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Harman Kardon’s new iPod dock has sound quality to die for, not to mention an eye-catching design.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2011 16:59 IST
Siddharth Basrur

Harman Kardon’s Go + Play Micro is almost identical to its elder brother, the original Go + Play. Why the company’s added the Micro tag fails us, as it really isn’t that small. Some of the key features that made the original Go + Play so popular have also been taken away. We find this dock’s looks pleasantly different. A fascinating aspect has to be the curved metal arm that stretches across the width of the speaker, making it look just like a handbag.

Awkward connector
The horizontal cradle for fitting an iPod or iPhone is a bit odd. The Micro has a remote for browsing music on your iPod, but it’s a bit pointless
as the screen faces upwards, meaning you can’t see what’s going on. Another problem is that the docking station feels confined. Our iPhone 4 didn’t fit until we removed its cover and tried again.

Video output ahoy
As far as connectivity goes, the Go + Play Micro has an additional trick up its sleeve. Apart from the usual auxiliary inputs, it also has a composite video output for your TV. We tried playing a movie on the iPhone and it worked pretty well, apart from the expected pixelation from the low-resolution video. We even streamed videos from YouTube in 720p—they played without any problems. We would have liked more connectivity options such as HDMI so here’s to hoping that Harman Kardon pays heed to us in the future. Other features have been given the short end of the stick. There’s no FM radio or graphic equaliser. Harman Kardon might justify this by saying that the Micro is a cut-down version of the Go + Play, but sure not in size.

Works on batteries
The Micro also runs on batteries lest you’re caught without a power line, but wait; it takes eight C-type batteries to make this dock wire-free for approximately 18 hours.

The speaker set has four tweeters at the front as well as a woofer at the bottom. We love this dock’s sound quality, as the audio is clear and upfront. It doesn’t distort even at maximum volume. But here’s the catch: the decibels levels could have been louder. The original Go + Play could strip the lead off a pencil, but its younger sibling is obviously no match in terms of power.

Volume aside, the sound is delicious. All genres, from acoustic and pop to heavy metal and hip-hop sound very ear-friendly. This is definitely one of the best docks for its sound quality.
The remote is strictly all right, and is easy to use. The only niggling bit is that you have to point it directly at the dock. Sometimes, you may even have to repeatedly
press the buttons for the desired effect.

What we like
Very nice design
Great sound
Video output function
via composite cable

What we don’t
Not loud enough
A touch pricey
Docking station could have been better

We love this dock for its excellent sound quality and smashing design. We also like the video output function. Alas, the dock isn’t loud enough for parties. And the ‘micro’ moniker is rather gimmicky because it isn’t all that tiny. The only things that have shrunk are the features and the sound output. At R 14,990, it is significantly cheaper than the original Go + Play though.