Join me today in my Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review
Speaker Reviews

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review

Join me today in my Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review, where I take a look at one of the few portable Bluetooth speakers from Harman Kardon.

You may have heard of Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s leaders in technology, but you may not have heard of Harman Kardon. Believe it or not, Harman Kardon is a Samsung company and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of them in March 2017.

The newest Onyx Studio 6 is one of two portable speakers, and it’s clear they stand themselves apart from other portable speakers. Between their unique design, and intense bass, this speaker is sure to catch a few eyes.

In my Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review I’ll cover a bit more about Harman Kardon, as well as do an overview of the Onyx Studio 6. I’ll go over important specifications of the speaker and end with what I see sets this speaker apart from others, as well as what I believe this speaker may be missing compared to its competition.

Now let’s get at it, here’s my Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review!


About Harman Kardon

I’ve covered off on Harman International in my previous reviews so I won’t go into intense detail about them today. However, as this is what I consider a “background” company, I’ll briefly review who they are and what they do.

I say “background” company because surprisingly, Harman International is a contributor to many of the brands you may have in your possession today, and you never would have known it!

Harman International, the parent company to the Harman Kardon speaker we are reviewing today, designs and engineers products and services for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide. They specialize in car systems, as well as audio and visual products.

More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with some piece of Harman technology. Leading brands such as AKG, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and more are under the umbrella of Harman International.

If you own a BMW, Lexus, Audi, Jeep, Toyota, Chrysler and more, then you probably have a piece of Harman technology in your vehicle.

Harman International employs 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Onyx Studio 6 Overview

It’s clear the Onyx Studio 6 delivers on a design that no other portable speaker can. Shaped more like an expensive purse than a speaker, this Onyx Studio 6 is a center piece in any room. harman kardon onyx studio 6 review

Crafted from aluminum with a fabric finish, this speaker sits upfront and features an oval shape with a handle at the top. It comes in three different colors: Black, Blue, and gray.

Hidden in plain sight are the silicon buttons directly below the bottom of the handle that control Bluetooth connectivity, volume levels, power on/off, and a playback button.

The Onyx streams using Bluetooth and has the ability to connect up to two devices at one time for shared music play.

Priding itself on its bass capabilities, this speaker does well to maintain its sound integrity despite high volume levels. With a digital signal processor (DSP), the speaker prevents distortion of bass or low-frequency tones at high volumes. In many comparisons, this speaker goes up against Sony SRS-XB47 and JBL Xtreme 2.

The Oynx Studio 6 is advertised at $479, considerably higher than its competition.

Important Specs

Design

This speaker has a beautiful design, and would be a perfect icebreaker with company over. It features a body made from aluminum and covered in a soft fabric.

The speaker is 11.2 x 11.5 x 5.0” and weighs 6.5lbs, which is heavy compared to what’s on the market in this category.

Inside this speaker, you’ll find one 4.7” woofer and one 1” tweeter pushing out power at up to 50 watts. With that power, and a bigger woofer, you know you’re guaranteed to get a pretty incredible bass.

harman kardon onyx stereo 6 reviewAlthough most of its competition features stereo drivers, the Onyx features a mono driver. This means that instead of environmental noises or background noises within a song at different levels, it pushes it out all at once. A second Onyz Stereo speaker paired together would automatically convert to stereo between the two.

 

Other Specs

The Onyx Stereo 6 has Bluetooth 4.2, and can connect to its device up to 50m. Compared to the Bluetooth 5.0 or better, this length of connectivity is half of what it could be.

This speaker is IPX7 rated, meaning it is extremely water and dust resistant. Weather or potential sink slashes are no match for its durability, and you can feel comfortable bringing this device outside in any weather.

The leak proof seal on the back features several ports. There’s one for the charging cable, a 3.5 AUX port, and a micro USB service port.

You’ll get up to 8 hours of battery life of a 5 hour full charge, although there are no quick charge functions.

