BLUETOOTH speakers are everywhere these days and frankly, it’s rather hard to tell one from the other, especially the miniature ones. Of course, the high-end ones from Bose, Creative or Harman Kardon stand out from the crowd with their impressive specs and high quality audio output. The Harman Kardon Esquire 2 is the latest portable Bluetooth speaker that is being talked about in tech circles these days. It delivers high-end acoustics and carries a decent price tag of R19,990.
In the box, you’ll get the Esquire 2 unit, one Micro USB cable and a quick-start guide; the latter not really needed as the audio system is fairly simple to configure with the audio source, be it a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Esquire 2 is pretty lightweight at 599g and has a slim form factor; it is good enough to slip into a suitcase or handbag. It has a rectangular face. The system’s top panel houses buttons for power, Bluetooth, call answer/end, and microphone mute, as well as a volume control rocker that works in conjunction with your phone’s master volume levels.
Technical speak, Esquire 2 delivers rich high-end acoustics by incorporating advanced acoustic engineering into four professionally tuned sound drivers. It also features an efficient conferencing system; underneath the aluminum unibody design, the system is embedded with quad-micro-phone VoiceLogic noise and echo cancelling technology with 360-degree voice pick up for crystal clear conferencing experiences. Its rechargeable battery supports up to 8 hours of playtime and USB charge out to ensure that travelling professio-nals never run out of power. You can wirelessly connect up to two smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing rich, high-end music.
Performance-wise, the spea-ker projects audio quite loudly for its size, especially at moder-ate volumes. While it is good for playing music from a mobile or laptop, its speaker-phone funct-ionality makes it a versatile option for professionals.
All in all, a solid portable Bluetooth speaker with good audio output for its modest size.
Estimated street price: R19,990