Think of a stylish Bluetooth speaker that offers high-fidelity sound and Harman Kardon comes quickly to mind. The Harman Kardon Esquire 2 is an elegantly-designed, portable Bluetooth speaker that offers flexibility with both wired and Bluetooth connectivity for music or multimedia playback.
The Rs 19,990 Esquire 2 is part Bluetooth speaker and part external battery charger, featuring a conferencing system with “VoiceLogic” noise and echo-cancelling technology.
Here is what works for the device.
At just 599 grams, Esquire 2 has slim form factor design that effortlessly allows you to slip it into a suitcase or handbag. It is designed to look good on business executives’ desktops and also makes an impact when placed in a conference room or at home.
The speaker has smooth surfaces and nicely contoured corners. The front of the speaker is covered in black grille with the Harman Kardon logo sculpted at the centre.
When we played various genres of music, the 16W speaker delivered a well-balanced sound profile. Even when we cranked things up, the speaker remained distortion free and didn’t sound like it was straining itself.
The Esquire 2 goes from media-player to conference call speaker smoothly, making it a perfect fit for anyone who frequently hosts or takes meetings while on the go.
The quad-microphone system utilising “VoiceLogic” technology allows it to pick up audio from a 360-degree field while cancelling out ambient background noise and makes for clearer calls than most Bluetooth speakers.
The built-in rechargeable 3,200mAH Li-ion battery delivered up to five hours and 20 minutes of playtime. Although the company claims eight hours of playtime, it might vary depending on how loud you play your music.
What does not work?
For a speaker which is priced at about Rs 20,000, there are no additonal accessories like a carry case or 3.5mm AUX cable. It also struggles a bit with heavy-rock or deep bass tracks.
Personally, I found the soundstage of Bose SoundLink Mini II and Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 more refined and with deeper bass.
Conclusion: If you can afford it, the Harman Kardon Esquire 2 is an appealing portable Bluetooth speaker offering solid audio performance in a tiny package.
By Anuj Sharma