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195 of 205 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2010
After hearing the Harman Kardon II's a few times from my friends, and in the Apple store, I was intrigued and wanted to give these a shot.

It's worth noting that this model is an upgrade from the previous Harman Kardon Soundsticks II. There a few differences:
1. Black base on the HK3 instead of the previous white. Personally I think the black looks much sleeker.
2. The audio cables are detachable rather than attached directly to the subwoofer. It's also worth noting that the cables are not detachable from the satellite speakers however.
3. Instead of the blue LED light that featured in the previous version, this one shows off a white LED light. Which one is `better' is down to personal preference, I like the white one myself.

Thoughts:

These speakers are really something special. The sound clarity is so accurate and crisp that I have noticed some of my songs in my collection have a `hiss' sound that I have never heard before, indicating they are poor quality versions. Furthermore, I hear sounds in songs that I've not heard before on my late Logitech Z-2300's. The louder you play these speakers the more beautiful the sound is. They are also superb for movies, the bass can easily be turned down preventing it from drowning out the vocals in films. Overall in terms of sound they are easily the best I've heard in this price range, and I honestly think they are not far off the Bose Companions.

In terms of physical build, despite the sensational design, no compromises on quality were made. They feel so solid and quality. The speaker's angle can be adjusted depending on how you prefer them. Just a word of advice, the angle of the speakers and their location can have a big influence on the quality of the sound produced. It's something that's worth getting right. The subwoofer is beautiful with three wires coming out from the back, all of which are detachable. The wires feel strong and are also a similar colour to the system making them fit in perfectly.

The Good:
- Amazing sound quality and bass
- Easy on the eyes
- Solid build
- Priced well

The Bad:
- Too many bulky cables come from the back of the subwoofer

I've owned these for two weeks now, and will add more details if anything relevant comes up. So far, so good though!

Prior to purchasing these speakers I owned the Logitech Z-2300 set. Here is a quick comparison between the two, if you are deciding between these two speaker sets:
1. The Logitech has much deeper bass than the HK3 set, but excessive bass that drowned out the rest of the sound. That makes the Logitechs poor for movies.
2. The HK3 is obviously much sexier, smaller, and more desk friendly.
3. Although the Logitech Z-2300's are obviously much louder, the HK3 provides more than enough volume for the average user, even if it's for a house party.
4. Finally the quality of the sound and its clarity is far more superior on the HK3.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2012
Just set these up and very pleased with the results. Good clear sound with rich deep bass available from the subwoofer - a little awkward to adjust the bass response but once set I guess there will be little need to adjust it further so no great hardship. Only drawback is untidy wiring at back of subwoofer though if placed under a desk it won't be seen too easily I guess. Out of stock at Richer Sounds at £100 but PC World do them for £120 and they're well worth that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2012
First of all I do not understand why these are priced at £99 and there are a couple of versions around for £124 or something..I really cannot c the difference after reading the specs for the other models.

Anyways, these speakers look the part and most importantly SOUND the part. Friends will desire them with envy and the only disadvantage really is the lack of remote control to adjust the volume. But really these days when u can remotely connect on your laptop or use the phone to manipulate the sound WHO CARES!!?

When watching movies the sound is amazing. Doors open and slam like in the cinema, cars crash with a bang, planes are passing in front of your eyes and helicopters are genuinely flying in your living room. Concerning songs it really depends on the quality of the song. Mp3 they are ok but if you really want the bass to rock the party you need to go for FLAC files. They produce the best quality of sound.

Some users give them 4 stars because the sound is not loud enough for them. This is only because they do not know how to use them! There is not a MAXIMUM sound for these speakers that really depends on the quality of the file you are playing. You will never listen to these speakers scrambling because the volume is too much, BECAUSE THEY JUST WON'T, no fear of damaging them! You can easily connect them to your tv or laptop as they are using a standard 3.5mm head audio jack. Just remember before you do connect them; MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE THEY ARE OFF, connect them first and then switch them on!

