Harman Kardon Aura Wireless Speaker System with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Apple Airplay, White
I wanted to give it 5 stars
First off it sounds amazing. I have connected to it via airplay, bluetooth and the little line in jack (and discovered the line out on my computer is simply awful).
Set up is quick though a little less than intuitive (the app could give you more feedback in places).
My only fault with the Aura, and it kills me is there is no way to disable the light which does a decent job illuminating my bedroom. And that is the problem, I don't want my bedroom illuminated; that is where I do my sleeping.
If there was a way of disabling the lights this would be the most perfect product.
21 March 2014
Great sound, small package.
I have owned the H/K Go + Play I and II, and those have set the standard by which I judge any new devices. The only reason I wanted to replace the Go + Play is that I'm sick of the out of date connector, and the kludgy Apple adapter needed to use new iPhones. I also wasn't interested in the Bluetooth-only Go + Play because, yuck, bluetooth.
Before the Aura came out, I tried 2 other replacements, both of which had worse sound than the Go + Play: the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200, and the NAD Viso 1 AP. I really wanted to like these devices. But in the end, the sound was just lame. Somehow muffled and flat. In addition, they were big and unwieldy on my kitchen counter. The NAD kept losing its Airplay connection. Back to the store those went.
I had high hopes for the Aura, which was just coming out when I reached this frustrated point in my search. Since I have the Soundsticks attached to my computer, I already knew and liked the design of the subwoofer. The Aura shares that design while incorporating the whole speaker into a single unit. It's pleasantly compact, not too fragile for the kitchen, and has nice lighting feedback for when you turn up or down the volume. The on-speaker volume control is quite nice, letting you swipe between the - and + symbols. Setup was easy, requiring a quick connection to the USB port on the back to share the wireless settings.
I use the regular Music app on the iPhone to play to it, but the HK Remote app lets you control the bass and equalizer. (I haven't tried to use it for my music library).
And the sound?? It's pretty freaking good. Side by side with the Go + Play, it was hard to choose which one was better. They don't sound the same, but the Aura definitely held its own. The bass, esp. turned up, was very strong. The vocals were clear. If I have any criticism, I would say it can sound a little booming. This may be because of its omnidirectionality.
One thing I had trouble with Airplay was occasionally it would stutter and drop out. This happened on the other speakers I tried too. I recently set up my wireless base stations (Apple) to have a separate network for 5Ghz so that I can have all my devices use the 2.4Ghz network exclusively, since online searches said that Airplay much prefers 2.4Ghz. I hope that solves the issue.
The only real criticism I have of the Aura is that the USB port cannot be used to play music; it's only for updates and setup. To play a wired connection you have to use the Mic out, which, yuck, right?
26 February 2014
Aura Review Colorado
This was a preorder so I never got to see any reviews online or see one in person.
The sound is great, 360 degree sound projection works very well
The design/style is very sleek
Once you are connected via bluetooth, volume control and bass are easy via smart phone.
Not as intuitive connecting via Bluetooth or changing controllers or switching from iPhone back to tv.
Bluetooth blacks out randomly way to often while watching movies/tv via apple tv.
The lower black part of the speaker is covered in fabric, I'm not sure if I like it or how long it will stay in shape.
21 February 2014
Everything you'd expect from a Harman/Kardon
I ordered the Aura about two weeks ago knowing I wouldnt receive the product until early Feb. Much to my surprise however, I received it three weeks earlier than expected and I was immediately blown away. To start, the speaker looks like a piece of art. The style is incredibly unique and the fact that the subwoofer and speakers are one unit makes it very easy to place anywhere in the room. The LED light is really cool also, when you turn the volume louder the LED light gets brighter, turn the volume lower the light gets dimmer (the light is a ring around the subwoofer). Overall, the speaker is just a very sleek and sexy looking device. Now for the sound? It's absolutly amazing. It's truly incredible how such a small unit fills the entire room with crisp, beautiful sound and bass. The built in airplay/bluetooth works seamlessly with my iPhone and Mac laptop, and the Harman App allows you to control the bass/volume settings which makes the user experience even more enjoyable. I am very impressed with the Aura but I am not really surprised since it has been long known that Harman/Kardon is the best in the biz and wont ever let you down. Awesome product and I'm sure i'll be using it for many years to come.
15 January 2014
This little unit is a Wowie Wow Wow!
Right off, I'm no technician so the specs I can leave to someone else. This omnidirectional unit is omnicool, omnichic, omnioverthetopsound!!! When this unit is cranked, it's as awesome as anything Harmon Kardon is capable of. And the honest to god truth is that I hear things in my music that I have, quite frankly, never hear before. Crisp and clean and a total pleasure. I've been waiting for this one to come along Thanks HK.
04 January 2014