Harman Kardon Soundsticks - Still a good option?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sam5281, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Sam5281 macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2014
    Hey whats up guys!

    Looking to add a quality speaker setup to my desk. Want to keep things minimal. Will be primarily for listening to music. Don't want to blast my neighbors out, but want a quality sounding desktop speaker setup that will also look visually appealing next to a Thunderbolt display. Are the HARMAN KARDON soundsticks still a good option? They've been out for years! Just wondering if there has been anything better. Seems they are blue tooth as well which I prefer because less wires - and less clutter!

    Let me know what you guys think!
  2. negatv1 macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2005
    Can't comment on the Bluetooth Soundsticks, but I have a pair at each of my desks (Soundstick I & II models) and they still sound great to me.
  3. Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    The BOSE Companion 5's are an OUTSTANDING set of speakers. Built like a tank, and the sound quality is great. They're USB, so they have a built in DAC/soundcard which means you'll get the best sound quality possible. And they really do a great job of a convincing 5.1 experience in movies. Not like ACTUAL 5.1, but at times you'd think there were speakers where there aren't.

    One awesome element of the BOSE is that they sound great at low volumes - something BOSE is known for.

    Another option is the Focal XS 2.1 - which I've heard is nothing short of incredible. Also USB, like the BOSE.

    I've owned the SoundSticks, and they sounded really, really nice. I'd go with the BOSE/Focal first, but the SoundSticks are also up there overall, just possibly not so much with the bass, can't remember what their bass response was like. I remember it being impressive, though.
  4. Sam5281 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2014
    Whats the difference?

    Your absolutely right, I actually owned the companion 5 a ways back and loved them. Sold them only because I needed to free up some cash at the time, but was very pleased with them overall. Would definitely buy them again, just exploring different options. The soundsticks are a bit cheaper and see to provide a quality sound. I guess the difference in price of the 2 (Harman Kardon vs Bose) is not significant.
  5. SaSaSushi, Nov 24, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    I bought my first set of the HK SoundSticks III (wired) in June and I love them. They look and sound great to me. They have very crisp, clear and powerful audio with excellent bass response. Thanks to the genius of Jony Ive's design, the HK SSIII also look right at home next to the iMac. :)

    Having been out for so many years without changes is not a negative point in my opinion. I just see it as being hard to improve on such an excellent product.
  6. Sam5281 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2014
    Well said! I see them as a more cost effective option then the Bose companion 5. Though not by much, I think they are a great looking speaker.

    There are basically 2 versions : One w/ bluetooth capability / the other not. The price difference is $60. From what I understand - the system still has wires - but you have the ability to pair any bluetooth device to it and play music. In the next few days I will post a photo of my desk setup / then you guys can help me choose!
  7. iBighouse macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2012
    So, which sound better I wonder, the Soundstick III or the Nova's? Those Nova's would look pretty cool in white next to my iMac.
  8. UniDoubleU macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2014
    I've gotten the Soundsticks a year or so ago on a sale. It's been performing great ever since. It's the Bluetooth version but I just leave them plugged in. Don't really notice any flaws with them.

    But the Bose Companion 5 looks like a great setup, you get the cool headphone 3.5 jacks also which I could use. If I'm in the market right now then I'll try to get the Bose Companion 5 on sale somewhere.
  9. Rian Gray macrumors regular

    Rian Gray

    Jul 13, 2011
    NJ, United States
    Harman Kardon. It's a beautiful piece of speaker. Although I'm not sure about bluetooth version.

    Bose is also definitely one of my favorite, but I wouldn't recommend it for computers. Given the budget, $360 for a set of computer speaker may seem to be over priced compared to Harman Kardon ($170). Don't get me wrong, Bose Companion 5 is a great set of speakers, and I'd totally say aye, IF your computer is the center of entertainment. A lot of people choose to have a dedicated entertainment system with separate TV, audio, and etc., and I'm not sure how many people would be ready to swallow that price tag for just computers. Speaking of which, I actually own both (Bose & HK), and I do love both.

    I'll also have to point out Bose does require specific tastes. I've actually seen one complaining about how "Bose didn't get it right." But those kinds of complaints are quite common, even Amazon has those kinds of reviews. You might want to give it a try at local Bose stores.
  10. Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006

    Well, I've yet to find a "specific taste" that BOSE doesn't work well with regarding the C5's. I think it's more like they're OUTSTANDING for string instrument genres, and that's where they really shine, as with vocals, but to say they "require" specific this and that is misleading. So far, I've found they work great with all genres.

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