Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 review: A chic and personal Bluetooth speaker

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 review: A chic and personal Bluetooth speaker

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If there’s one thing I love about Harman Kardon, it would have to be its designs. The company has long been merging tech and aesthetics to produce beautifully designed products with premium sound.

The Esquire Mini 2 is no exception. While not radically different from its predecessor, it boasts of useful upgrades and features to help easily integrate itself into almost any lifestyle. Apart from being your usual Bluetooth speaker, the Esquire Mini 2 also functions as a speakerphone and a power bank. With these added features, does the Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini 2 do well as an all-around device?

Design

There’s no denying that the Esquire Mini 2 is quite a looker. It flashes a pretty polished metal grill design upfront and a faux leather finish on the back.  There’s also a nifty kickstand to prop up the speaker which makes it look oh-so-elegant.

We have the device in a classic silver color but there’s also a black version for a more subtle look. If you fancy a bit more color in your life, it also comes in blue, copper, and pink.

All of the device’s buttons can be found on the top and include the power, Bluetooth, and call buttons. Just opposite it is the volume rocker. Buttons are tactile, easy to press and feel just as durable as the rest of this device. There’s also a 3.5mm jack for accessories and on the side are 5 small LED lights that indicate battery level.

The size of the Esquire Mini 2 is one of my favorite things about it. It’s as big as today’s smartphones and about an inch thick. Weighing just a quarter kilogram, it’s extremely portable and easy to stash in just about any bag and maybe even some pockets. Additionally, a plain faux leather case is included for protection.

Performance

Let’s just get this out of the way, the Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini 2 is not going to be your party speaker. It’s going to be the speaker you have set up on your desk or home office, or the speaker you use when you’re binge-watching on your laptop or phone.  In a word, personal.

Thinking of it this way made me appreciate the device even more. And since it also does more than the usual speaker, the Esquire Mini 2 was able to integrate itself nicely into my work environment as well.

But before we get into that, let’s talk about sound quality. For a speaker its size, it’s produces a relatively balanced sound given it’s at a moderate volume. It does lack bass but not so much that it’s unenjoyable. Call quality is clear but unlike music, vocals had heavier lows.

When you max out the volume, sound quality takes a rather noticeable dip. The bass struggles the most and gets drowned out by the mids. The sound blows out the speakers and produces less than desirable output. You can easily remedy this, though, by not maxing out the volume of the speaker and increasing the volume of the connected device instead.

Now back to how I used it on a daily basis. I propped the speaker on my desk, just next to my computer, and would mostly play music while I was working. The sound quality and volume were just right to pleasantly fill up my work area.

What’s great is when I’d receive a call, I could use the Esquire Mini 2’s conferencing system that basically turns it into a speakerphone. At a press of a button, I can go hands-free and continue what I’m doing since I didn’t need to literally pick up the phone. And if I ever wanted to go wired, there’s a 3.5mm jack ready and waiting.

This feature is also really useful during my meetings and video calls since I could hear everything much clearer. The dual microphones also seemed to pick up my voice pretty well provided I wasn’t too far from it. Noise cancellation isn’t too great, though, so it’s still best to be in a pretty quiet room if you don’t want other sounds to be heard.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the sound quality of the Esquire Mini 2 as a personal speaker. I imagine it will work even better in a more enclosed environment like a small home office or working space but it’s proven to be a reliable speaker in most situations so far.

Battery

As mentioned earlier, the Esquire Mini 2 is also a power bank. I wouldn’t recommend solely relying on this, though, since capacity is only at 2200mAh. With today’s smartphones, that won’t be enough for a full charge. It’s best to think of this as a primary feature but as a neat add-on to the device.

If you’re not sharing battery power, you can get about 8-10 hours of use on a single charge. It took about 4 hours to charge the device to full. Personally, that’s enough for me since it lasts long enough to match my working hours.

Creature Feature

In our reviews, The Modern Creatures aims to find special features in a device that make it stand out — something that gives it an edge over its competitors. Its Creature Feature. And for the Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2, it would have to be its ultra-chic and portable design.

In true Harman Kardon fashion, the Esquire Mini 2 not only prides itself in quality sound output but also a stand-out and elegant design. Combining that with its premium build and materials, you’re getting a multi-function portable speaker that can easily find a home on your desk.

Final Thoughts

The Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 is something I could easily see myself pick out in a store. It’s beautifully designed, produces quality sound for its size, and can function as a speakerphone and as a backup power source.

Priced at PhP 8,499, the Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini 2 is a great fit for those who value aesthetics just as much as performance. It’s available for purchase on the company’s official online store.