Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sound Sticks! Wow!!

My wife just gave me my anniversary present, which is a set of Harman Kardon SoundSticks II for my computer. I've put a lot of my CDs (not all by any means yet) onto iTunes on the computer so I can listen to music when I write, which I've always done. I've been reasonably content with the speakers installed in the screen, which give pretty good sound for being so tiny. (Funny, when I was younger we always went for gigantic speakers to get full, room-filling sound, but they way the technologies have developed, you can get amazing sound out of really small speakers these days.)

A few months ago our son Steve gave Jen a set of the SoundSticks for her computer, and I was duly impressed. So when they came today for me, we wasted little time installing them and trying them out. The first test was Beethoven's Fifth, then the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, then the Barber Adagio for Strings, then Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod. I'll go for baroque later, which is actually my favorite music to write to, but I wanted stuff with full-on symphony orchestra with lots of fortissimos and tuttis. Very impressive! And attractive in a shiny high-tech kind of way. The key to the really full sound, I think, is the near-spherical subwoofer that goes under the desk and has a cool blue light. I haven't done a side-by-side, but the sound may be better than the home theater set-up we have for the TV and the CD carousels in the living room. I recommend them highly if you haven't tried them or heard them.

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