The Harman Kardon Esquire 2 is a Bluetooth wireless speaker that combines portability with style and a pretty good sound. You can pair a total of two smartphones or tablets and play your favorite music in turn.
Harman Kardon Esquire 2 – design and installation
You do not lack Bluetooth speakers nowadays. As a consumer you have a wide range, ranging from plastic junk to the more luxurious models that do more than just play music and trade in plastic for more high-quality materials. When you look at the design of the Harman Kardon Esquire 2, it is immediately obvious that this speaker is in the last category. The front of the speaker may feel some plastic, but the back is made of leather. Between these two elements is a sturdy, aluminum edge.
That edge not only gives the speaker a rugged, but also reliable look – the Harman Kardon Esquire 2 looks incredibly robust. And when you pick up the box, it also feels solid. At the back is an aluminum holder hidden in the design that you can fold out, after which you can place the speaker on a cupboard or on a desk. At the bottom of that aluminum cut is a piece of rubber, so you do not damage the surface in question. Everything seems to have been thought of when you look at the design of the Esquire 2.
At the top are the on and off, pairing, telephoning, microphone and volume buttons. They barely protrude and so they will not see when you have the speaker next to you on your desk, but feel solid enough. On the left side of the aluminum casing are five small lights that show how far the device is charged and on the right is a USB port (with which a smartphone can charge), a micro-usb port and aux-connector, so that music players can not be connected without Bluetooth.
All in all, the speaker looks very business and tight, but also durable and solid. There are also more options than average on a Bluetooth speaker with regard to connecting devices. The linking process is also very simple. You turn on the speaker, press the pairing button and indicate on your smartphone or tablet that it has to scan to Bluetooth devices. Within no time both devices find each other, so you can enjoy the fantastic sound very quickly. More about that later.
Harman Kardon Esquire 2 – use
Using the Harman Kardon Esquire 2 requires no trouble – not at all when you are already familiar with Bluetooth speakers. Basically this speaker works like all other Bluetooth boxes: you connect it to your smartphone or tablet, using Bluetooth or an audio cable, and you can immediately start listening. The volume can be controlled with both the volume buttons on the playback device and the buttons on the speaker itself. The holder at the back is also quickly folded out, by just pushing on the top.
Charging is via the included micro USB cable. This is a USB-type-c-cable, which you can connect to any adapter. Harman Kardon does not supply a USB adapter plug to the hardware, so chances are that you will use the smartphone. This can be experienced as a disadvantage, but since you can also charge your phone or tablet via the speaker, it does not have to be a problem. Furthermore, the speaker weighs just over half a kilo, but we do not find that crazy: the device is made of high quality material.
In addition to playing music, calling is also an option with the Harman Kardon Esquire 2. Of course this can also be done with other Bluetooth speakers, but with the Esquire 2 this also works just a little differently. On board there are four microphones that can determine where a sound comes from, so that the person on the other side can differentiate voices better. The voice is also crystal clear. The speaker’s 3200 mAh battery will last eight to ten hours, which in our book is also more than fine – after all, you do not use it all the day.
What I regret is that the speaker does not offer visual feedback in the area of volume. You can control the volume with your smartphone and see how loud the device is, but on the speaker itself there are no extra lights that show how hard the device is. However, there is a small lamp behind the plastic cover on the front, to show that the speaker is on, but otherwise it does not offer the user feedback. These are small things, but when your speaker works very well, they simply fall out.
Harman Kardon Esquire 2 – audio quality
But when you use it, then you can do nothing but conclude that there is a damn beautiful sound from the Harman Kardon Esquire 2. Admittedly, the speaker is better at producing highs than the lower tones, but that does not mean you can not expect anything from it (the speaker has a sales advice price of 229 euros). The low tones are certainly present and sound very nice, but unfortunately not as deep as we would have liked to see. But we can not expect anything from this compact design.
Of course it is only just what music you listen to. In general it is true that quieter or less complicated music feels better at home on a Bluetooth speaker, such as Adele’s album 25 , but the general conclusion is surely that the Harman Kardon delivers a fantastic sound for this compact and minimalist design. The tones that sound hot, sound warm. The spectrum of sound is also greater than all Bluetooth speakers that I have tested so far.
Harman Kardon Esquire 2 – conclusion
The Harman Kardon Esquire 2 has surprised me positively. A brand like Harman Kardon can not fail in the field of speakers in my eyes and that’s what the company did with the Esquire 2. The most important is the audio quality and that is fantastic. How the company gets this sound out of such a compact design is a mystery to me, but I am happy with it and I can only imagine that the business user is also happy about it. Why the business user? Because the Esquire 2 has a clear target group.
In addition to playing music, you can also make phone calls with it. The speaker is able to record from four angles, so the person on the other side can also hear better who says what and when. Everything seems to be further thought: the speaker is compact enough for long journeys, is not misplaced on your desk and can be put down, without it can damage your desk or cabinet, thanks to an extra rubber layer on the bottom of the aluminum kickstand. . This speaker is highly recommended.