Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 review
What is it?
The Onyx Studio 5, a premium speaker by Harman Kardon which can convince people to buy it based on its elegant looks alone.
Design & Construction
- Harman Kardon has left no stone unturned to ensure that the Onyx Studio 5 looks expensive. In fact, it looks like a piece of decor that’s meant to be kept in a contemporary bedroom or living room.
- The speaker has a nice circular shape with an aluminium carry handle which gives it a unique look. The build quality is superb and everything from the handle to that mesh on the main speaker body feels high quality.
- This speaker has 5 buttons at the front which pretty much blend in with the mesh to give it a clean look. These buttons are decently clicky and work as intended. There’s also a single LED indicator below the buttons.
- You’d be better off giving this speaker a permanent spot in your home because it’s really heavy and thick, so moving it around isn’t all that practical.
- The overall audio output from the Onyx Studio 5 is decently bass-heavy, but the bass is not overpowering, so mids and highs never sound muffled.
- At peak volume, this speaker can get reasonably loud and there’s no distortion either.
- However, if you are really fond of a supremely balanced sound, or if your playlist mostly includes rock music, then you may be a bit annoyed by the bass amplification.
- The speaker has Bluetooth 4.2, not the latest 5.0. But that’s not a deal-breaker since connectivity is quite seamless.
- There is also an AUX input if wired audio is your thing.
- The speaker is officially rated at 8 hours, which means that in the real world, don’t expect it to last over 6 hours or so. Honestly, this is quite underwhelming and we certainly expected more.
- Another annoyance is the fact that the Onyx Studio 5 has a proprietary charging port, and it charges via a bulky, laptop-like charger.
- To sum up, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 has a fantastic design & build, good audio quality, but below-par battery life.
- However, the speaker isn’t your everyday portable device, it is for someone who wants a stunning look with good audio output. And since it will generally be placed in a dedicated spot inside your home, the battery life won’t be much of an annoyance.
Watch our video review of the Onyx Studio 5: