Harman SoundSticks advice needed

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by davrouk, May 24, 2003.

  1. davrouk Guest

    Having just got my iMac 17" (and how cool is that), I feel I need better speakers than the one's that come with the iMac. i have temp. gone back to using my old PC Cambridge Soundworks FSP100 setup.

    Obviously, I'm looking at the soundsticks. But £129 UKP seems quite pricey. So, the big questions...

    is the price tag justified in the sound quality?
    How does the USB affect things?
    Any incompatabilities to worry about (I only have apple mouse/keyboard and epson printer on USB)?
    Does it drain the system resources (1Ghz iMac 768Mb RAM)?
    Will i notice any peformance difference from my iMac?
    Will they output at the same time as the analogue headphone out on my iMac (i want to use Traktor DJ 2 to output the main to the soundsticks and the monitor to the headphone socket - will this work?)

    Many thanks to any helpers

  2. dynamicd macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    I have the same computer as you and I've also been looking for new speakers. From what I've gathered from most of the opinions on this site, the soundsticks are way overpriced and you're better off going for the JBL creatures or the Klipsch Promedia line. I just wish the previous two looked as good as the soundsticks. :rolleyes:
  3. Freg3000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 22, 2002
    New York
    I have the Sound Sticks, and I don't think that there are any problems due to the fact that the speakers are USB (which is a littler weird to me). They look great, sound great, and cost a lot. It's really up to you. I think the cool factor of they way they look makes the prices justified.
  4. sparkleytone macrumors 68020


    Oct 28, 2001
    Greensboro, NC
    i LOVE my soundsticks. yeah they are overpriced. they sound great and i wouldnt trade em for cash. luckily i got them for my birthday.
  5. Jaykay macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2002
    I love the soundsticks, they work brilliantly. Worth every penny.
  6. nixd2001 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2002
    I get occassional problems with my SoundSticks where something gets slightly out of sync and I have to pause and unpause iTunes to get the audio working sensibly again - I guess it's due to sending the data via USB but I don't know for certain.

    They look absolutely gorgeus flanking a 23" cinema display :D They sound pretty good as well.
  7. Cabot macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2003
    Get the Soundsticks

    I paid about $180 US for mine and they are great. They sound excellent and compliment my Cube and Studiodisplay nicely. The sound is very rich and I have yet to hvae a problem with them being USB. The Harman Kardon subwoofer that comes with them is great too. 20 watts and there is a single blue LED that makes it glow. The BASS is adjustable on the sub and via software. The main reason these things cost so much is the fact that they are Harmon/Kardon. The Soundsticks get pretty loud too, with out distorting anything. I hope this helps!
  8. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    I have a set on my iMac 15" G4, and I love them. From time to time after I unplug and replug (is that a word?) my keyboard, I have to go back in to my Sound Preferences and deselect and reselect them as my out put device for my keyboard volume keys to work (I don't consider this an issue since they keep working and are fine with a restart or logout/login).

    I say get them... The sound quality is awesome and the way the subwoofer glows is way cool too.

    On another note...

    You can use an iSub instead of the sound sticks to add the subwoofer to the exisiting speakers on your iMac (won't help the sound of the speakers but will add tons of bass).

    Also you might want to check out the JBL Creatures. They are way cool and are only abt 99 USD. They use a typical headphone/audio out jack (and can be used with an iPod) they are cool because u can get them the same "SNOW" white color as your iMac and they have an LED under the speakers that glow and light up your desk.

    Let us know what you get!

    My Mac Family...

    iMac 15" FP G4 700, 768MB RAM
    iBook 12" G3 900, 640MB RAM
    iBook 12" G3 700, 384MB RAM
    iPod (2G) 5GB
    iPod (3G) 15GB
  9. evildead macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2001
    WestCost, USA
    I have them

    I have the soundsicks with iSub

    ... they look great, sound great, and look great... did I say look great all ready?

    one thing is that they were bigger than I expected them to be (ordered on line). I think I got the hole set for 150 after a rebate or something... it was a great deal at the time. I dont know what they go for now.

