Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 2 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker System: Play your favorite music clearly with this wireless speaker system, which features two 3" woofers, two 0.75" tweeters and 2 passive radiators that deliver rich, detailed audio. You can wirelessly connect up to 2 devices to the speaker system using the Bluetooth 3.0 interface.
Absolutely, completely, 100% BLOWN AWAY
Posted by: Flibberdejibit from: Pataskala OH on
I picked up one of these speakers earlier today during a 4-hour "flash sale" on BestBuy.com, discounted from $199 to $149. I have previously owned Harman Kardon products and felt that they were very high quality, so I sort of purchased this on a whim. But...for $150, I figured what the heck...I could always return it if I didn't like it.
Let me preface this review by stating that I am a bit of an audio snob. While I wouldn't say I am a high-end audiophile, I have discerning taste in my audio and appreciate wide dynamic range, clear highs, clean & punchy lows, and most importantly...the ability for a speaker to discern DETAIL. I am also a bit of a Bluetooth speaker nut, owning what are widely considered to be two of the best portable speakers available...the UE Boom and the Bose Soundlink Mini. The Bose is great for clean audio with wide range (but is VERY directional), while the UE Boom is better for 360 audio and sheer volume.
The Onyx Studio 2 is technically not in the same class (due to it's size compared to these other two BT speakers) and normal pricetag, so perhaps comparing the three speakers to one another is unfair, but I can say this...the Onyx Studio 2 absolutely MELTS the UE Boom and Bose Soundlink Mini, while priced exactly the SAME, at least for the time being.
Better quality speakers have an ability to discern fine details that you otherwise wouldn't hear in a marginal speaker, and to most people, a marginal speaker will sound fine and they wouldn't even notice the difference. Turn this bad boy on and that all changes. I have not heard audio comparable to this from any speakers aside from my Sony MDR-V6 headphones, which are widely used in sound engineering applications. The noise this thing makes is absolutely astonishing. The bass alone, which is very clear and punchy, with no muddiness whatsoever, is worth the price of admission. I was able to pick out fine details in the music that the Bose cannot resolve, and is certainly beyond the limited capabilities of the UE Boom. The Onyx is an excellent speaker, far exceeding what I would have expected a portable BT speaker to be capable of.
And having an excellent speaker can actually create problems...most notably is that a great speaker will bring out all of the flaws of whatever audio source you are using. Playing a lower quality/low bitrate track on a Bose Soundlink Mini or UE Boom sounds just fine. On the Onxy Studio 2 however, you will hear cracks/pops, static, hisses, etc....all sorts of nasty noises polluting your music. You can actually HEAR the flaws from the compression of poor quality tracks. This is something that only a high-end speaker can do, and unfortunately I was able to very quickly pick out which tracks on my smartphone are the worst and need replacement.
I can't speak for battery life as the unit has been connected to the wall for the few hours I've owned it, but I'm reading that the battery life isn't great. I would expect that based on the build. You can actually see the sub vibrating on the back of the unit when playing music (actually pretty cool to see), and moving something that large and producing audio of this quality can't be easy on a battery.
Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, the Bose Soundlink Mini and UE Boom are BADLY outclassed by the Onyx, while costing the same. Sure, the Bose and UE are a quarter of the size. And sure toting it around might be a little unwieldy, but the carry handle built into the housing is actually very comfortable, the unit is surprisingly light, but most importantly the audio quality is TOTALLY worth it.
Will most likely be selling my Bose and UE now....this Onyx has officially spoiled me, and it's hard telling when I'll be able to listen to anything that performs beneath this thing's capabilities. Home run Harman Kardon...well done.
31 out of 32 found this review helpful.
Fantastic Premium Portable Speaker
Posted by: Skifisher from: on
The Harmon Karmon Onyx Studio 2 improves upon the first generation with the addition of an AUX port and an integrated microphone to use as a speakerphone system! While I never personally got to test the first model, the sound quality of the Studio II is superb; it has sweet highs, smooth miss and ample amount of low-end for a speaker of this size. The sound does tend to bias towards the bass, however the sound is never drowned out by it. The volume of the speaker, as tested with a Macbook via bluetooth, goes pleasantly loud however it won't be anything to replace a fully equipped home stereo system. This will be more than adequate for social gatherings outside however, such as a campsite or a boating adventure etc etc. While the price is steep this speaker is certainly built to last with a much improved and durable metal speaker grille over the last generation's inferior cloth grille (which I imagine would be prone to tear, rip, or get dirty), as well as having the sound quality I would expect of Harmonn/Kardon.
