Harman Kardon Esquire Mini review: Wireless HK pocket speaker doesn't sound quite as good as it looks

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The Good The Harman Kardon Esquire Mini Bluetooth speaker has a slim, sleek design, and a built-in kickstand. It makes for an excellent speakerphone and can also charge your phone.

The Bad Since it doesn't have much bass it doesn't sound great with music; a little pricey.

The Bottom Line The Harman Kardon Esquire Mini is a great-looking micro Bluetooth speaker that works quite well as a speakerphone, but is bass-challenged, so it isn't much of a music speaker.

6.9 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound 6
  • Value 6

Harman Kardon's Esquire Mini is one of those products you'd love to receive as a gift, but you might hesitate to acquire on your own for $150 (£124.95 UK, $229 AU). It's part Bluetooth speaker, part high-quality portable speakerphone and part external battery charger. It's also one slick-looking product, with a slim unibody design (238 grams or 8.1 ounces) and retractable kickstand.

So why the hesitation?

Well, while it performs very well as a speakerphone -- it's got dual microphones and built-in echo and noise cancellation technology -- it doesn't produce much bass and sounds pretty mediocre as a music speaker. It plays louder and produces better sound than your typical smartphone, but you can get speakers that sound significantly better for the money, including Harman's own JBL Flip 2 , which only costs $100.

The Esquire Mini, which comes in a few different color options, has an audio input, as well a USB output so you can connect a Micro-USB (included) or Lightning cable and charge your smartphone. The only issue is that the speaker houses a 2,000mAh lithium battery, which is essentially the same battery you'd find in a Mophie charging case. That battery delivers 8 hours of music playback (for the speaker) and will fully charge your phone. However, doing so would completely drain the speaker's battery.