It's Music to Our Ears

[Media Invite + Review]

I was brought back to the time, more than a decade ago, when I sat back, listening to the product managers raving about their new products.  Back in my days in the telecommunications business, I attended many of these.

Somehow, it brought back those fond memories, though this time, I attended this product launch briefing as a blogger who gives reviews.

Last week I attended the product launch brief by Harman International on several of their wonderful audio sound portable speakers/headphones.  Harman has bagged several awards like Red Dot Design, iF Design Awards and CES Innovation Awards through brands like AKG, Harman Kardon and JBL.


There is no doubt this is the cream of the crop. AKG N90Q are the first headphones that come with personalized sound, inspired by Grammy Award winning producer Quincy Jones, and developed under his supervision.

Utilizing Trunote technology, its proprietary software solution for auto-calibration and frequency response measurement, and in combination of a patent dual foam ear cushion and a pistonic motion driver, Trunote allows music reproduction to reach the maximum sound accuracy. It promises a sound experience with the accuracy of a recording studio. It has 2 microphones in each ear cup measuring the average frequency response of the signal that enters the ear. The technology inside N90Q will then adjust the sound according to the shape of your ear, and deliver the most accurate sound reproduction possible with minimal distortion.

The patented ergonomic design of the dual dense ear cushions aid in significantly reducing the reflections inside the acoustic chamber while the dual rotary controls on the ear cup enable easy access to volume control, bass and treble levels and sound imaging.

The N90Q also includes the world’s first truly audiophile grade, fully discrete analogue active noise cancellation circuitry that achieves 20dB wide band noise reduction, without introducing excessive noise on its own. Not only is the external noise attenuated by 20dB, but so is the distortion arising from the headphone transducer and ear cushion as well. This results in exceptional bass performance and transparency throughout the whole spectrum due to the absence of intermodulation effects.

Harman Kardon

Soho is meant for people who like clean lines and are constantly looking for finer things in life. This set of wireless headphones, is effortlessly classy, owing to its sleek design, stitched leather and stainless steel finish. It is stylish, foldable, and has a pair of compact on-ear headphones that are relatively comfortable and offers strong performance for its size. The headphone cord is detachable and replaceable.  The headphones come with an Apple-friendly remote/microphone (Soho-I) or universal remote (Soho-A) for making cell phone calls. 

Soho is pretty light, and I thought the overall comfort level was good, though the thin headband is likely to be better suited for ladies than men.


JBL positions itself as 'hip and lively', thus explaining its friendly form and expressive lines. The JBL portable wireless speakers range is generally more sporty in looks and has a splashproof design, so one can safely bring the speaker to the poolside, or even for dancing in the rain! It streams music from your Bluetooth device to the wireless speakers - for your music needs at home and on the go.

Clockwise from left: (1) See how portable XTREME is? (2) I really love it that CLIP+ is literally 'clippable"
(3) FLIP3 is small yet powerful. Sound could be amplified effortlessly in an enclosed area of 300sqft!
The hubby, who is the IT geek, has his hands on Flip 2 and is full of praise for it.  This is what he says:

"The speaker comes in a handy size. It bears a strong resemblance to an aluminium drink can, in terms of its shape and feel in one’s hand. Being about twice as heavy as an unopened drink can doesn’t reduce its ultra-portability by much. Besides being a beauty to behold, it is reasonably sturdy, with shock-absorbing rubberised paddings at both ends of its cylindrical form factor.

The controls are intuitive - all located at one end of the cylinder: toggle on-off, volume up (+), volume down (-) and Bluetooth and voice call indicators. Once the switch is pressed to activate the device, its Bluetooth indicator blinks while it is in the pairing mode, and stabilises when connection is established. Simple as that. Two Bluetooth-enabled devices can be connected simultaneously to the same device.

The sound quality is fantastically realistic for a speaker of this size, thanks to JBL’s advanced noise and echo cancelling technologies. Reception is good, and with direct line of sight, the speaker produces crystal clear sound at distances of 10 metres from the source. The built-in battery, rechargeable via a micro-usb port, provides 5 hours of playtime."

There is no doubt that the new versions will out-do their predecessors. If the current range is already awesome, you can be assured that the JBL Smart Series III will be even better.

More information on these respective brands can be found here:


Harman Kardon



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