Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review
Harman Kardon is a trendy brand for audio equipment, offering a wide selection of speakers and headphones, both for indoor and outdoor use.
Today we are going to review Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6, which looks like its predecessor. It has the same size, design, color options, and same driver arrangement. The most significant difference in the upgraded version is that Onyx Studio 6 is fully waterproof (IPX7 rated). That means the speaker can be submerged up to a meter in water. The other difference is the price.
- Attractive design
- IPX7 rating
- Great sound
- Multipoint pairing support and Dual Wireless Sound
- No stereo separation
- No app
- No built-in mic
- Can’t pair with older models (Onyx Studio 1 to 4)
As mentioned before, Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 looks the same as Onyx Studio 5. Harman Kardon kept the same stylish suitcase-like design, with a changed fabric grille covering the whole cabinet. The grille is more similar to the fabric used on JBL’s waterproof speakers.
So Onyx Studio 6 is a circular speaker with a nice aluminum handle, giving the speaker a handbag look. It comes in black (with a black handle), blue and gray colors (both with gold-plated handles).
The speaker’s dimensions are 11.2 x 11.5 x 5 inches (HWD), and the weight is 6.5 pounds.
Under the handle, there are black rubberized buttons on the cloth grille for Bluetooth, power, volume up and down, and playback control (if you press it twice, it skips track forward). The buttons have a tactile feeling to them and respond ideally.
Below these controls, an LED shines through the grille. The LED indicator shows the Bluetooth status and blinks red when the battery is low but doesn’t show how much battery is left.
The grille covers a 4.7-inch woofer, a 1-inch tweeter, and a passive radiator that combines for 50 watts. All the speakers are mounted on the front panel.
The frequency range is 50 Hz to 20 kHz, and the Bluetooth is 4.2 and supports only the SBC codec. The pairing is simple, and the connection range is more than 50 ft outdoors, 33 ft when used indoors. NFC pairing is not supported, which given the price of the speaker, is disappointing. The Bluetooth supports multipoint, which means you can connect two devices simultaneously, but you can stream audio one at a time.
You can wirelessly connect two Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 speakers if you want louder sound, but you will not get a stereo sound. To achieve this, you need to press and hold the Bluetooth button on both speakers for 5 seconds. This feature is called the Wireless Dual Sound, but you can pair Studio 6 with Studio 5, but you can’t pair it with other previous versions.
On the back, there is a covered port for power supply, for 3.5 mm aux input (the cable is not included), and a micro USB port. At the bottom of the front panel, there is the Harman Kardon logo.
If you don’t want to use Bluetooth or your mp3 player doesn’t support Bluetooth connectivity, you can use the 3.5 mm audio input. Keep in mind that Bluetooth connection has priority over the Aux input, which means you have to disconnect your Bluetooth device and disable Bluetooth to play audio through the 3.5 mm input.
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 has the same battery (rechargeable, Lithium-ion) as Studio 5, which is disappointing for the battery. The battery lasts about 8 hours, listening to moderate volume levels, but if you use full volume, the battery dies in 3 hours. And to recharge, it seems to take forever, up to 5 hours.
There is no built-in mic in Studio 6, and the speaker doesn’t come with an app that will allow you to change EQ settings.
There is no significant difference between Studio 5 and Studio 6 when it comes to sonic performance. Since they have the same drivers and same driver’s arrangement, it is customary to expect the same sound.
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 has a stronger and more impactful bass because of the different grille that provides an IPX7 rating. The bass is elevated and punchy but does not affect the mids, which remain natural and well-balanced. The highs are slightly elevated, and the vocals are clear and crisp. The treble is not too bright. Overall, the sound signature is warm and easy on the ear.
There is no stereo separation, and you will not get it even when paired with two speakers together because they both play in mono mode. The volume is lower when the battery is used, and it gets louder when you plug in the speaker.
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 is Onyx Studio 5 but with a water-resistant feature. There is a minimal difference in the sound quality due to the waterproof fabric grille.
So if you loved the Onyx Studio 5, you would love the Studio 6 as well, with its stable Bluetooth connection with additional features, easy-to-use controls, and engaging sound.