Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless Bluetooth Enabled 2.1 Speaker System
Harmon Kardon always produces a competitive product, and, with enough sub-brands to do just about whatever they want, the parent brand typically only releases products of the highest quality. The Soundsticks aren't top of the line, but they do offer the best sound out of any Bluetooth-compatible 2.1 system this side of $500, not to mention a space-age design that will impress even the choosiest buyers.
The Harmon Kardon Soundsticks have won critical acclaim left and right since their release, offering great sound not just for a Bluetooth setup, but besting many comparably priced wired 2.1 systems. While there really aren't many competing products to date, the Soundsticks both sound and look better than any of them, and in fact sound better than my own Klipsch Promedia 2.1 setup, which is fully wired; an impressive feat, to say the least, considering that the Klipsch is one of the more popular units at its price point, which hovers around the same dollar amount.
The Soundsticks offer a similar signature to the Promedia, with a very full bass response and the kind of warm sound that characterizes most speakers in this price range. The Soundsticks actually do a bit better in the bass department; despite the quoted LF limit of 44hz, the Soundsticks actually sound better controlled and tighter than the Promedia, and don't distort as easily, while retaining the fullness and impact of bass. Its woofer also isn't quite as boomy as the Klipsch, lending itself to a more musical presentation and a better-behaved system for those with neighbors close by.
Vocals are fairly clear coming from the Soundsticks' satellites, and the treble is reasonably well-defined while avoiding harshness or sibilance. Like most 2.1 systems, vocals can be slightly obscured by the bass at times, but again not as badly as with the Klipsch system.
The Soundsticks certainly look better than most 2.1 systems, too: their clear, space-agey looks and LED lighting make them a treat to look at, compared to the standard black boxes of most 2.1s. Unfortunately the LED lights can't be turned off while the speakers are playing, which can be distracting if your speakers are placed next to your screen. However, given the sound quality, Bluetooth functionality, and overall design, it's not much to complain about, and the Soundsticks are a great option for anyone in need of a sub-$200 2.1 system.