Harmon Kardon SoundSticks II mini-review

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by queshy, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005

    I just received this set of speakers in the mail, and thought I'd post a mini-review.

    The packaging is nice - I should take some pictures! It is very neatly packed - not as good as apple, but not as bad as dell either.

    The satellites look really really cool, and tilt up and down (something I didn't know). The volume buttons are also touch sensitive which is really neat. You can mute the satellites by pressing +/- at the same time (or just use the apple keyboard ...)

    The sub has a pretty small footprint, and looks really really cool with the blue light.

    Overall, the system matches the iMac perfectly, and this is the best-built speaker system I have ever used.

    Sound quality?

    Here are the speakers I have had experience with:

    Logitech Z2300 (2.1, high rating on CNET!)
    Logitech Z5300 (5.1 analog)
    Logitech Z5450 (5.1, dual rear wireless)
    Built in iMac speakers

    and now the soundsticks. Sound quality wise, the sound sticks blow all of those away! Even the z5450 (for music anyway). I realized I dont watch enough movies to warrant having a 5.1 setup (given that it takes up so much space/cable clutter). For music, which I listen to 99% of the time, these things sound incredible. They are well worth the price. I am not an audiophile, but subjectively, it sounds "richer" than any previous system I've used. Probably because at higher volumes, you can still hear everything clearly, and the midranges sound very clear, and not muffled like they kind of did with the other sets. They also have an incredible design ( I think I said that alread). The satellites are coated in some kind of plastic (but seem very very tough), and hte bases are metal, but coated in some weird material. The base gives them a nice weight to them. The sub looks so great, I would put it on my desk if I had room. I am also impressed by how good the base is that the sub outputs. Sorry if my terminology is all wrong - I'm really not into "audio" but am definitely into listening to music!

    The cons are that there is no remote attachment like the other sets have, and no headphone jack (that is easily accessible). It also seems that they sound best when directly pointed at you, but that might just be me. All I can say is that I am 100% satisfied with this set - they sound incredible and look great. I would recommend them to anyone.

    Their closest competitor is the Logitech Z2300 - I have a pair in another room of the house - and these sound noticeably better.

    I hope you enjoyed my mini-review! Soon I will post my complete setup (iMac and speakers) in the setup thread, so everyone can get a look at the speakers. Thanks for reading!
  2. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Alright, just a follow up. THe speakers seem good, except that when idle (no music playing or anything), they emit a hissing sound that is quite annoying - I don't think it's normal. WHy oh why do I have such bad luck with electronincs...?
    Looks like I have to call harmon kardon now on Monday...
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    That is not normal. My HK II's do not his at all. But you should check to make sure your speaker sound is turned down...start all the way down and then move up until you hear the hissing. Generally it is because you do not have an even balance between the speaker volume level and the computer volume level. Mine can hiss, but I have to make it happen. They don't just hiss for no good reason.
  4. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005

    Even when the speaker sound is turned to zero and the iMac sound is turned to zero (via the keyboard), I can still hear hissing even from one foot away. Do I call HK or something?
  5. mmk1127 macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2007
    Soundsticks issues

    I was just on the manufacturer site and hissing is one of the things they have listed under FAQs so you may want to check there first.

    I haven't used my Soundsticks in a while and when I just used them, the subwoofer (the bass thingy, I think that's what it's called) was VERY low compared to how it used to sound, leaving my music sounding very thin. Anyone have any suggestions or have had this problem? Yes, I checked the volume knob on the side and turned it all the way up.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Go to their site like MMK said, but no I do not believe hissing is totally normal.
  7. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.

    I tried doing that stuff...none of it works. I can still hear the hissing :(
    The hissing seems to be louder than usual for a pair of speakers...
  8. ThomasCK macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2012
    Hi, I bought a pair of Soundsticks III and I can hear the hissing as well. It occurs as soon as I turn on the system. It doesnt have to be connected to the computer.

    Did you find a solution for this problem?
  9. ljonesj macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Kingsport TN
    ok i was going to suggest making sure the audio plug is plugged in all the way. and make sure your wiring is for your house is up to par as u may be getting a feedback from it

Share This Page