With every passing year, the portable Bluetooth speaker category gets hotter and hotter offering various options at lower prices. Earlier, what used to be one of best and expensive can now be purchased at half the price, finally making these gadgets more accessible than ever before.
HARMAN which is now a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics sells popular audio products for both consumers and professionals under its brands JBL, Harman Kardon and AKG and others. The company targets mass-market consumers and holds a lot of strength right now, especially in the portables category from the JBL side with the Flip, Click, Go, Extreme, Boombox, Pulse and the Charge.
The Harman Kardon Traveler is a latest offering from the company that comes equipped with Bluetooth streaming, a dual-microphone conferencing system with echo and noise cancellation, and a power bank that allows you to charge your devices during your travels.
Featuring an unibody aluminum design, the Harman Kardon Traveler has clean looks and comes in a sleek form factor. If you have seen the Esquire Mini, you will quickly get the feeling that Traveler is also designed to be carried around with you. The speaker is flat and has rounded edges allowing the Bluetooth speaker to easily slip into a bag or in a coat.
A leather wraps around the top surface which also houses buttons for power, Bluetooth, phone and volume up/down buttons. The rubber at the bottom helps Traveler stand with ease and also prevents it from wobbling when playing music at high volumes.
There is no rubber gasket to cover the USB charging port and 3.5mm auxiliary input, thus we recommend you to keep the speaker away from the dust.
We fed the speaker with both some hard music that often makes portable speakers distort, but Harman Kardon Traveler performed surprisingly well.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like DJ Magic Mike’s "Feel The Bass," the Harman Kardon Travelr pumped out great bass with a lot of oomph and detail. The mid and treble ranges are well-defined and, surprisingly, the vocals sound crisp and clear even at low-volume levels.
On tracks like "Titanium" by singer David Guetta which features dance club style beats, the speaker produced high fidelity sound with thumping bass and sounded booming and bright — making this melody truly pleasurable from starting to end. Australian co-singer Sia’s vocals were clearly audible in between the bass of this electric pop song.
According to Harman Kardon, the Traveler's built-in 2,500mAh battery supports up to 10 hours of playtime while allowing you to charge your devices via USB. In real time tests, the battery lasted for approximately eight hours and 14 minutes – pretty much decent.
Further, I had no problem while connecting the speaker to smartphone or a tablet and it also maintained a healthy connection during the streaming time.
At Rs 9,990, the Harman Kardon Traveler is one of best travel companion designed for the on-the-go professionals. But, if you want a more refined sound than Sony SRS XB-41 Bluetooth speaker is the one you should go for.