As someone who loves listening to music during most of my daily tasks at home or at work, I am always looking for the best device that is loud enough and easy enough to use for my snazzy jazz Persona 5 playlist and my epic Marvel Avengers: Endgame playlist from the magnificent composer, Alan Silvestri. No, I do not only listen to classical music but hearing all the bass instruments perform in the foreground with its pinpoint accuracy of the Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200 Bluetooth Speaker.
As someone who requires audio stimulation daily, I wake up using a speaker to listen to music to start my day, use headphones or earbuds for work and then typically use a speaker again before bed to wind down. The Harmony Capsule 200 was versatile enough to carry around in my backpack. It weighed approximately two pounds, so it was not one of the lightest speakers I have carried around before. However, the bass sound quality was worth it for its $69.99 price that could potentially compete with bigger brands like JBL and Sony.
The bass from the subtle sounds and the rhythm of songs I listened to, to the deep bass notes camouflaged in the background—this wireless speaker picked every bass note perfectly. It performed splendidly without it peaking or sounding choppy, even at high volumes. Being able to hear those pleasing, soothing bass notes come through provided a euphoric feeling without losing the treble and vocal levels of the musical artist. It caught me off guard how the Harmony Capsule 200 was able to perform this well with different genres of songs without an app or setting for the preferred listening equalizer level.
While the Harmony Capsule 200 was a spectacular audio device for bass notes galore, it did not translate to other media forms like watching movies or shows. I tried watching the latest episodes of Marvel’s Moon Knight and Netflix’s Kotaro Lives Alone, and the sound levels could not balance the treble and bass tones. Whenever there was an audio track in the background, the music would sometimes be louder than the dialogue.
The setup was easy as it just needed to be charged out of the box and there was no app to download with it. The one surprise it had (or did not have) was that it did not come with a USB Type-C charging cord in the box, which I took as being a great way to cut the cost and the hassle of throwing another charging cord in a bin of its ancestors from ones I had already collected from other chargeable devices.
In terms of the Bluetooth and connectivity technology for the Harmony Capsule 200, I did not have any issues connecting, nor were there any moments of dropped connections. The distance between my phone and the speaker were typically at its furthest when I was playing music in my room on the second floor while I ran to answer the door downstairs, so it could be great for a nice backyard party once the spring or summer season hits.
“While the Harmony Capsule 200 was a spectacular audio device for bass notes galore, it did not translate to other media forms like watching movies or shows.”
For battery life, I was able to use it for two 5-hour shifts at work at medium-high volume before it indicated it was dying. It lasted about 10-20 minutes before shutting down, so it was not terrible as other wireless devices which informed me a minute before dying. Monoprice listed the average battery life to be up to 8 hours of playtime, so I was glad it performed a little bit better than expected. However, I was most disappointed with the charging time, which was approximately 2-3 hours to get the Harmony Capsule 200 back up to a full charge—not too great for quick use.
Another big drawback with the Harmony Capsule 200 for me was the design of the buttons, especially the volume buttons. The volume buttons were massive but could technically only be pressed in the centre of their respective symbols. The feeling of whether I was pressing the buttons got worse with the power button and other smaller buttons because I could not get a good responsive touch to register if I was pushing the button down the right way. The only prompt was if the sound came through, but otherwise, the click-and-hold method did not feel smooth.
Delving into the design deeper, it appeared that the Harmony Capsule 200 was intended to be used vertically more so than horizontally, since the tiny nubs to make it stand horizontally were so tiny—I found it kept rolling off if I did not place it down carefully. Overall, I think the little ridged standing points could have been bigger to allow this speaker to shine lying down as the bass tones were able to escape from both ends versus one side facing down on the surface it is placed on. As for voice assistant and phone controls, it got the usual standard tasks done well. I made a few calls with the speaker throughout my workdays and the voices were clear.
The price of the Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200 could not be better music to my ears and would fit the profile of anyone who enjoys an enriching bass-full experience without spending over a hundred dollars. The lack of features was evident and would not be a recommended audio device for a user who wants the experience the full range of audio sounds for different genres of music. The versatility was also lacking with no app or specialized controls that elevated the wireless speaker experience. At the end of the day, the bass spoke for itself.