Harman Kardon Onyx Studio Review
Impressive quality is in abundance as bass radiates deeply with the speaker. At the same time, mids maintain their warm tones.
The only way to get the music in our devices to the speaker, is through the Onyx Studio’s Bluetooth 3.0 connection, seeing that there’s no hard-wired or Wi-Fi network options. Luckily, the unit is automatically placed into pairing mode out of the box, so the process in getting it set up initially is effortless.
Using the HTC One M8 Harman Kardon edition, we have to admit that the audio quality produced by the Onyx Studio is impressive! Factoring in its size, the audio quality it delivers is close to what we’d normally get from fuller-sized options meant to be stationary in your living room home entertainment system.
At the highest volume setting, there’s very minimal strain exhibited by the speaker – allowing it to maintain its wide sounding tone. Bass purists will undoubtedly cherish this speaker, since it’s highly emphasized at all volume levels, so there’s no shortage of deep and robust bass. Mids also fair pretty well with their clear and warm tones, enabling instrumentals to be elevated so they’re not overshadowed by the lows. However, highs tend to sound terse and flat – more so at the loudest volume.
At the end of the day, we can’t deny the obvious here. It’s simply a great sounding speaker that oozes with plenty of rich audio, perfect to fill large rooms indoors, or even cover tightly packed outdoor areas. Wherever you end up wanting to listen to music, you won’t be disappointed by the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio.
Rated to deliver up to 5 hours of playback time from its fully charged 2600 mAh battery, our mixed real world usage produces close to 4.5 hours. Yes, it doesn’t meet the manufacturer’s rating, but nevertheless, we have to point out that we have a tendency to crank up its volume more times than none.
It’s worth mentioning that several portable Bluetooth speakers of this caliber have been able to get nearly double the amount of battery than this. Therefore, in a way, the battery life here as a whole is a bit lagging when compared to the competition. In addition, it lacks the useful battery charging feature found on many contemporary Bluetooth speakers – where the internal battery can be used to charge devices.
Even with its top-notch audio quality and pleasant looking modern design, it’s extremely difficult to overlook the speaker’s $400 cost, which is undoubtedly pricey amongst other things. For the price and all, you’re probably better off investing in an in-home audio solution – one that can deliver even stronger and more vibrant audio, with more secondary features too. Beyond that, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio is an unwieldy thing for a “portable” Bluetooth speaker. Ultimately, if its price were reduced considerably, and if it were more compact, this speaker would’ve been a knock-out hit. However, Sprint sells the Onyx Studio for only $100 when purchased with the HTC One (M8), making it a great deal.
- Impressive audio quality
- Sturdy construction
- Extremely expensive at $400
- Lacks any secondary features
- Too bulky in size to be deemed “portable”
1. DonkeySauce (Posts: 153; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)
Most Sprint store's have been bundling this with another small bluetooth speaker and selling the pair for $250. Absolutely worth if for that price!
2. JEverettnow (Posts: 162; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)
The onyx sounds amazing! DonkeySauce is right, the JBL/onyx bundle is an awesome deal!
3. Voslo (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 May 2014)
Voslo.com is selling this for just $229 with Free shipping. Oh and they accept Bitcoin :)