Harman Kardon SoundStick II vs III

As a music listener whether it is causal or enthusiast, we have to own a reliable output like a speaker or headphones to make sure our favorite songs are being delivered properly. If you are team speaker, Harman Kardon SoundSticks II Vs III are two good, unique output you may want to have in the house. Not only pretty, they also sounds very nice to our ears but, before shopping, see how they differ below so we can choose better.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Do you currently looking for a PC speaker
  • What are Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III
  • What Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III Look Like
  • What Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III can offer to you
  • How are the Sound Quality of Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III
  • Harman Kardon SoundStick II vs III

Speaker for PC Setup

As a user who often listen to music, many of us have a collection of outputs since different unit will deliver a different sounds as well, not practically like different song, but there must be something different that feels quite awkward when trying a new piece we have never used before. The type of output indeed play a crucial part in delivering the sound but, depend on personal taste, not all of us will have the same preference in which type of output to use.

Generally we can separate speaker with compact output like headphones or earphones and each one of them have their own benefit as well as drawback. For home use or in the car and a party with family or friends, speaker is the best choice, so then we can listen to those songs together but, in an office environment or while traveling, a speaker is not an ideal choice so we prefer to use headphones or earphones since this type of output is good to keep the music to our ears only.

The product for enthusiast and for casual users will also be different because enthusiast mostly like something that have a flat response for it can be used for critical listening while those consumer based models are mostly boosted on the lows or highs depending on the unit to fit the users taste. In addition, size also matters and the most often thing we heard is bigger speaker the better its sound especially when you have large room to fill and love bass as well as loud sound level.

However, for a common home use that today we often paired with PC, a giant speaker may be too much due to the simple setup so it is best to find those in an acceptable size or at least can be fitted in your bookshelf easily. With the huge demand of this range of users, we can find so many options available but the most important part to consider when shopping will be their sound quality and this can be challenging for not all of us have the same taste.

However, for a recommendation, we prefer a 2.1 speaker over the 2.0 system because it generally can reproduce the lower frequency or bass extension while providing more powerful bass compared to smaller ones 2.0 without subwoofer. It will also follow the said rule the bigger the better or at least more powerful yet, the smaller is indeed winning in space consumption due to its smaller footprint. Read also: Behringer UCA202 vs UCA222 here.

About Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III

For those who prefer to play game, watching movies, or playing music from their PC with a speaker, now is a good time to see what the market has to offer. We have so many options from those cheaper models to high-end models but, the high price may not always mirrored our satisfaction level so looking for the one that deliver your “type” of sound is still our priority. Among those options, Harman Kardon have what you need, especially for people with a taste of unique items.

The speaker we are talking about is their SoundStick II and III which is the continuation of the original model that was released more than two decades ago when this article is written. As you may already know, the original speaker was only meant for Apple users but it doesn’t mean we can’t use them with Windows since as long as we have analog 3.5mm stereo mini plug, the speaker will work just as good. In comparison though, they are very much similar.

They are also similar from the original model despite being released with several years gap with the SoundStick II being released in 2004 and the newer model 5 years later in 2011. If you ask what has been improved on the SoundStick III, thankfully Harman Kardon reduce the internal light brightness a little bit which in the pass can be quite distracting. Overall, they are like an identical speakers since the newer model retain most of the older unit with slight change.

Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III Design

If you are interested to have these speakers, chances are you either the fan of Ive or have certain taste on unique items because most of the time, they are the reason why people get these speakers but, it doesn’t mean we are getting a crappy sound quality here since it is not the case. Placing the model side by side, we don’t see any particular change since the new model retain the clear, plastic casing, and shape which appears like a jellyfish.

What we can see directly from the design alone is their base rings that in SoundStick III is changed to black as opposed to white in the older model. It adds some new, fresh nuance to a modern setup especially if your PC is dominantly black. These rings are not just for stabilizing the satellite but to also adjusting angle in case the desk is incongruous with the chair. The three-piece are connected together with satellites wired to open ports on the bottom of subwoofer.

We also love the fact that these speakers are using a wrapped cable with similar transparent cover or housing for extra protection against small children or pets around the house that may chew your wires.

Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III Features

As far as features, both of Harman Kardon SoundSticks II and III are not going to offer much since there is practically nothing complicated in these speakers except for the volume button which is located on both of the satellites lowest part and bass level. The first button though, very unique since it is a touch sensitive button which is modern enough for our today’s technology but there is an issue as well. Since there is no visible increment, sometimes we can accidentally blast the volume too high.

Another feature that we hoped to see in these speakers is a headphone jack so we don’t have to get a dual-sided 3.5-inch audio cable for the output jacket. The bass level button mentioned earlier is placed on the subwoofer itself while the dial is double function as power button which mean we can’t turn the light off while using the speaker in case you prefer to sleep in complete darkness.

Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III Specification

From the specification, there is nothing interesting as well because when you read the sheet, it seems like either of them are a mediocre speaker which can be deceiving in real life experience. They are still having the same frequency response range from 44Hz to 20kHz. The two transparent satellites are 10 watt with each have four 1-inch drivers built into the vertical column. The fact that they have 3.5mm input also means anyone with the male plug can play their music with these speakers.

Harman Kardon SoundStick II and III Performance

Just like any audio equipment, the most important part when looking for a speaker will be the sound quality and this is what Harman Kardon SoundSticks II and III shines the most in our opinion. Since both speakers have the same specification, their sound quality is also the same and while the frequency range is nothing special, they sure does in real life because the drums and bass sound amazing and very enchanting with a round low end as well as crisp definition from low mids and high mids.

They sure do deliver some of the best sound we can get from a 2.1 setup but, there is also times when mix sounded a bit too bright with the vocals being too sibilant which is better, especially for those who are more into the lower side since there is none like muddy sound anymore. In addition, there is no additional hissing on sibilant consonant along with very little audible static between tracks. Overall, they are equally reliable for music listening session, movie watching and even for gamers.


Now, let’s compare Harman Kardon SoundStick II with III. As it has been mentioned above, both of them are identical speakers with very little difference on cosmetic part which makes the newer speaker looks a bit more modern with its black base ring as opposed to white in SoundStick II with a bit of tweak on the inner lighting, making it not as bright and annoying as the previous speaker. Overall they have the same pleasant sound quality for various activities in your computer.

Harman Kardon SoundStick II vs III

- 20 Watts RMS subwoofer power output
- Capacitance touch control buttons provide direct access to volume control
- Stunning, original design with great sound
- 3-piece plug and play multimedia speaker system
- Compatible with all devices with a stereo minijack output
- Outstanding bass performance
- Touch volume and mute controls.Satellite Height (inches) 10. Satellite Height 10 inches
- Subwoofer volume control and Angle-adjustable satellites


All in all, the decision is all yours to make because not all of us will have the same preference especially with the price gap so we have to consider if the new upgrade worth the price or not. However, if you plan to save some, we do recommend getting the older Harman Kardon SoundStick II since it is more affordable.

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