AMITIAE - Wednesday 24 December 2014
Harman Kardon Esquire Mini Speaker: Well thought-out Accessory for Mobile Users (Bangkok Post, Life)
By Graham K. Rogers
Harman Kardon Esquire Mini
Although reports tell us that the device comes in several colours, including gold, only white, black and brown were available: I chose the black. The price in the USA is $149, and it costs 5,990 baht here. When VAT is factored in, the differences is $21: not unreasonable when considering transport and import fees.
Esquire Mini - Rear View Showing Support (retracted)
Esquire Mini - Top View: On/Off, Bluetooth, Phone and Volume Controls
Esquire Mini - End View: USB, Sound Input, Micro-USB, Strap Connection
When I connected it to the Mac using the USB to Micro-USB cable that was supplied by Harman Kardon, the light display showed that it was charging and was (initially) at about 20%. I charged it up to a level of around 80% with 4 of the 5 indicator lights displayed. That lasted several hours in my office and a few more at home in the evening; and it still showed level 3.
While I was playing music at work, several students came in and immediately noticed. Being sharp electrical engineers, they saw the unit and the lack of cables, but would not accept my explanation of "magic," correctly identifying it as a Bluetooth device.
Occasionally, the arrival of email on the iPhone made the volume drop or cut the music, but this happens when I am using the iPhone on its own, so is not a problem with the device. Oddly, when typing text on the iPhone, that sound was transmitted to the Esquire Mini speakers.
Esquire Mini and iPhone 6
Apart from the website, I am content with the rest of the experience. A carrying strap was also supplied in the well-designed product box. I have now seen these in more iStudio stores. There are other speaker units that are cheaper, but this is balanced by the flexibility with input and charging, coupled with the battery performance.
UpdateEarly this week, I had some communication from the importer, Mahajak, who provided a specifications sheet and a link to their own site, where I was able to find information on the Esquire Mini. Note that the colours shown here are black, brown, champagne gold and white (iStudio did not have the gold).
I also looked again at the Harman Kardon pages. Trying to access the US site redirects to the Thai site, but access to pages in other countries is possible. A search late Tuesday on the Thai site did find me a page with the Esquire Mini which has links to Downloads and Specifications (but not to the "View Product" page - 404 Not Found). This also shows all 4 colours, although iStudio only carried the 3 (above). I can still find no way (apart from the search) to access the relevant information from the home page.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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