I got slightly above the stated battery life of 5 hours, playing at medium volume.
I would recommend this speaker for the audio enthusiast that likes to bring their passion them from time to time!
20 out of 20 found this review helpful.
Top of the line product
Posted by: hgchicago from: on
Best sounding bluetooth speaker out there in the market. It easily outclasses Bose Soundlink, and crushes Beats Pill. Crystal clear highs, soothing mids, and heart pounding lows that produces breathtaking sound (for the size it got).
If you are out in the market looking for some quality bluetooth speakers, please give HK Onyx Studio 2 a try. You won't turn back to anything else.
Only downside - As many users have mentioned, the battery doesn't last too long. If absolute portability is your key criteria, this might not be the best fit. Otherwise it scores A+ in each and every other aspect.
20 out of 23 found this review helpful.
Posted by: BestBuyStud from: on
I've been shopping around for awhile for a new speaker having been mostly a Jambox or Beats By Dre user in the past I wanted a change. I've heard the Harmon Kardon Onyx ( original ) many times and always loved the sound and the fact that it's a great value ( often seen on sale for a fraction of the usual price ) but that also left me to believe that they were coming out with a new model and here I was correct. When I saw the Onyx 2, I instantly bought it and have not been disappointed. I love the new design features, the leather backing, gold accents and matte appearance. The sound is also remarkably better I've even set my 2 up next to an original and noticed the difference. If you are looking for an amazing wireless speaker this is it or even the original. I use this as a speaker and an addition to my sound bar set up for home theater style usage as well.
12 out of 12 found this review helpful.
Pros outweigh the Cons
Posted by: TechGeek25 from: on
There are a lot of good thing about this speaker. The design is sleek and smooth and can be placed in any room. The sound us nothing less than phenomenal as expected from Harmon Kardon. The only 2 bad things I found was there is no battery indicator so it will just cut off in the middle of your favorite song. Also, battery life is anything but good especially if you are like me and like to play your music loud. Great party speaker if you're near an outlet
11 out of 11 found this review helpful.
Better than Bose!
Posted by: richeorebroke from: on
I had my eyes on this item for a very long time. This was the only system playing throughout the store. The sound was heard from the front to the back of the building. Couldn't pass up the deal $149.99 originally 449.00.
8 out of 8 found this review helpful.
We love this wireless speaker!
Posted by: jaysmom from: on
We had the older version, but recently invested in the HK Onyx Studio 2. You can really tell the difference in the upgrade. The sound is crystal clear even outside by the pool. Pricey but worth it!
8 out of 8 found this review helpful.
best speaker in its class.
Posted by: itsmtl from: on
Of all the speakers I have tested this by far was the best sound and clarity. Although it says the speaker is portable, it's kind of heavy weight wise, the battery doesn't last very long for portable use, but I am NOT willing to give up sound and clarity for portability. If you're looking for something for your home or a particular room this is a great choice, but if you're looking for portability you should definitely go for something else, but again with most portable speakers you lose the sound quality.
8 out of 8 found this review helpful.
This speaker sounds amazing!
Posted by: JaiMega from: Chicago on
This speaker is definitely one of the best blue tooth speakers that you can find in the store. The sound is full and the bass is awesome. While the speaker does tend to favor the lower frequency bass tones isn't too overpowering like the Beats speakers. The only reason why I'm not giving it 5 stars is because of the lack of instructions included in the box. Anyone that has operated a BT device can figure it out. However, there isn't anything that tells me how to connect the 2nd device. Also, I didn't know that if you hit the phone button 2x it will make your music skip to the next track. And for a speaker that has a base price of $449, you should be able to connect it via WIFI as well as pair it with other BT speakers. Since it was on sale for $199, I won't complain too much about that. This isn't something that you would want to take on your boat or on a camping trip. While there is a high level of quality to the design and manufacturing of this speaker, it isn't water resistant or dust proof. But if you're using it in a living room or something, you should be fine.
9 out of 10 found this review helpful.
Will not hold a charge past 20 minutes
Posted by: Matt from: on
Sounds good but after a full charge the unit will play up to 20 minutes and go dead. Can only use it plugged in if you want to listen more then 20 minutes.