    I have some friends in the music biz with degrees in music. They love my sound sticks and they think the sound quality is great "best computer speakers I have ever heard... and I have heard some really good ones"
  10. zoikers macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2003
    I love the look and the sound. I did originally have a problem where there was a short on a plug into the subwoofer which caused a buzzing in one of the other speakers. Eventually I was ready to give them up for a while and mail them back to Harman Kardon. They sent me a RGA to fill out and in about a week they sent me back a new refurbished set of Speakers. To my dismay I was given a set with a similar problem. Another RGA and another week I was finally in business.
  11. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Re: Harman SoundSticks advice needed

    I've got the soundsticks as well. To answer your questions:
    -The sound quality does justify the price, but unless you're an expert like evildead's friends, the creatures or something similar would probably sound as good.
    -The USB doesn't effect things at all except to take up a usb port. Not sure what you mean. They don't have any data transfer problems or anything like that, if that's what you mean.
    -Everything you have will be compatible without question. I doubt there are any incompatibilities, but certainly none with your set up.
    -Pretty sure they won't drain system resources to any noticable degree. I doubt they would produce any drain at all.
    -I have never noticed a drop in performance using the soundsticks, but then again, I've never done a scientific test. I'm using an ibook 900, 640 RAM, btw.
    -Don't know about your last question.
    I love the soundsticks for both sound and appearance. They sound great at any volume. Hope this helps.
  12. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    SoundSticks are great. They have a huge, room filling sound. I can't believe the power they put out without distorting (I was told that this is because of the four tiny speakers, as opposed to one larger speaker). The iSub has a rich low-end and complements the 'Sticks nicely. I use them for checking mixes to find peaks and drops in frequency compared to my studio monitors, and they hold up well.

    For reference, aside from the 'Sticks and monitors (Events), I also check mixes against a Boston Acoustics setup (satellites and a sub) and Sennheiser headphones. The 'Sticks hold their own.

    Buy them. I wouldn't trade mine for anything. Everyone I know who has a set loves them.

  13. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)

    soundsticks are great. had mine since 2000.

    the problem with monitoring with headphones is that you must choose either soundsticks or "built in" in sys pref. and in your audio program.

    they can't be used in conjunction with another audio interface (ie any i/o with monitor outs) becuase its usb.

    i have gotten used to switching back and forth (in Reason you don't need to change the audio source in sys pref, just in Reason prefs.)

    i use car audio and home systems for a final check (most people don't own professional monitors for casual listening).

    very, very clear.
  14. Kid Red macrumors 65816

    Dec 14, 2001
    I'm another soundstick owner/lover. I have 2 setups before one was cambridge and although the cambridge was louder and a little more bass, the style and overall cleanness of the sound makes me like the soundsticks.
  15. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    i play with them both almost everyday and i prefer the creatures. there isnt much difference between both of them when i listen, buta big priec gap.

  16. hesdeadjim macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Austin, TX
    This is what I did with my Powerbook since I didn't want to pay more for the actually sticks. It really helps a lot and find that it was a good idea. It definitely is an option for lower budgets.
  17. toughboy macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Izmir, Turkey
    I think they are kind of overpriced, but I like the desing of the sticks.. anyway they are good in value (could be better) for the price..
  18. sparkleytone macrumors 68020


    Oct 28, 2001
    Greensboro, NC
    to add a little bit more...

    my listening habits are actually quite stressful on speakers and the soundsticks don't flinch.

    a good way to test any speakers is to listen to well recorded classical/opera. opera and orchestral works make up the most of what i listen to these days, and the soundsticks sound so damn good for computer speakers.
  19. The Shadow macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Re: Harman SoundSticks advice needed

    No you can't run the analogue headphones at the same time. In System Preferences you have to choose the output device: system (meaning headphone jack) or Soundsticks.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. They're beautiful and sound fantastic. If you can afford them, get them! Otherwise, Creatures do the same job and are cheaper. It's just a question of bufget.

    Edit: "bufget"?
  20. davrouk thread starter Guest

    Well, I got them, and all I can say is ... WOW.

    They look well cool, and sound pretty damn nice as well. The instructions said to put the woofer under the desk for optimum peformance, but I didn't really want to hide it!

    And they are more than loud enough for my needs too. If only Traktor DJ could output to two devices at the same time! I wanted to use my headphones at the same time, but the software will only allow the use of one audio device at a time (kinda makes sense I suppose!).

    Anyway (OT). Thanks for all the comments again. Hopefully I will start to make more of a contribution soon rather than just asking q's all the time.

  21. Gymnut macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2003
    Soundsticks. Yawn. :eek:

    Klipsch Promedia 4.2, 2 Klipsch SWS
  22. aethier macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Montréal, Canada
    I have the soundsticks, and the isub, and i do not find that they sound all that great. They are good, but for the price, when i saw the 4.1 altec lancing, for cheaper, i was rather upset that i got the soundsticks insted. I say go with the altec lancing setup. they cost less and sound better. They are slightly uglier but howecares.


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