Lastly the blue glow on the main unit gives a bit of alien aura to them and the right standing speaker unit has a - and a + for the volume that needs barely touching in order to operate.For me the best speakers around and if you are thinking of buying a good set of speakers of about £60 it is far better to give 39 more and get these ones as the other ones they will burn sooner or later. 3 years now and they still look and sound like brand new. A VALUE FOR MONEY CHOICE in my humble opinion.

El Greco
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2011
Outstanding.
Sci-Fi looks with a performance to match.
The first set I received were faulty, but Amazon's service as always was beyond reproach, and the replacements are perfect.
Enough power for a large room, and no distortion until high levels.
The Sub-woofer holds the power amp and all the connections, and the bass output is adjustable via a rotary control.
Volume controls are mounted at the base of the R/H speaker, are touch sensitive, and work very well. To mute just touch both at the same time.
The satellite units that sit at each side of your monitor are only 10" tall, but contain 4x1" transducers. The bass amplifier is 20W RMS, and the sats are 10W RMS each, so you have 40W RMS to play with, which I can assure you is plenty, especially if you have neighbours.
If you have something like my kit with a Realtek HD audio manager to play with, then the clarity of highs via the HK units is exceptional.
For the money these must be the best value by a long way.
Unless you have £500 to throw away, don't bother looking any further. Just buy these.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2011
I've just been introduced to the wonders of the i7-2600K processor and the possibility of being able to work my photographs and listen to music at the same time. That's not something I've been able to do for a while; Photoshop is amazingly resource hungry. So, with the possibilities offered an upgrade to my old, but ever faithful Yamaha YM-10 system was required.

Having spent some considerable time researching my options, I was torn between the Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra MX6021 and the Harman Kardon Soundsticks III. I was biased towards the latter given the huge size of the sub-woofer on the Altec system. While most reviews were rapturous about the system, several were critical of the bass; a surprise given the size of the before mentioned bass unit. When I came across the Harman Kardon Soundsticks III at the bargain price available on Amazon though, my decision was made.

Initial impressions were good. The packaging was a little `cheap' looking to be honest, but the speakers survived the trip. Lifting out the components I was immediately taken with the quality of the product. I've read that these speakers have permanent residence in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and I can see why. They are stunning. They look even better in the flesh then they do in any of the photo's I've seen. While the components are essentially acrylic, they're very solid and have a quality feel to them. Setting up the system was very simple and the satellite speakers look great next to my new monitor. The bass unit is very pretty, but I don't have the space for it on my desk, so it's on the floor where it belongs. SO, having unpacked, I plugged the units in, fired up iTunes and rocked out!

I was initially flummoxed by the perceived sound quality - a little muffled - but as others have already discussed in their review, the satellites are highly directional, so positioning makes a big difference. Oh, boy is it worth a couple of minutes setting up. I have the satellites sitting one either side of the monitor, tilted back from fully vertical by about 10 degrees and angled slightly inward. Try sitting at your normal spot on the workstation and `aim' the speakers at your ears. Bliss is bound to ensue.

I had previously taken note of a review on the Amazon.com site by a gentleman who found, as I did, that the top-end was a little too bright.[...] and toned down the output using the iTunes equalizer as Andrew recommended. I've had this problem before, and much of this has to do with the environment. I've not much in the way of soft furnishings in my office.

I've read a couple of reviews that say that the bass is a little lite with this system. All I can say is that this is not a problem I can verify. I would suggest that putting the sub-woofer on the desk may look great; it certainly is pretty, but if its sound quality you're after, then a rock solid concrete floor covered with a good dense carpet is the way forward. Bass is no longer the `thump-thump-thump' that the Yamaha sub-woofer provided, but a spectacular and tuneful rendition of the notes being played. If you ramp up the volume, you can start moving your internal organs about with the beat. There's no problem that I have on my copy of this system in that department. The bass is rock solid. Try a little Deadmau5 at volume and watch the pictures fall off the walls.

