There is no shortage of bluetooth speakers on the market today, devices range the gambit of the incredibly cheap and plastic to finely crafted aluminum centerpieces. The latest installment to the popular Harman Kardon line offers a bit of sophistication and practicality to the overcrowded market, offering many of the popular features you’re find in premium models combined with an office-friendly mentality.
Available in Gold, Grey or Black, the aluminum fitted Esquire 2 offers a minimalistic design that could compliment any popular smartphone or tablet that you might currently own. The device is targeted towards “on-the-go professionals,” and it’s easy to see why.
Not only do the speakers offer an incredible listening experience, the device itself offers a quad-microphone design with a noise-and-echo cancelling system. Calls are optimized through the device’s VoiceLogic system and come through perfectly clear. The Esquire 2 goes from media-player to conference call speaker in an instant, which is perfect for anyone that frequently hosts or takes meetings while on the road.
The entire device only weighs about 2 pounds and offers terrific sound and outstanding call-clarity when used as a speakerphone or conference call hub. The simplistic shape allows the device to rest flat or, thanks to a kickstand, can be stood upright as well. While one is more optimal for conference calls, the other is a perfect companion on your desk or counter. Pairing the device via Bluetooth is almost instantaneous and we had no issues pairing multiple devices. We tested all of the popular Apple iOS devices, Samsung, Google Nexus devices and Amazon’s Kindle Fire line.
Users are able to connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets (or any combination in between) to stream music to the device and we had no issues with the quality during our time with the device. Pairing two mobile devices is perfect for a couple that may share the speaker in the same kitchen or work-space at home, or for traveling colleagues.
Using the device to control certain phone operations is also a handy bonus. The Esquire 2 allows you to quickly mute the microphone or activate your phones’ voice control with a quick press of a button at the top of the device. You’ll also find the power-button and volume controls on the top of the device as well.
Powering the Esquire 2 is a 3200mAH rechargeable battery and we found that it lasted longer than the website indicated. The Harman Kardon website clocked the batter with about 8hrs of playtime, but we found that it usually lasted between 9-10hrs. A passthrough option also allows you to charge additional devices through a USB port, so you will be able to stream music from your phone or take a call while both devices are charging.
The call clarity is wonderful with the device and that also speaks to certain types of music. While more complicated music like heavy-rock, rap or house music may not sound as well on the device; folk, country music, alternative and R&B sounded great during our tests.
While many bluetooth speakers offer simplistic designs and easy pairing, the call functions on the Esquire 2 offer a unique option for anyone that frequently needs to have their phones on speakerphone. The device works much better than the traditional speaker phone that comes equipped with current-gen smartphones, thanks to the quad-mic conferencing tech built into the device itself.
It’s a lovely option to consider and if you are looking for a slim, lightweight and easy to use bluetooth speaker you should add the Esquire 2 to your list of possibilities. The minimalistic design and conferencing options helps the device standout in the overcrowded market and makes for a handy companion when you are on the road. You can find more information on the Esquire 2 including images, compatibility and color options on authorized retailers like amazon.com.