in. This is suggested by many speaker firms to prevent damage to new speakers. I put the satellite speakers on the table top, about 2 feet from each other, and the sub under the table. The two satellite speakers are heavy in weight for their size and give remarkable definition and with the bass boost twist at the back of the sub, you'll be amazed how easy the balanced tone can be adjusted. The speakers are great at high volumes. I am yet to turn them up fully! They also sound very soild even at low volume. I would almost say the sound is crisper and clearer than my £250 sony hifi. ---Appearance--- These speakers look the business! Harman Kardon share designs with Apple computers and this is shown. The satellite speakers are set in a clear casing which shows off the wiring superbly. The satellites are made up of 4 dome tweeters and have a heavy blue rubber stand. The sub is the centre piece. I am dissapointed that i do not have room for this on my desk as it looks so good! Almost like a jelly fish the sub is set in a clear casing with a blue LED that reflects off the casing, giving an almost eerie appearance. They are the future! The satellites and sub are relatively small in comparison to other speakers of the same size and quality. My brother has a 2.1 creative setup that cost around the same amount and the sub is twice the size of this however the performance is no better. --Cons--- I'd be happier if the bass adjust knob was placed at the front of the sub rather than the back, so i can hear the difference in tone whilst i am adjusting. You can imagen how difficult this is when i am adjusting the bass level underneath my desk! The speakers also don't have any kind of indication on peak or threshold volume-wise, the touch volume control is good to use, but very often i am worrying whether i am asking too much of the speakers. This was mostly a concern to me when the speakers were new however. ---Overall--- I would recommend this system to anyone looking for a mid priced speaker set for either their comuter or ipod. The Soundsticks sound superb, and combined with artistic design make an awesome speaker set up. Thumbs up to harmon kardon!

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        • Product Details

          Harman Kardon's SoundSticks II three-piece speaker system produces high-quality stereo sound for Music, MP3's, movies and gaming experiences.

          SoundSticks II encourages consumers to step out of the ordinary speaker world and offers sound in an original and unique package. The system, described as curvy, sleek and sexy, provides consumers with sound that is loud and clear.

          SoundSticks II employs a new computer-optimized multi-band parametric equalization and Harman's unique "capacitance touch" control buttons on the right satellite allow for direct access to volume control.

          Technical Data

          Product Description: Harman/kardon SoundSticks II - speaker system - For PC - wired
          Product Type: Speaker system - PC multimedia - 2.1-channel - wired
          System Components: 2 speakers, subwoofer
          Nominal Output Power (Total): 40 Watt
          Response Bandwidth: 44 - 20000 Hz
          Audio Amplifier: Integrated
          Speaker System Details: 2 x satellite speaker - 10 Watt
          1 x subwoofer - 20 Watt
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