In summery then, I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. The Harman Kardon Soundsticks III look and sound amazing. They are capable of high quality, crystal clear sound quality with clinical levels of clarity at the top end and grinding bass that's equally in evidence when driven hard, and at more serine volume levels that are certain not to annoy the neighbours. You don't have to make your ears bleed to appreciate these speakers, though they certainly will go very loud if required. For the £99.99 I paid for them they're nothing less than a solid gold bargain and I have no difficulty recommending them.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
This set of ultra-modern, minimalistic, faux-industrial speakers is popular and held in high esteem by many. Such an enviable reputation is well-deserved, and comes to them courtesy of several factors, the main three of which I outline below.

1: The sound. They sound fantastic. The mids and highs are as clear as bells, and the level of bass can be controlled by turning the main power button on the subwoofer. The volume goes plenty loud, adjusted by touch-sensitive buttons on the right satellite speaker. It's difficult to describe in words just how great the audio quality of these speakers is. Listening to them you feel immersed in their sound - as if it's coming to you out of thin air. Several times I've found myself leaning towards the left or right speaker, just to check that such perfect music is issuing from the speakers and not just playing in my head. That's right: these speakers are so good they can actually cause you to start doubting your own sanity. You don't normally get such sonic nirvana for a price like this.

2: The functionality. Though intended for use with a desktop computer, these speakers can be connected to pretty much anything with audio-out capability. Connect them to a laptop or a media player or a television and - hey presto! - you've got excellent sound. The only thing that's missing is a headphone port, though even this criminal omission can't manage to reduce this set of speakers to being anything less than a 5-star product. (If you want these speakers but really need a headphone port, buy a cheap USB audio interface and use the headphone port on that.)

3: The design. And what a design it is! Shiny aluminium transducers. Torus-shaped bases that render the speakers attached to them inclinable. Silky-smooth contours. See-through plastic! Harman Kardon's SoundSticks III really are a sight to behold. As well as being ultra-modern, minimalistic and faux-industrial, the satellite speakers are also wonderfully space-saving compared to many other desktop speakers. It's just a shame they don't light up like the subwoofer does, but maybe the next generation will correct this forgivable - and glaringly obvious - design misstep.

So there you have it. The Harman Kardon SoundSticks III have virtually everything you could wish for in a desktop speaker system: fantastic sound, great functionality and a gorgeously attractive design. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the subwoofer looks like a futuristic, luminescent, robotic version of a box jellyfish, and that each satellite speaker has the shape of... well, something of a size most people can only dream of?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This set of ultra-modern, minimalistic, faux-industrial speakers is popular and held in high esteem by many. Such an enviable reputation is well-deserved, and comes to them courtesy of several factors, the main three of which I outline below.

1: The sound. They sound fantastic. The mids and highs are as clear as bells, and the level of bass can be controlled by turning the main power button on the subwoofer. The volume goes plenty loud, adjusted by touch-sensitive buttons on the right satellite speaker. It's difficult to describe in words just how great the audio quality of these speakers is. Listening to them you feel immersed in their sound - as if it's coming to you out of thin air. Several times I've found myself leaning towards the left or right speaker, just to check that such perfect music is issuing from the speakers and not just playing in my head. That's right: these speakers are so good they can actually cause you to start doubting your own sanity. You don't normally get such sonic nirvana for a price like this.

2: The functionality. Though intended for use with a desktop computer, these speakers can be connected to pretty much anything with audio-out capability. Connect them to a laptop or a media player or a television and - hey presto! - you've got excellent sound. The only thing that's missing is a headphone port, though even this criminal omission can't manage to reduce this set of speakers to being anything less than a 5-star product. (If you want these speakers but really need a headphone port, buy a cheap USB audio interface and use the headphone port on that.)

