Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AppleBecks, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. AppleBecks macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2007
    I am looking into purchasing the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks II. Can anyone tell me if they are Leopard compatible. I have done a little searching and found in a few articles that the sub has issues working with Leopard. Is this true? Does anyone use the Soundsticks with Leopard? Any info would be appreciated.
  2. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    I believe the original soundsticks were USB so you might run into some problems...but I have the soundsticks II and they plug into the audio port of the back of my iMac. They work the same with Leopard as they did with tiger: perfectly.
  3. AppleBecks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2007
    Thankyou, I just read that they connect through the headphone jack. That's correct I assume. I have a MacBook so I was worried that it didnt have the audio port. Audio port= Headphone jack..... = Newb.
  4. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    lol, that's how we all learn after all, right?
  5. admiraldennis macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    Boston, MA
    I'm at home using my old USB Soundsticks under 10.5 right now, no problems at all!
  6. the Otter macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2001
    Lafayette, IN
    Having trouble here.

    They’re technically compatible, but I often have trouble with them disappearing after sleep (Rev. A Power Mac G5 dual 2GHz, lotsa RAM & HD space). Restarting the computer fixes the problem. (On the bright side, I believe :apple: is aware of the problem and is planning a fix in v.10.5.2.)
  7. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    Like admiraldennis I'm using Harmon Kardon Soundsticks (the USB connection) with my Mac Pro with Leopard 10.5.1 and everything was fine before and after the Leopard install... so thankfully no issues here either.

    In a related note (which might be adding some confusion) the Harmon Kardon iSubs aren't supported with Leopard for some reason. This issue has affected my Dad's computer and I've seen plenty of posts about it on the Apple support pages. There are some temporary work-arounds but a lot of people are hoping Apple will address the issue soon.
  8. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    I've got some Soundsticks II and they sound pretty good for the money. Just be careful with the sticks themselves - both of mine split in half
  9. AppleBecks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2007
    I also read a bunch of stuff on the iSubs not working. I looked for what the iSubs were in the Apple store and they did not have them. I heard they were discontinued. Originally, I thought the iSub was the lighted component of the Soundsticks which led me to believe there was a problem with Leopard compatibility.
  10. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    I think I read somewhere that the Harmon Kardon the iSub has been discontinued for about 5 years! :eek: Though you're not alone thinking that the iSub was the "lighted component" of the sound sticks. They are almost identical in shape and function and I think a lot of people still refer to it as an iSub, however (to be clear) the 'soundstick' sub woofer provides connections to the sound sticks and a woofer volume control ... and for some reason still works in Leopard while the original iSub is left unsupported. A lot of iSubs are still going strong so I'm hoping somebody will slap together a iSub driver that will work with Leopard!
  11. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    I have the iSub (it iSucks by the way) and yes, it doesn't work in Leopard. It doesn't not just work, but actually brings the entire computer to a halt.

    Anyway, the Soundsticks II don't use USB like the iSub does, and instead uses a regular audio in/headphone/auxiliary jack/whatever you want to call it.
  12. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    same :eek:
  13. Mugwumper macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Temecula, CA
    So does this mean . . .

    old SoundSticks are not working? ;^) Here's the situation:

    I've been running 10.5.1 on a 20" G5 iMac, and everything is fine -
    except the sound coming out of iTunes didn't seem like it is the
    same as before. I assumed it was Sound Check not working, then I
    "discovered" iVolume and fixed my songs.

    Then I noticed (as others posted) that the Sound pref seemed not to
    hold the left-right balance of my SoundSticks (original USB). And
    tonight, I tried a Kitaro song with tons of bass ("Matsuri" with booming
    taiko drums) - and where I used to be able to rattle the windows
    with it, I can barely hear any bass. :^(

    Since I've had these SoundSticks for 4 or 5 years, I've been wondering
    if they are just getting "old" - and thus I'm looking for an excuse to
    spend $$ and help the economy. ;^) But if indeed this is a known
    problem, maybe all will be well (better?) in 10.5.2 or whatever.

    The big question: how do I know where the problem is?

