harman / kardon

These new HomePod rivals are even pricier than Apple’s smartspeaker


This Bose smartspeaker costs more than the HomePod, built not nearly as much as an upcoming Harman Kardon model.
This Bose smartspeaker costs more than the HomePod, built not nearly as much as an upcoming Harman Kardon model.
Photo: Bose

Apple’s HomePod smartspeaker has struggled at least partly because of its high price. Well, Bose doesn’t see a problem because it just unveiled an even pricier option. And Harman Kardon will bring out one twice as expensive.

The Bose smartspeaker uses Alexa, while Harman Kardon turned to Google Assistant. Both these voice control systems are widely regarded as a more capable than Apple’s Siri.

These spartan Mac setups wage war on wires [iSetups]


Each of this week's Mac setups will put your wire game to shame.
Photo: Richard Lopez

Good cable management is harder than it looks. I should know: Both my home office and my work office are a mess of wires, despite trying to sort things out numerous times.

Unlike my failed attempts, this week’s three iSetups submissions get it down to a fine art. iSetups is our new show that highlights the best Apple-centric setups submitted by our viewers. (You’ll also get plenty of tips and tricks for how you can improve your own setup.)

iSetups Episode 3

Aggie fan’s Mac setup will have you seeing red [iSetups]


Red is definitely the color of the day in Episode 2 of iSetups, our weekly showcase of readers' Apple setups.
Red is definitely the color of the day in Episode 2 of iSetups, our weekly showcase of readers' Apple setups.
Photo: David Meier

Some sports fans show their allegiance by decorating their cars or wearing team jerseys. For Cult of Mac reader David Meier, his favorite sports team, the Texas Aggies, is a major influence on his choice of a red color scheme for his desk setup.

His Aggies-themed Mac arrangement is one of several showcased in this week’s episode of iSetups, our new show that highlights the best Apple gear submitted by our viewers. (You’ll also get plenty of tips and tricks for how you can improve your own setup.)

iSetups Episode 2

Best List: Killer gear for iPhone lovers, bike riders and ax wielders



I want extra pockets without having to wear goofy cargo pants. So while perusing one of my favorite guy websites, Everyday Carry, I came across a little bag made by Koyono called the bolstr bag.

It's perfect for tooling around Chicago, allowing me to discreetly store a phone, iPad mini, notebook and point-and-shoot camera. Plus, its slim design and asymmetrical shape look way cooler than knee-level flapped pockets on either leg.

The bolstr small carry bag comes in a variety of colors and left- or right-side orientations (as a lefty, I appreciate this design consideration). — David Pierini

Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac


Best List: Time to seriously upgrade your life



You know what I hate about Apple computers? The precious keyboards. They look lovely, with their sleek designs and tiny little keys, but they absolutely kill my wrists and fingers. That’s why I plug a grimy old Goldtouch keyboard ($129 list when they made ‘em) into the MacBook Air that I use for work. I even take the weird-looking A-frame keyboard with me when I travel. It’s not an elegant-looking solution, but it’s a lifesaver.

I’ve dealt with typing-related RSI for decades. While I use voice recognition when I have to write something lengthy, it’s not the perfect tool to accomplish every task in every situation. Sometimes I need to hammer away on a keyboard, and when I do, the Goldtouch makes the experience far less painful. It’s split down the center, with a ball joint that lets me adjust the angle between the two halves as well as the height at the center. And the soft-touch keys just feel good to me. — Lewis Wallace

P.S. I haven’t tried the updated Goldtouch V2 ($115) or the company’s Go!2 Bluetooth mobile keyboard, but when ol’ faithful finally gives up the ghost, that’ll be my move.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Harman Kardon Go + Play Wireless Is A Great Sounding Boombox That Is Hard To Recommend [Review]


Go + Play Wireless by Harman Kardon
Category: Bluetooth Speakers
Works With: Any iOS Device, Bluetooth
Price: $399.95

These days, small, pocketable Bluetooth speakers are de rigeur, but what about the veritable boombox of 80’s yore? What for the man for whom Beats are not enough, but must march across the subway platform with as big a driver as possible pulsating against is ear?

Harman Kardon’s Go + Play Wireless is for the person who wants more oomph than a Jambox, and doesn’t care if it takes up more space as a consequence. It’s for the guy who loves the boombox aesthetic, and thinks all of these pocketable speakers are losing the plot. It’s a beautiful Bluetooth boombox that looks just as good in the living room as it does blasting tunes while camping or at the beach, but a few strange design decisions might make it a tough sell to some, especially at the price.

Harmon Kardon’s Wireless SoundSticks Are A Little Bit Of Jambox And A Whole Lot Of Jony Ive [Review]





It’s rare that you can point to an accessory and say “Jony Ive” designed that, but with the Harman Kardon Soundsticks, that’s literally true.

Back in July 2000, Apple partnered with Harman Kardon to release an officially blessed subwoofer and speaker combo to perfectly accentuate the translucent iMac G3. One of the benefits of that partnership to Harman Kardon was that Jonathan Ive undertook the design of the product. The result — the iSub 2000 Subwoofer and SoundSticks — are a classic example of vintage Ive design, all bubble shaped and translucent.

If you aren’t Apple, it’s rare to be handed an Ive design every day, and so Harman Kardon has wisely kept the shape and look of the SoundSticks line pretty much the same for the last twelve years, only improving the technology inside as they can.

The new SoundSticks Wireless system is a further refinement of the classic year 2000 design. There’s one big difference, though: the SoundSticks now do Bluetooth.

Harman / Kardon’s Bluetooth Over-The-Ear Headphones Are Beautiful, But Better Wired Than Wireless [Review]



Most Bluetooth headphones are ugly. Most Bluetooth headphones are junk. Most Bluetooth headphones make you long for a cord. They are distorted, bass heavy, low-quality piece of junk.

For the most part, not so Harman / Kardon’s over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones. These are Bluetooth headphones worthy in both sound quality and design of the iconic company that not only helped create Hi-Fi, but is, in many non-trivial ways, the Apple of sound.