CNET First Look
Harman Kardon Go + Play MicroHarman Kardon resurrects its premium boom box, but skimps on some of the features and sonic details that made the original so exceptional.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hey, I'm Donald Bell for CNET.com, and today I'm giving you a First Look at the Harmon Kardon Go Play Micro. This is a $400.00 boombox compatible with both iPhone and iPods that has a beautiful, modern design. The most noticeable element is this swooping brushed aluminum handle that arcs across the top. It's very sturdy. In fact, the whole thing is pretty rugged in spite of how pretty it is. On the top, you have a dock, which fits the iPhone, iPod Touch, Nano, and Classic. It sits at a slight angle, which is nice so that the bar doesn't block the view, but you still get the advantage of having gravity keep your iPod in the dock. There's also an adjustment screw that helps keep your iPod or iPhone from wobbling too much. There are three buttons to the left of the dock, one for power and two for volume. On the back, you have four ports covered by thick, rubber flaps. There's a power adaptor input, USB pass through for synching to a computer, composite video output, and an aux audio input. You also have this panel here, attached with two oversize screws, that conceals a battery compartment for eight C-cell batteries. On battery power, you can expect around 18 hours of music playback. Finally, there's this included remote control, which is less responsive and less attractive than the remote from the original Go Play from a few years back, but it'll still save you from having to get up off the couch. The remote includes buttons for menu navigation, volume, and track skip, but doesn't have a button for switching off the power. For the most part, these are all features you can find on a system at half the price. Aside from the classy design, what makes this a $400.00 system is the sound, in theory at least. There's a total of five drivers here, two tweeters behind each of the grills on the front, and a ported woofer on the bottom. To the company's credit, the sound in the Go Play Micro doesn't break up at high volumes, but it never really gets that loud. I put some Zeppelin on this thing at full blast, thinking it was going to knock me down, but it barely raised my eyebrows. As far as sound quality goes, the woofer gives this thing some nice added low range, and all these tweeters handled the clarity at the top. ^M00:02:00 [ Music ] ^M00:02:06 But something about the sound doesn't gel together the way we'd hoped. I know I'm being picky here, but we are talking about a $400.00 system, and the sound of the original Go Play was really a gold standard for portable audio. So there you go. That's the Harmon Kardon Go Play Micro, one of the classiest boombox you'll see. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell. ^M00:02:25 [ Music ]