    Thanks for any advice . . .
  14. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    Ironically my SS1 died 3 days ago lol i bought the SSII and they're much bassier and louder!! Huge difference!
  15. Mugwumper macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Temecula, CA
    Tell me more ;^)

    je1ani -

    Can you tell me what happened when they died? How did you know?
    What I'm trying to figure out is whether mine are "near death" or if
    this is just a Leopard problem, as others have reported.

    Also, where do you have your subwoofer - on your desktop, or on the
    floor? Mine has been on a carpeted floor under the desk where my iMac
    is, and I just put it on a hard surface to raise it off the carpet.

    In general, is USB audio "better" than an audio jack? Do the controls on
    the speakers control the sound better?

    And I've seen the HK SSII at $109 and the Klipsch ProMedia at $110 - both
    seem to be good choices . . .

    Thanks . . .
  16. Freddie473 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have my sub under the desk the imac is siting on also a carpeted floor like yours. Love the SoundSticks II, they get a lot of use around here.
  17. nodmonkey macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Hampshire, UK

    For me, the clue I had a problem was The Beatles, When I'm Sixty-Four.

    When I get older, loosing my hair, many years from now. [silent pause] Will you still be...
    "Hey! Where's the doo-doo-doodle-doo?"

    Well, I too had this problem with the original USB Soundsticks and Leopard. Oddly, the output through iTunes had the balance all off, so sounds was playing mono (but through both speakers) yet when playing the same aac file through Quicktime, the sound was the correct stereo... weird!

    BUT, the wonders of the internet have revealed to me the solution. ( By opening the Audio Midi Setup Utility (in Applications>Utilities), I was able to set the system output to Soundsticks, then chose "Properties for: Soundsticks". For some reason the Audio Output settings there were for format "48000.0 Hz, 1ch-16bit". Changing this to "48000.0 Hz 2ch 24bit" SOLVED the problem in iTunes stereo playback.

    The funny thing is I have been listening to mono tunes in iTunes probably since installing Leopard and haven't really noticed... though I have felt like something wasn't right, I didn't really know or think to investigate. Shows my poor ear for good stereo! Now, though, music sounds SO much better.
  18. BaronvdB macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    I have the soundsticks II...they work with anything that has an audio jack..they sound great! and look very macish...i've always been a fan of h/ dad has the bose companion 5 speaker set and those sound even better (but cost more too).
  19. marcre macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2008
    East coast
    My USB soundsticks don't seem to be working too well with leopard. I just got a new iMac and I need to do a restart at times to get them to work. They worked fine on my older iMac with 10.4.11 on it. I don't think they've gone bad, but I'm not sure why they wouldn't be compatible.

    Hopefully it gets fixed in the next update as I don't want to get new speakers when these work(ed). They work upon starting, but I put my mac to sleep when not in use and it seems to be after a few wake ups that it happens. I've had the new iMac less than a week and just started having the problem today.
  20. veeco3110 macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2007
    brick nj
    i want these really using monster II jbls
  21. dhc macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    No problems under leopard with with my Soundsticks (usb), other than my dog deciding they look pretty tasty..:eek: Not quite transparent anymore (scratches), but functioning beautifully (I got to them just in time).

    I get a really open and honest sound from them, unlike my wife's JBL creatures, which sound compressed and (too) tight to my ear.

    Must've had these sticks about 5(?) years now; when these sticks finally give up the ghost, my gut feeling is that I'll replace them with the 2nd revision, but who knows what'll be available then?
  22. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    I have Sound Sticks II connected to the iMac G5 and have no problems running them under Leopard.
  23. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    I have the Soundsticks, running Leopard, and a new Alum iMac.....sound is no different than on my old G4 Dualie I had.

    Did you checkout the HK Creatures? Comes in many colors, smaller satellites and sound almost as good for less $$$$.
  24. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    I have the Soundsticks II and am very pleased! They have been problem-free for more than 2 years.
  25. Brianna macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2008
    My soundsticks have been MIA since the 10.5.2 update. They are totally off the Map. There is a USB IO problem that shows up in single user boot mode when they are plugged in. Apples user forums have a lot of users with this problem. Hopefully it will be fixed via software update soon.

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