Harman Kardon Go+Wireless: Music to your ears

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Apr 10 2014, 22:45pm hrs
In the eighties, a large number of Gulf returnees used to descend on the Indian soil with three key items in their baggagea two-in-one, dry fruits and some amount of gold. Among these, a radio and cassette player-cum-recorder was a must-have; people used to listen to news and their choice of music on these portable audio systems. Mind you, we are talking about the pre-satellite television days when Doordarshan and All India Radio were the chief sources of entertainment and the once-in-a-week Chitrahaar and weekend Hindi movies used to be high on the priority list of viewers.

The Harman Kardon Go+Wireless wireless speaker will ship you back to that era; its big stainless steel handle bears a striking resemblance to the two-in-ones of those times. But in terms of performance and technology inside, this innovation from Harman International is vastly superior. It is a high performance, wireless speaker designed to work with a slew of Apple devices iPad mini, iPad (4th generation), iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th generation) or iPod nano (7th generation)as well as Bluetooth-equipped mobile phones, laptops and tablets. It is definitely not cheap at R24,990, but the sound reproduction makes it worthwhile.

Harman International is an American audio and infotainment equipment company. It designs, manufactures and markets audio and infotainment products for the car, the home, theatres and venues, as well as electronics for audio professionals. Harman Internationals consumer group makes loudspeakers, CD and DVD players, CD recorders, and amplifiers under several brand names such as Crown, Harman Kardon, JBL, Lexicon, Infinity and Selenium.

Harman Kardon has been making the Go+Play speakers for a number of years and their latest device is geared up for the mobile age with wireless connectivity. Out of the box, the portable Harman Kardon Go+Play Wireless is definitely not small, like those tiny wireless speakers populating the marketplace these days. It measures 27.6 x 55.9 x 28.9 cm in body dimensions and will occupy a decent amount of space on your table or sideboard. At 4.3 kg, the products weight could be a problem for those fond of super-thin devices.

The Go+Play speakers are renowned for their looks and the latest wireless version stands out in the crowd with its curved base and a long curved handle running across the top of the speaker. There are two identical grilles on the front and back of the speaker, housing a woofer and tweeter array. On the rear panel are the power socket, a 3.5 mm input and a USB socket, which are concealed behind rubber lids. The two Atlas woofers produce extended bass performance with minimal distortion, while two Ridge tweeters project sonic clarity over a wide listening area. This device is mains or battery-operated, so you can carry it along anywhere you want to.

The Harman Kardon Go+Play Wireless also has a great memory; when it is powered on, this speaker remembers all your previous settings, a convenient feature that saves you both time and energy. Most important, Harman Kardon has not overcomplicated the speaker by adding too many control buttons.

Setting up the Go+Play Wireless is simple. You just need to turn on the speaker and visit Settings on your device. Choose the Go+Play from the Bluetooth list and itll connect. Bluetooth is fairly easy to connect and all the directions are pretty basic and easy to follow. At my end, I connected it to a BlackBerry phone and all audio from my device began to bounce through the speaker system. I listen to a lot of music and I have been very impressed with the depth and tone this thing delivers. Moreover, I love being able to control everything from song selection to volumeright from my mobile phone.

An important thing to bear in mind is that you can only pair one device at a time. Pairing a different device requires you to power down the speakers and hold the power button to re-enter pairing mode. Therefore, after my phone I paired the Go+Play Wireless with a Dell laptop and again, audio quality was great. Youll get a rich, full spectrum of sound with tight, thunderous bass.

Lets fact it: most of our mobile phones, laptops and tablets are Bluetooth-capable. And we are not using them just for work; we are using them to listen to music, watch movies and play games as well. You can connect your Bluetooth-enabled devices to the Harman Kardon Go+Play Wireless and get superior sound quality from all of your audio sources.

Take my advice, grab the Go+Plays sleek, stainless steel handle and take beautiful sound wherever you go.

Estimated street price: Rs 24,990