When a new child is born, the older one gets neglected, especially if the little one is not so little and looks almost exactly like its older sibling. The younger child always gets all the attention, eats all the good food and is generally loved by all. But let me not delve into experiences that moulded me into the man I am today, as that’s not the case with Harman Kardon’s Go + Play Micro. This iPod dock looks almost identical to its big brother, the original Go + Play. In fact, I don’t even know why they’ve bothered to add the micro tag, as it really isn’t that much smaller. All they’ve done is shaved off half an inch in depth and 1.5 inches in width. Harman Kardon has also taken away some key features that made the original Go + Play so popular. But they have also added some stuff too. So is it worth it?
Design and Performance
I really like the way this dock looks, as its so different when compared to the rest of the droll looking docks with their straight edges and rectangular shapes. The most fascinating aspect for me has to be the sweet metal handle that stretches all across the width of the speaker, which almost makes it look like a handbag.
One thing I found a little odd was the horizontal cradle for the iPod/iPhone, which was present even in the original Go + Play. This version has a remote which lets you browse through your iPod/iPhone menu as well, but that’s quite pointless, as the screen is pretty much facing upwards, which means you can’t really see what’s on it. Another problem here is that the dock feels a little confined. My iPhone 4 fits just right, but when I added the case, it refused to fit. This, in my eyes is failure.
The view from behind doesn't offer all that much
As far as connectivity goes, the Go + Play Micro has an extra trick up its sleeve. Apart from the usual auxiliary inputs, this baby also has a composite video output for your TV. I tried playing a movie off my iPhone and it worked pretty well apart from the pixelation of course. I even streamed videos off YouTube in 720p from my iPhone, and they played back without any problems. I am hoping to see some changes here in the future though, such as HDMI replacing the composite connection.
As far as other features go, it feels like the Go + Play Micro has had a vasectomy. They’ve taken away the FM radio, EQ and then some more. Harman Kardon might justify this by saying that this is the cheaper, step down ‘Micro’ version, but it sure as hell isn’t micro in size.
The Go + Play Micro also runs on batteries, but wait; it takes 8 C-cell batteries to make this dock go portable for approximately 18 hours. But how many appliances use C-cell batteries anyway? Fail!
The Go + Play Micro has four tweeters up at the front of the dock, as well as a woofer at the bottom. I love the way this dock sounds, as everything is clear and upfront. It doesn’t even distort at maximum output level. But here’s the catch, as I felt it could be a whole lot louder. The original Go + Play could strip the lead off a pencil, but its younger sibling is obviously no match in terms of power. Apart from output, this dock sounds insanely delicious. I tried playing back a bunch of music on it, and everything from acoustic and pop to heavy metal and hip hop sounded really nice. this is definitely one of the best docks I’ve heard. If only it was louder, it would have definitely hit the spot.
The remote is strictly OK, and is easy to use. The only irritating thing about it is that you have to keep it pointed almost directly at the dock. Sometimes, you even have to press buttons a couple of times for the desired effect.
The horizontal docking space is quite a turn off
Personally, I love this dock for the quality of sound it provides. I also like the video output function, although I really don’t know how often I will use it. But I hate the fact that it’s not loud enough for my liking. I also don’t like the ‘Micro’ tag that’s been attached to it, as it really isn’t that much smaller. The only things that have been shrunk are the features and sound level. At Rs. 14,990, it is significantly cheaper than the original Go + Play, which is priced at Rs. 19,990 and has been discontinued.
I give this dock 3 stars. I’ve taken away two stars because it’s a little expensive for the features it offers, is not loud enough and for the horizontal docking station that doesn’t allow me to stick in my iPhone 4 with its case. However, the sound that the Go + Play Micro does provide is really good. That, along with the killer design and video output function allowed me to give it 3 stars. However, there are other options such as the Logitech S715i which is way cheaper at Rs 8,000, as it is loud, sounds good and looks pretty decent.