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Harman/Kardon Soundsticks Wireless Bluetooth LED Desktop Sound Speaker System with Twin Satellite Speakers and Subwoofer Compatible with Apple iOS, Android and Windows Devices - Transparent
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- 40 watts of amplification
- Bluetooth audio streaming
- Harman TrueStream
- Awe-inspiring industrial design
- 1/8 inch stereo audio connection
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||home AV direct||WorldTech UK||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk|
|Connectivity Technology||Bluetooth||USB; Wired||Wired||USB; Bluetooth; Wireless + Wired||Wired||Wired|
|Item Dimensions||45 x 25 x 25 cm||27 x 27 x 46 cm||19.5 x 25.5 x 26.5 cm||21.5 x 21.5 x 27.5 cm||53.9 x 26.6 x 28.4 cm||1.9 m x 90 cm x 1.7 m|
|Output Wattage||20 watts||10 watts||15 watts||60 watts||35 watts||7 watts|
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Style Name: Wireless
Harman/Kardon Soundsticks Wireless Bluetooth LED Desktop Sound Speaker System feature TrueStream which ensures the high-quality sound no matter the application or source device. Wireless Bluetooth audio streaming from your tablet, phone, MP3 player and laptop. It also features touch controls for volume and mute.
2 Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless satellite speakers
1 Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless subwoofer
1 AC plug
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Harman Kardon decided to install a completely unsecured Bluetooth receiver, that automatically turns on pairing, without a pass-code, the moment the device becomes powered up. I have spent the last 2 weeks listening to notification pings and can hear constant typing, gaming noises and on a few occasions I have even heard people in conversation. The system doesn't prioritise wired sounds over the Bluetooth, it just blends the two inputs, therefore music, video, games have a constant interruption of pings, clicks, beeps and talking has become so invasive. There is no option to turn off the Bluetooth, control its pairing, or even put a pairing pass-code to prevent access by anybody who feels like it.
To add salt to the wound they are not discovered by any of my own Bluetooth enabled devices (even from less then 30 cm away) whether it is my phone, tablet, or iPod. If you intend to use these primarily for your PC I would recommend the wired version, which do not have this seemingly last minute addition and left it with such an obvious design and security flaw. Even changing the volume output of the PC sound card to maximum and the volume of the PC to maximum and turning down the speakers themselves is not enough to block out the unauthorised paired device. It is now so bad that I am in the process of returning them and replacing them with the Soundstick iii without Bluetooth
In trying to find out how to fix this, I discovered that nothing can be done. Because of this, I don't feel I can recommend this specific product, although the sound is great, my experience has been soured by the lack of a simple Bluetooth on/off button, or some security or control.
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.
I'd first seen the Soundsticks II version of these a couple of years ago but couldn't justify the circa £110+ price tag of them at the time. I managed to pick my set up for £69.99 in the Boxing Day Sale so was very happy with the price I paid.
First impressions on getting them out of the box:- The design is out of this world, unlikely any other set of speakers I've ever seen. The set looks incredible. The subwoofer is solid, heavy, and sits nicely on the floor on its feet. The satellites however, by contrast, have quite a cheap feel to them. Obviously the whole set is made from plastic but the satellites feel particularly cheap and slightly flimsy around the 4 1" drivers themselves. On a positive note though, the bases can be swivelled and then tilted, allowing you to adjust the angle of the speakers. This has proven particularly useful for me as my TV is wall mounted and it means I am able to fit them under it on a unit.
Set Up/Ease of use:- The speakers are very easy to set up - the subwoofer connects to the mains, the satellites to the subwoofer and the 3.5mm aux cable from the sub to your input of choice. Power is confirmed with the illumination of a white LED in the sub. The cables supplied are of quite a thick gauge and seem like they are good quality. My main gripes here are that the cables themselves are quite short, so if you are intending to set the satellites reasonably far apart or if your input is far away from the sub you may come unstuck. Also, the fact that the power button to switch the speakers on is situated on the back of the sub means you have to bend down to floor level every time which gets irritating very quickly. The volume of the satellites is controlled by 'touch' buttons on the front of the right speaker. These have an incredibly cheap, flimsy feel to them, however on a positive note, you can mute the whole system by pressing them both at the same time, which I find a nice touch. There also seems to be a standby mode, where power is cut when there has been no input for around 5 minutes, this is useful as it means you can actually get away without having to press the switch on the back of the sub every time you want to use the speakers - although I'm unsure if they still draw power in this mode.
Sound:- The clarity of sound from the satellites seems excellent. Treble in particular is very good but they seem to lack a little in the mid range. For its size, the subwoofer provides incredible, and I mean truly special, punchy bass. I've been using the speakers mostly for watching TV/movies and for my PS3/PS4 and I find that I only need to turn the volume of the subwoofer to around a fifth of it's maximum volume, otherwise the bass drowns out the sound from the satellites. It seems that it's simply possible to turn the volume of the subwoofer much higher than that of the satellites which to me makes the speakers seem like they have a real imbalance. However, the worst point, and the main source of my disappointment is the obvious hissing that emanates from the satellites when they are connected but no sound is being played through them - it is audible from a few feet away. Similarly, if you are playing anything through them with lots of mid/bass they also tend to make quite a horrible crackling sound. It isn't particularly loud but audible enough for me to find it very irritating.
To be perfectly honest, after hearing the crackle I considered returning them but they are still superior enough compared to my standard TV or laptop speakers that I can justify keeping them - especially at the price I paid.
Overall, I would describe these speakers as good, but inherently flawed in a few too many ways to be anything more than that. If you can get them for a good price, they may be worth an investment and you may not be as disappointed as I was. However, at full price I can't help but feel you'd be better off saving your money towards something in a higher price bracket.
The seller is great, too. Amazon messed up a bit and send me a returned item. The seller responded quickly giving me a couple of options on what to do next when I contacted them, and I now have a shiny new set with a no hassle return of the damaged set. All in all, quick, efficient and great comms.
I negative is that the speakers sleep when not in use. There is a slight delay for them to wake up, so you can easily miss alert sounds (hearing an electric click instead) and the first few seconds of video on youtube or similar. Once they are awake, though, they work fine. It is annoying, and there seems to be no way to stop them going to sleep. The version 1 of these did not do this, so it is disappointing that this version does have that flaw.
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