Harman Esquire Mini 2 review: A slim Bluetooth speaker that travels well

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The Good The Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 isn't much bigger than your phone. The design, sound and battery have all been upgraded from the original model. It doubles as a powerbank for charging and performs well as a speakerphone.

The Bad It's a little short on bass. More expensive than other micro speakers.

The Bottom Line The Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 is a sweet little Bluetooth speaker than delivers better sound than you'd think.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 10
  • Features 8
  • Sound 7
  • Value 7

Let's start with the good news about Harman Kardon's Esquire Mini 2 micro Bluetooth speaker: Its design has been upgraded along with its sound and battery life. 

It also charges via USB-C now instead of micro USB. And its list price ($130, £130) is lower than what the original Esquire Mini cost when it first came out a few years back, though that discontinued model is now half the price of this one.

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So, what's the bad news? Well, the fact is you can only get so much bass out of speaker that's not much bigger or thicker than today's phones -- perhaps appropriately since, like the original, this doubles as an external battery charger with a USB out port. So while its performance is impressive for its small size, don't expect to rock the house with this little guy.

What you get in the box.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It really is a nice-looking device, available in three equally appealing color options (black, copper and silver). Weighing in at 8.8 ounces or 250 grams, it's 12 grams heavier than the original Esquire Mini and virtually the same size as an iPhone ($899 at Amazon) but thicker, with a depth of a little over an inch or 26mm. The metallic border and tiny raised buttons are also in keeping with what you'd expect from a phone design. A faux leather case is included (it looks a fatter eyeglass case) along with a USB-C charging cable.

The back is finished in faux leather and the built-in kick is wider and better designed than the kickstand on the original Esquire Mini. It props the speaker up at a 45-degree angle.

There are volume controls on top of the speaker along with a pause-play button that doubles as an answer-end button for speakerphone calls. Double tap that button to skip a track froward and triple tap to skip back.

It's about the size of a iPhone X/XS only thicker.

Sarah Tew/CNET