Harman Kardon’s newest transportable Bluetooth speaker, the Onyx Studio 7, feels adore it used to be shot out of a time system. For $479.95, it falls quick on options we now regularly see on audio system for part the associated fee (or much less). Sonically, the Onyx Studio 7 delivers tough bass intensity that can enchantment to these in search of some thunder, however no longer virtually $500 value. There is not any EQ to regulate audio efficiency to style, Bluetooth codec strengthen is out of date, and the speaker lacks a water-resistance score. In the long run, you’ll be able to get a lot better efficiency for the associated fee—and even for a long way much less.
The Perfect Section: The Design
If the Onyx Studio 6 resembles a fashion designer purse, the Onyx Studio 7 takes issues in an absolutely other route. The material and metal fabrics stay, however this speaker seems to be extra like an homage to the planet Saturn. To be had with black, blue, or white fabric grilles, the 12-by-10.6-by-6.3-inch, 7.3-pound Onyx Studio 7 has a rounded frame that turns out to hover inside of its ring-like care for. Cleverly, the care for may be the stand that the speaker leans on to sit down upright on flat surfaces. It’s an enchanting design that gained’t be for everybody, nevertheless it’s great to look an organization pushing the envelope just a little within the transportable speaker realm—this truly doesn’t appear to be any speaker we’ve examined in contemporary reminiscence.
Additionally, it’s value stating that sure, it is a transportable speaker with a battery and a integrated care for, nevertheless it’s at the heavy aspect, so it’s transportable extra within the room-to-room sense and not more within the throw-it-in-a-bag or take-it-camping sense. Not like the Onyx Studio 6, the Studio 7 isn’t water-resistant and has no IP (ingress coverage) score in any respect, making it a deficient selection for many outside eventualities.
Underneath the grille, twin 1-inch tweeters and a unmarried 4.8-inch woofer mix for fifty watts and ship a frequency vary of 50Hz to 20kHz. Around the most sensible of the grille, there are push-button controls for Bluetooth, energy, playback, and quantity up/down. The playback button will also be tapped two times to skip ahead a monitor, however there’s no method to backward-navigate a monitor, which is irritating.
A recessed panel at the again homes a connection for the integrated energy adapter, a three.5mm aux enter, and a USB-C port for provider. There’s no integrated cable for the aux enter, which is exasperating for the associated fee.
The Onyx Studio 7 is appropriate with Bluetooth 4.2, which is just a little outdated, and sadly most effective helps the SBC Bluetooth codec—it gained’t play AAC or AptX formats. There is additionally no spouse app with EQ, so you’ll be able to’t modify the sound signature. The speaker can wirelessly hook up with every other Onyx Studio 7 to shape a couple, no less than.
Harman Kardon estimates battery lifestyles to be kind of 8 hours, however your effects will range along with your quantity ranges.
Onyx Studio 7 Audio Efficiency
On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Onyx Studio 7 delivers some severe thunder. At most sensible quantity ranges, the DSP (virtual sign processing) kicks in to stop distortion, however that doesn’t truly appear to skinny the low frequencies out an excessive amount of. At relatively decrease quantity ranges, the bass is strong and smartly balanced with increased frequencies within the combine.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a monitor with a long way much less deep bass within the combine, provides us a greater sense of the Onyx Studio 7’s basic sound signature. The drums in this monitor sound, smartly, thunderous, similar to the sub-bass within the earlier monitor. When you have the Onyx Studio 7 on a resonant floor, it’s going to vibrate intensely—and it is a monitor that truly doesn’t encourage the type of subwoofer vibration we go along with, say, digital track. Callahan’s baritone vocals get a nice low-mid richness paired with a high-mid crispness, and the acoustic strums and higher-register percussive hits each get sufficient high-mid and high-frequency presence to stay issues vibrant and outlined. It is a extremely boosted and sculpted combine, with quite a lot of added bass intensity.
See How We Take a look at Audio system
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church within the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives sufficient high-mid presence for its assault to retain its punchiness, however the added bass intensity additionally imbues the loop with rumble it does not most often have. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat end up to be a bit of too deep for the drivers to achieve down and grasp—we get a bit of in their energy, however no longer the full-on subwoofer rumble you could hope for. As an alternative, you could have added bass energy at relatively increased frequencies, growing intense kick drum sounds. The vocals in this monitor are delivered cleanly and obviously, with out a lot added sibilance, however they may be able to now and then sound like they’re doing fight for house with the added bass thunder.
Orchestral tracks, like the hole scene from John Adams’ The Gospel In line with the Different Mary, in addition to jazz tracks, generally tend to ship beautiful herbal in the course of the Onyx Studio 7. The bass boosting doesn’t truly knock issues too a long way out of whack on those recordings. The lows do take a large step ahead, however no longer such a lot that they damage the stability and overshadow the opposite higher-register instrumentation.
No longer the Proper Speaker for Now
The Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 has tough, succesful drivers, nevertheless it merely doesn’t be offering an enjoy befitting its $480 value. It doesn’t play higher-fidelity Bluetooth formats, it has no extras in anyway, and its portability is restricted via its weight and loss of water resistance. Merely put, this speaker feels out of date. For a long way much less cash, the $350 JBL Xtreme3 and the $250 Sony SRS-XB43 are two transportable choices that outperform the Onyx Studio 7 on a couple of ranges. If it’s a design piece you need, imagine the $500 Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20, which delivers a much more rewarding enjoy general.
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7
The Backside Line
Harman Kardon’s Onyx Studio 7 appears like a Bluetooth speaker from a couple of years in the past, and its excessive value and spartan function set are not sufficient to compete via lately’s requirements.
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