3: The design. And what a design it is! Shiny aluminium transducers. Torus-shaped bases that render the speakers attached to them inclinable. Silky-smooth contours. See-through plastic! Harman Kardon's SoundSticks III really are a sight to behold. As well as being ultra-modern, minimalistic and faux-industrial, the satellite speakers are also wonderfully space-saving compared to many other desktop speakers. It's just a shame they don't light up like the subwoofer does, but maybe the next generation will correct this forgivable - and glaringly obvious - design misstep.

So there you have it. The Harman Kardon SoundSticks III have virtually everything you could wish for in a desktop speaker system: fantastic sound, great functionality and a gorgeously attractive design. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the subwoofer looks like a futuristic, luminescent, robotic version of a box jellyfish, and that each satellite speaker has the shape of... well, something of a size most people can only dream of?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2013
I spend quite a few days trying to decide which speakers to buy. So I think I did my homework pretty well.
Initially I wanted to get a speaker system without a subwoofer due to limited space. But... and a HUGE but... nothing on the market, this side of £200 doesn't sound even remotely close to a system with a subwoofer.

Next, price... these are quite a bit more than JBL Creatures, which I also considered, but Harman Kardons sound way better. And I personally think its money well spent.

HK Soundsticks are not without fault. They look great with that transparent polycarbonate but they are nightmare to maintain clean in a busy household.
All wires in the sub are hardwired so if anything goes wrong, nothing you can do but replace the whole unit.
Cables...although very thick and well protected they are are everywhere around your computer/laptop and don't go well with nice and clean lines of the speakers.

BUT... you will overlook all these minor faults when you have them set up and start listening some music or watch a movie.
They are simply stunning at this price range.
Again, if you are looking for some VERY loud speakers, look elsewhere. Logitech is a good choice for you than.
My old 2.1 speakers were Logitech z340. They are stupendously loud. But you can't really make out words in a song at the top end. My 10 year old son loves them, so he ended up having them since HK's arrived.
Soundsticks on the other hand are beautifully clear. And don't make mistake, I am not saying they are not loud... they are, but in a civilized way.

All in all, these are great speakers, well worth the Amazon price (not sure if I can include price or if I can compare other shops here, but just google and you will see what I am on about). I don't know if I would pay nearly double the amount which is the RRP.
Harman Kardon Soundsticks III will put a smile on your face every time you listen to them and well deserve 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2012
A friend recommended these speakers and after reading some reviews that were making them sound mediocre and that there are better ones on the market, I started looking around for 3 weeks manically in forums and reviews trying to find the best set of speakers. Being a bit OCD helped a bit too.

Everyone is too critical about speakers to the point where it's misleading! I wanted expert, geek reviews not just anybody's and basically discovered that these guys are not happy with anything and will find fault in almost all speakers. So before going crazy with all the indecisiveness and info overload I took my friends advice and I'm glad i did that!

I wanted a good set of speakers for my room and I kept looking for the best ones forgetting that I don't own a club and it's just for my room (which is quite big) and the sound is AMAZING! My teeth are grinding from the bass and the high frequency sounds are crystal clear. I was gonna fall in the trap of buying amazing quality ones and not actually be able to use them to the full extend of their ability! I was also thinking that the whole look was original and swanky when they first came out and now they'd look a bit outdated and passe but they look great!

Finally the wires are just fine people should remember we're talking about speakers! and the whole ON/OFF button being located at the back of the subwoofer is a bit boring ok but whatever! You don't really use it that much to care!

Bottom line is these speakers look great and sound even better! Don't let those nerds fool you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2015
Apart from an issue with shipping, this has been a truly wonderful experience. The speakers are easy to set up, using the basing 3.5mm interface (AUX cable). The mids and highs on these speakers are so crisp it actually took a while to get used to the quality. I'm a musician, and this is the closest I've come to really hearing live music with any of my speakers to this date (including some supposedly higher-end systems).

The quality, for the price of these speakers, is tremendous. My only complaint is that sometimes the white LED in the sub case turns off randomly and won't turn back on without several on/off cycles of the speakers, but other than that, I have no complaints. I'm sure that once these start to get a little older/blow, I will more than than likely pick up another set.
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