Harman Kardon Traveler review: A handy companion for the audiophiles

Harman Kardon has a new premium speaker to fill in your rooms.

    Harman Kardon would surely be among the top brands if we list out the best products that cater the audiophiles. Continuing its promise to keep users engaged with punchy music, the company launched the Traveler. If you look closely, it's not just a speaker. It doubles as a power bank too.

    This makes the Harman Kardon Traveler an ideal choice for travelers. But priced at Rs 9,990, is it worth shelling out your money? Let's find out.

    Design

    The Harman Kardon Traveler flaunts a compact and a minimalistic design. It is handy and easy to carry around in your bag. It is about the same size as the Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth speaker. The company has given it rounded edges making it easier to slip into your pockets and coats.

    The speaker has an aluminum unibody design and the control buttons are placed on the top. The top also has a leather coating making it look premium. The physical controls include the power, volume rockers, Bluetooth, calling buttons. The Runner feet on the bottom of the speaker makes it more stable while playing bass-rich tunes. The speaker also has LED lights on the top that shows the battery level of the device. On the side, you'll find the power input port, 3.5mm audio jack, and the USB port.

    Overall, the Harman Kardon qualifies as a neatly designed speaker. It is one of the good-looking compact speakers available in the market.

    Sound quality

    The Harman Kardon Traveler doesn't disappoint you when it comes to the sound quality. It is louder than what you expect from its size. Listening to rock music on the speaker was really a good experience. You could actually hear every instrument playing in the background clearly. And when the beat drops, you'll know why luxury comes at a price. Distortion at full volume levels is rarely evident and the tonality is almost consistent at all volume levels.

    That being said, the Harman Kardon Traveler definitely gets a huge performance boost over its precursors. Though it doesn't offer the same volume level or the IPX rating as the JBL Flip 4, it does have an edge over the latter in terms of compactness.

    The Harman Kardon Traveler, overall, is an impressive speaker in terms of the sound quality. The device will surely surprise you with its punchy bass. However, we would've appreciated the speaker more if it performed similar across all genres.

    Built-in dual microphones

    One of the unique features of the HK Traveler is the incorporation of dual-microphones. This allows users to make conference calls. The speaker also has a built-in noise and echo reduction tech. This would surely be useful for people who make a lot of conference calls or need a break from their phone's conventional speakers.

    We tried making conference calls using the speaker. But honestly, the experience wasn't exceptional, and the other party faced issues hearing our voices. However, the microphones are better most of the speakers that support calling feature. But considering the size of the speaker, this is forgivable as bigger speakers offer better comprehension of the person we are calling.

    Battery life

    The Harman Kardon Traveler draws power from a 2500mAh battery reservoir. The company claims that the device runs for up to 10 hours on a single charge. Our unit managed to play our tunes for almost 8 hours at the fourth (LED) volume level. However, the device will offer more playback time when played at lower volume levels.

    Besides, the Traveler can also double as a power bank. It can charge your phone or other USB-powered devices with its standard 5v, 1A output. Though the juice won't be enough to fully charge your device, it would still help you re-up your device and continue making calls. This is a good addition for those emergency charges when you can't find a place to charge your phone, provided you have a charging cable.

    Verdict

    In our opinion, the Harman Kardon Traveler is a brilliant speaker that has added functionality such as dual-microphones and its ability to charge other devices. However, to own this piece of hardware, you'll have to shell out a fortune. What you get here will be a better performance to size ratio and few high-end materials alongside dual-noise canceling microphones.

    The Traveler manages to tick all the boxes of an ideal compact speaker. It offers you top-notch sound, long-lasting battery, and most importantly portability. If you are someone who carries a speaker along while traveling but wants portability, the HK Traveler can be something you are looking for.

    You can definitely find better-sounding speakers at this price point. But none of them offer the portability and additional capabilities like the Traveler does. If you feel that this speaker doesn't fit your budget, you can opt for a Bluetooth speaker from Xiaomi, Soundbot or Boat, and buy an additional power bank with a high capacity.

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