Harman Multimedia has announced the Harman Kardon SoundSticks II – a new version of its high-powered three-piece speaker system introduced in 2000. The new model features updated audio technology, touch volume control and analogue connectivity.

The system features two 10-watt satellite speakers backed by a 20-watt subwoofer to produce a bass response down to 44Hz. They are housed in a tubular, transparent enclosure. The speaker towers contain four Odyssey transducers that deliver frequencies beyond 20kHz, according to the company.

The SoundSticks II also employs a new computer-optimized multiband parametric equalization – this means listeners will experience clearer, cleaner sound and a more accurate reproduction of the artist's intent, says Harman Multimedia.

SoundSticks II, which is expected to cost $199, is compatible with all analogue stereos and desktop and laptop computers, as well as with game consoles, and digital music and personal CD players. The right speaker features Capacitance Touch control buttons that allow for direct access to volume control.

Harman Multimedia's vice president of engineering, Brendon Stead, said: "With SoundSticks II, Harman Multimedia has built upon an award-winning speaker design with upgraded audio technology to allow for multiple listening options. SoundSticks II is the ultimate speaker system for multimedia enthusiasts with a taste for innovation."

Creature comforts

The JBL Creature II has also been announced by Harman. This three-piece speaker system is described by Harman Multimedia as: "Organic, unique and quirky".

Stead said: "JBL Creature II demonstrates Harman Multimedia's continued commitment to offer unparalleled sound quality and extraordinary design for the ultimate experience in personal-computer audio."

JBL Creature II is compatible with all Macs and PCs, MP3 players and Walkmans, analogue stereos and CD players, and game consoles. It incorporates Odyssey transducer technology and JBL's speaker performance for "crisp midrange tonality and a stunning level of bass response".

The Creature audio system is available in white and gray and the speakers "glow" from the bottom. It is expected to cost $99. UK pricing is to be confirmed.