What We Like
- Audio quality that is bordering the audiophile level.
- Refined materials give it a very luxurious vibe.
- Great performance across the board.
What We Don’t Like
- Lack of versatility and mobility due to its pretty unusual shape.
Harman Kardon’s Onyx Studio 3 represents what Bluetooth speakers can deliver when excellence is a requirement. Today we are going to check this unit out and see why it’s one of the best performing Bluetooth speakers under $200.
There is no real rule when it comes to Bluetooth speaker design. However, most brands out there go with what is considered to be most functional. In other words, we see a lot of cuboid speakers as that shape is simply easy to work with. Either Harman Kardon didn’t get the memo, or they just wanted their Onyx Studio 3 to stand out.
Its disc shaped body is propped up by two hind legs, which makes for a cool looking speaker. The only issue here is that it’s not too stable. You wouldn’t really want to carry this speaker around with you on camping trips or pretty much anywhere outside your home. With that said, build quality of Onyx Studio 3 is impressive.
Harman Kardon used premium materials, which absolutely shows the moment you lay your hands on it. Front face features a nice fabric grille while the back is all hard surface. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that Onyx Studio 3 is pretty large.
Quick glance at the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3 might make you think that there’s only one speaker behind that grille. That is not the case. What you will find in there are two 75mm drivers paired with two 20mm tweeters. If you look at the back panel, you will notice the bass port which runs to those large drivers.
Interestingly enough, you can run this speaker on battery power, but also on AC power. If you go with the former, your power output will be limited to 30 Watts and 5 hours of playtime. This number goes to 60 Watts if the speaker is hooked up to the power adapter. No matter how you look at it, these power ratings are pretty impressive for a Bluetooth speaker.
Harman Kardon also built in a microphone, allowing you to use the speaker for conference calls. One cool thing about Onyx Studio 3 is the Wireless Dual Sound technology that allows you to pair two of these speakers for better listening experience.
The performance of Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3 is arguably the best thing about it. With Bleutooth speakers, you are often left with a compromise in terms of audio quality. However that is not the case with this bad boy. Tow rather large tweeters paired with two massive drivers do a spectacular job at reproducing quality sound across the frequency range.
Not only do you have great definition in both trebles and mids, but the bass is actually tangible. Even though there is no real crossover, at least not to our knowledge, the transition between highs, mids and lows is borderline seamless. Bluetooth works as expected in terms of range and signal strength, which also goes for the microphone.
Harman Kardon even implemented some of their noise reduction technologies, meaning that you calls will be pretty crystal clear on the other end of the line. Even though Onyx Studio 3 may not be the best model for outdoor use, its performance makes it extremely attractive.
Large, awesome sounding Bluetooth speaker that pushes the capabilities of this segment to the very edge. We knew we were in for a treat the moment Harman Kardon was mentioned, but Onyx Studio 3 exceeded all of our expectations.