Harman Kardon Esquire 2 Quick Review
Harman Kardon’s Bluetooth speaker speaks elegance when pulled out of the box. Can its design live up to the promise of a quality speaker from the known brand? Here’s a quick review of the Esquire 2 portable Bluetooth speaker.
Design and Construction
The Bluetooth speaker has a purse-like rectangular design which is mostly made out of aluminum. Its front is occupied by a subtly convex grille surface with a silver ‘harman/kardon’ branding in the middle.
To its right are the I/O ports, namely the full-size USB for the power bank feature, 3.5mm jack for audio out, and the micro-USB port for charging the speaker’s battery.
While on the left are five LED indicators for the battery level. A full charge shows 5 white lit LEDs and a depleted cell gives a blinking single LED.
On top are all the buttons to be found on the device. From left to right, we have the power button, Bluetooth switch, answer key, and mute button. Also, there’s a textured long bar for the volume control.
Its bottom is barely empty aside from the two rubber feet that help the Esquire stand in its place.
Flipping it on its back will show the leather finish and a shiny chrome flip-stand. The tip of the stand has a rubber strip to prevent the speaker from slipping.
In a nutshell, the design concept of the Esquire is a picture frame placed on the table. The chrome-coated stand and the rubber feet will keep the speaker in place even when used at high volume. It’s light and can be placed wherever you want since the overall aesthetic of the speaker is not an issue when placed among other decors.
Connectivity and Features
The Esquire 2 uses Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity to pair with your music source. We’ve managed to connect the Esquire to multiple smartphones we have and setup has been straightforward like with any Bluetooth-enabled device. There’s no NFC onboard which is not much of a problem but would have been nice to have. You can have two simultaneous connections with the Bluetooth speaker and take turns in control.
As claimed by the manufacturer, there is a quad-mic configuration or four microphones built-in to the speakers. This allows for a greater conferencing and better voice capture during hands-free calling. We tried it for a couple of times with no trouble on both sides of the call.
With a week of using the Esquire 2, it didn’t disappoint in performance. When starting the day with some acoustic songs, it’s able to give satisfying mellow to the tunes. The highs and mids are in great quality considering the size of the speaker. Vocals are clear and small details from the guitar are produced.
Although, when it comes to bass, the speaker doesn’t give a gratifying depth. Perhaps due to the slim design, the bass is somewhat less likable when compared to the likes of JBL Pulse 2.
In terms of loudness, this speaker can easily fill a medium-sized room. Cranking the volume up doesn’t distort output. The overall sound quality has been good on most songs we played, but you might crave for more if you’re a bass lover.
Harman Kardon claims that it can last for 8 hours of continuous streaming thanks to the 3200mAh Lithium polymer battery inside. With our usage, it managed to last between 6 to 7 hours of playback in varying volume. Charging time takes about 3.5 hours using a standard charger lying around since there’s no included wall charger.
For those looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker to carry around and elegant enough to pass as a decor, then the Esquire 2 from Harman Kardon is a good choice. Its conferencing feature is also plus for business use, and while there’s a power bank capability, the battery capacity is quite low.
The Harman Kardon Esquire 2 has a SRP of Php10,995 and is available in all JBL Store, and A. Refinery branches – UP Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu and Abreeza Mall Davao.
Harman Kardon Esquire 2 specifications:
Transducer: 4 x 32mm
Rated power: 2 x 8W
Frequency response: 75-20kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: > 80dB
USB charge output: 5V 1A
3200mAh Lithium polymer battery
190 x 34 x 130 mm
What we liked about it:
- Portable and elegant
- Good overall sound quality
- Noise canceling microphones
What we didn’t:
- Lacks deep bass
- Doesn’t include any accessories