Harman Kardon SoundSticks review: Harman Kardon SoundSticks

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

5 stars 1 user review
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The Good Great sound; great looks; easy setup.

The Bad Mac support limited to USB-based systems running Mac OS 9.0.4 or later; limited audio adjustments; limited support for Windows.

The Bottom Line SoundSticks sound a lot better than you'd expect, considering the low price.

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Can a jellyfish make music? Yes, if it's the jellyfish-esque SoundSticks from Harman Multimedia. This three-piece system sports a pair of transparent, tubular desktop speakers that mate with a transparent, lamp-shaped woofer to provide room-filling sound. The price of the package is $199. Can a jellyfish make music? Yes, if it's the jellyfish-esque SoundSticks from Harman Multimedia. This three-piece system sports a pair of transparent, tubular desktop speakers that mate with a transparent, lamp-shaped woofer to provide room-filling sound. The price of the package is $199.

A Marriage of Technologies
It comes as no surprise that Apple's clever design team worked with Harman on the unique look of SoundSticks. The first product from this duo was the built-in sound system that comes in every iMac with a slot-load CD or DVD drive. Then came the iSub, on which the SoundStick's woofer module is based.

The SoundSticks system is designed for any Mac with USB ports. The manufacturer says the system should also be compatible with many PCs that support USB but won't guarantee it'll work on all models.

To achieve its rich sound, each desktop unit contains four one-inch speakers. The speakers use Harman's Odyssey system, a technology that the manufacturer claims will deliver higher-quality audio from a smaller package. The satellite speakers are optimized for midrange and high frequencies, and they easily tilt on their bases for the best positioning and sound. The woofer is six inches, typical for this sort of product.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Speaker System Type PC multimedia speaker system
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 10 Watt
    20 Watt
  • Amplification Type active
  • Connectivity Technology wired