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Harmon/Kardon – Onyx Studio 5 – Review

So I’ll be honest,
I had somewhat written this off as just another bluetooth speaker. I was wrong to do this.

Usual dislaimer, This is a review, we were not paid for this, we don’t take money for reviews. This unit was not a gift, It has been returned.

Right so, What is it? well, it sort of is just a bluetooth speaker, its pretty simple. The thing I’ve found having reviewed a few of these sort of things now is. Most of them I compare to the UE MEGABoom. The Megaboom for the longest time was always the best for sound in my opinion. The Megaboom sound was able to get loud and have a good dynamic range and clarity at high volume. This Onyx is better.

SPECS

Bluetooth ————- version4.2
Transducers/Woofer ————– 1 x 120mm, Tweeter 1 x 25mm
Rated Power ————– 1 x 50W RMS Bi-amp (AC mode)
Frequency response ————– 50Hz – 20kHz (-6dB)
Battery charge time ————– 5 hours
Music playtime ————– up to 8 hours (Varies by volume level and music content)
Weight ————— 2980g
Price ————- $318NZD @ Harvery Norman website at time of review

My first impressions of this were that it was a nice to look at bluetooth speaker, I gave it a quick test and scratched my head at what to think about it. Effectively its a very simple unit, you connect your device and play tunes… Easy right?

What I didn’t expect. I was sitting getting some work done, listening to some music before starting on making dinner. Someone walked past and started dancing to my music, so I thought well its on now… I pulled up the Onyx and carried it up to the kitchen and proceeded to play some 2000’s dance classics at full volume.

The two major things that impressed me was the overall volume and the clarity at full noise.

Most of these speakers are fine for at the beach next to you, or on the table giving some ambiance, This does more. This little beastie filled the entire kitchen with quality volume to the point where it was loud enough to really dance along to, and sing if you’re game. I’ve find in the past most of these speakers do fine to a point but never get loud enough for someone like me to enjoy. Either the sound sounds to crack or you start to lose the higher or lower frequencies. This didn’t do that, at full signal out from my phone and full output on the speaker, the sound was clear and loud. Which is what you want right? its a pretty simple tool for a pretty simple job. Oh and the bass! that was epic, these speakers usually lack bottom end because of their size, this one is a bit bigger hence the handle, and man that 120mm driver can really push some air for what it is, which goes back to the clarity at high end volume.

It has a few tricks up its sleeve, like it can connect to other ( I think only harmon) speaker set ups to be an additional speaker which is a nice to have feature.

The only other thing of real note would be the playback time, its claimed 8 hours depending on what music and level you’re playing, I can’t talk to the battery life as the main use I had it for was 3 kitchen dance parties at about 40 minutes a shot.

Overall this has to be the best sounding of any of these speakers that we’ve had through so far and its ” only a bit bigger than most” size is absolutely worth it for the sound it can pump out. It’s not the cheapest out there, but I know many people that have Bluetooth speakers like this for their outdoor area music, this will fill a bigger area with better sound than anything else I’ve seen or heard so a couple extra bucks for the best, its worth it!

– Nick

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Empire motoring Journalist, BMX Rider, Yoga Doer and Burger aficionado. Always down for a laugh and or good food!

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