Harman unveils hot new own-brand speaker alongside the JBL Charge 5

Apart from unveiling 11, count'em, 11 different pairs of JBL-branded Bluetooth headphones and true wireless earbuds, Harman International also took the wraps off two impressive new Bluetooth speakers yesterday.

While the Samsung-owned company plans to sell one product under its own name and the other under the celebrated and incredibly popular JBL label, both these bad boys are scheduled for a US commercial debut in April 2021.

Priced at $179.95, just like its best-selling predecessor, the JBL Charge 5 brings a subtly revised design to the table with "elevated" water and dust resistance, as well as added silicon bumpers and a logo that pops. IP67 rated to handle full water immersion and dust contact for all your outdoor music listening needs, the speaker maintains its decent portability by leaving the solid 20-hour battery life promise of the Charge 4 unchanged.

Meanwhile, the Charge 5 can tout superior "audio clarity and a deep bass" thanks to a "racetrack-shaped" driver, separate tweeter, and dual passive radiators. The resulting JBL Original Pro Sound technology purportedly "sets a new standard for high-quality sound", and although we'll obviously have to verify that bombastic claim out in the real world before getting too excited, history suggests this thing will probably be unrivaled in the sub-$200 segment in terms of both audio prowess and durability.

On top of everything, the JBL Charge 5 is also extremely versatile, working as a power bank to fuel other devices while keeping the party going and connecting to a number of compatible speakers with relative ease to amplify your sound system.

As great as the Charge 5 looks (on paper) in many key areas, it pretty much goes without saying that the $299.95 Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 is even better, at least as far as audio performance is concerned. The very distinctive circular speaker delivers "true stereo sound" with the help of two large 25mm dual tweeters, as well as "powerful bass."

Made from "premium" materials all around, including a die-cast anodized aluminum carrying handle, the Onyx Studio 7 will be coated in Charcoal Black, Marine Blue, and Winter Gray colors, promising a decent but far from remarkable 8 hours of uninterrupted playtime on a single battery charge. 

In addition to the official US Harman Kardon e-store, this puppy is set to be released at T-Mobile in a few months, unlike the JBL Charge 5, which will probably be available through essentially all major retailers nationwide. 


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