Harman Kardon Esquire and JBL Synchros S300a

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GBlog received samples of the Harmon Kardon Esquire and JBL Synchros S300a. Full disclosure: these products are so awesome we would buy them.

The Harman Kardon Esquire is a wireless audio system with Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. The speaker has dual drivers and a built-in bass port and can be used for music listening around the house or on-the-go. Additionally, the Esquire can connect with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones to make clear, no-fuss conference calls. Ideal for business travelers, the Esquire takes the stress out of conference calls with custom-tuned microphones and noise cancellation technology.

The square-shaped device readily lies flat in one’s bag. The Esquire comes with a fabric travel case—the black version is matched with a gray case with a crackle finish—which, though quite handsome, holds just the speaker, not the charging attachments. Nonetheless, the overall design is quite small and lightweight, making it a top choice for frequent flyers.

As an added perk, the Esquire’s three-port charger can be used to power up a phone, a tablet, and even an early 2000s iPod on the same plug. Once fully charged, the speaker provides up to eight hours of pristine playback and call time. Beautiful to look at and listen to, the Esquire is shelled in leather, aluminum, and Harman Kardon’s patented grill. The minimalist design is available in black, white, and brown, each style priced at $249.95.

The JBL Synchros S300a is a pair of over-the-ear headphones with JBL Professional Audio Sound with PureBass performance. The built-in remote and microphone is designed for Apple products but is still functional with other brands. The device offers full volume, pause, and play control for my iPod but just pause and play for my Android-based tablet, for instance. For me, this is not a big deal, because if I can plug a device into my headphones, I can also reach over and adjust the volume myself.

Designed in California, the Synchros S300a rocks an easygoing design—matte black or white, brushed steel, and red or blue accents. The basic design is stamped with JBL’s logo from all sides but otherwise discreet. Made of quality materials, the collapsible headband is stainless steel, and the comfortable ear cushions are leather. Flexible in three directions, the lightweight design readily folds up to travel in its slim carrying case. I’ll be bringing these along for my all of my summer travels. The clear sound and noise cancelling features put these headphones at the top of my packing list. The JBL Synchros S300 is priced at $149.95.

Both the speakers and the headphones made it feel like I was “rediscovering” my favorite music. Either design would make a great gift for Father’s day and a good investment as BBQ and vacation season heats up.

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Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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