This speaker doesn’t include a mic for hands-free calling or voice assistant capabilities. There’s also no app specific to Hardan Kardon, so the ability to adjust EQ isn’t there.

What I Love!

I will admit, when the developers got in a room and decided this speaker was going to stand apart from other designs, they did a great job hitting the nail on the head. This is a unique speaker, and its design alone sets itself apart from the others.

The Onyx’s power of 50 watts is appropriate for its size and speaker design, allowing it to deliver with a punch of bass.

As with most speakers on the market, you can connect two Onyx Stereo speakers together for a full room experience, but this is nothing new. You can also connect two devices at once for shared listening. Maybe a friend wants to play one song, and you the next. This device gives you that capability.

What Could Be Better..

Although this speaker sets itself apart in design, it’s lacking much of what could be considered “base” specs on today’s market.

I am sorry, but the battery life sucks… and having to charge it for 5 hours to only get 8 hours is excessive to say the least. I know this speaker was designed to be a “around the home” speaker, but you’d have to ensure it was plugged in nightly for fear of it draining too quickly and having to wait 5 hours for a full charge. There’s also no quick charge option, which is common in most portable speakers.

This speaker doesn’t feature a mic, which means no voice assistant capabilities for hands-free calling or music change. Another big miss, as even inexpensive speakers carry this function.

There is no connected app specific to the Harman Kardon speakers, so the EQ the speaker is designed to produce is all you get.

Having owned speakers made from cloth, and those made from other materials, I can say that cloth is a lot harder to keep clean, especially outside or near your kitchen. The aim with this was design and beautification of the speaker, but it may have fallen short on the whole picture.

Last but not least, this speaker features mono drivers. Not many speakers have mono, and most carry stereo, which allows for the full spectrum of sounds to present themselves at different levels instead of all at once. Stereo drivers give your music depth, where mono lacks that.

At such a large price tag, this speaker doesn’t deliver as much as one could hope.

My Verdict

About halfway through my Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Review I knew where my opinion was, and unfortunately it’s not for this speaker.

For almost $500 you’d want a superior portable speaker, and the Onyx Stereo 6 doesn’t deliver. If you purchase this speaker, it will be for the cool design and crisp bass sounds you’ll receive. Otherwise, you may want to spend your money elsewhere.

I hope I helped eliminate some time from searching the internet, and helped you come to a more efficient purchasing decision!

Let me know your thoughts below, but until next time..

-B

6 Comments

  • Edwin Bernard

    I was blown away by your honest review of this Bluetooth speaker from an iconic brand. Samsung has a knack for getting into the act by purchasing other relevant companies in the field of electronic entertainment. What really surprised me was how many other iconic brands are now under the umbrella of Harmon Lardon, and by default, Samsung. 

    Ever since I was a teen, and this goes back decades I’ve neem a Hi-Fi buff. That terminology reveals my age. I believe your assessment of this speaker is spot on. Whenever Bluetooth is in the chain of delivery, I have concerns about lag. DId you notice any of that with this speaker?

    Cheers.

    Edwin

    • Brooke

      Good Morning,

      I appreciate you reading my article! Yeah, although this speaker is pretty, it doesn’t carry the sound you would expect from a $400 speaker. 

      To answer your question, there little to no leg. You can connect two of these speakers together, which I didn’t get the chance to do, so I cannot speak to any leg there.

      Thanks! Have a great day.

      -B

  • Lio

    Thank you for providing sufficient details in this Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 review. I’d say that no matter how much I wanted this speaker in my home, I’ve eventually discovered that it is not for me. In my opinion, the cool design and crisp bass are not worth $450. With that amount of money, I’m confident I can find a better speaker than this one.
    By the way, you did a great job in letting us know about this speaker before we could buy it.
    Thank you very much.

    • Brooke

      Hey there!

      The price tag is a big downside to this speaker. Although it may boast a lot of great features, it’s not worth the $450 and I know you could find a better speaker too.

      Have a great day!

      -B

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