The Quick Verdict
Well, Harman Kardon has gone all out with this portable speaker!
The sound quality is immense; it replicates a theatre type ambience.
The Harman Kardon speaker is portable, extremely stylish but slightly heavy. This is a countertop speaker with superior sound, not a speaker to carry around in your handbag.
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3
I must admit, I do love this speaker. The sound quality is immense and is impressively loud, a great speaker for entertaining. This speaker connects to bluetooth and is very easy to use.
The battery life apparently has 5 hours of playtime, though I haven’t managed to get 5 hours with this feature. Unfortunately, I only seem to get around 3 hours 30 minutes. I'm presuming this is because I have the music really loud.
We currently have our speaker in the kitchen. Its elegant design blends in nicely with our appliances. We have owned this speaker for nearly 5 years and it’s time for an upgrade, as the battery life has finally depleted, which is not bad, considering it has been frequently used as a portable speaker around our home.
This speaker, I feel, is better suited for around your home and garden. It’s too large and heavy to take with you on days out - if you do take it outside, make sure it’s not raining as this speaker is not waterproof.
Design and Features of the Harman Kardon Speaker Onyx Studio 3
- Wireless Bluetooth Streaming
Stream music wirelessly via bluetooth enjoying excellent sound quality
- Connect up to 3 smart devices
Take turns playing music
- Dual wireless
Wirelessly connects 2 Harman Kardon speakers
- 5 Hours play time
The rechargeable battery supports 5 hours (yet to happen for me)
What’s in the Box:
1 x Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4
1 x Power Adaptor
1 x Quick Start guide
1 x Safety Sheet
1 x Warranty card
How to clean a Harman Kardon Speaker Onyx Studio 3
This speaker is not waterproof, care is required whilst cleaning.
- Firstly switch off your speaker, remove the A/C adaptor.
- Using a dry cloth on the front mesh, gently wipe, removing any dust.
- Dampen your cloth and wipe the legs and back of the speaker.
- Dry thoroughly using a cloth.
Using this method to clean your device weekly will help to keep it in great condition.
How to set up the Harman Kardon Speaker Onyx Studio 3
This speaker is possibly the easiest device I have ever set up; there is very little effort needed to get it up and running.
Empty contents from the box
Plug in the power adapter
Switch on the HK (located top right hand side)
Check the battery is fully charged (this will flash red if not charged)
Press the bluetooth button on the top rim of the Speaker
Turn on bluetooth on your smartphone (in Setting)
Pair with HK Onyx 3
Start playing your favourite music!
The control panel is located on the top of the speaker. There are 5 buttons in total:
The buttons are soft to touch, which actually feels really nice. They are also hidden away, allowing the speaker to look more stylish.
How to use dual pairing functions
Dual pairing is a great function on this speaker. It’s really easy to set up, allowing you to enjoy music from dual speakers around your home or garden. The sound quality is powerful without being overwhelming.
Turn on number 1 Onyx Studio;
Pair it with a bluetooth device (smartphone, tablet, etc);
Turn on number 2 Onyx Studio;
Push the bluetooth button on Onyx studio number 1 speaker and wait for the distinctive sound;
Push the bluetooth button on Onyx studio number 2 speaker and wait for the distinctive sound;
Wait for both 1&2 Onyx speakers to give the distinctive sound, then both are paired;
Start playing your favourite tune and blast it out!
Specifications of the Harman Kardon Speaker Onyx 3 Studio
4 X15 W (AC Mode) 4 X 7.5W (Battery Mode)
Battery charge time
5 hours (varies by volume)
Bluetooth transmitter modulation
GFSK TT /4DQPSK,8DPSK
Bluetooth transmitter power
50Hz - 60kHz (-6dB)
Woofer 2 X 75mm, Tweeter 2X20mm
(H x W x D) in (mm)
278.0 x 162.8 x 258.0
How does the Harman Kardon Speaker Onyx 3 Studio compare against other brands?
The Harman Kardon speaker is simple and easy to use and affordable in comparison to other brands. Harman Kardon owns JBL, AKG and Infinity; they have been producing audio products since 1953.
Bose, a competitor, has been producing audio products since 1966 - they tend to be slightly more pricey than Harman Karmon and the speaker size is usually smaller, allowing it to be more portable.
Both Harman Kardon and Bose offer similar battery life (keep in mind though that using your speaker consistently at maximum volume will considerably reduce the lifespan of the speaker).
Both Harman Kardon and Bose have proved to be excellent in producing stylish, excellent sound quality audio equipment. Harman Kardon’s aim is to produce top quality equipment, excellent design without any costly features, making this a very easy speaker to use.
Is Harman Kardon better than Bose?
Harman Kardon is better than Bose in terms of affordability, bass, production and its extensive range of colours.
Bose is better with connectivity and durability and Bose also produces more slimline designs than Harman Kardon.
Whilst HK have created portable speakers with handles, these can still be too heavy to travel around with, making the portable feature not as attractive as Bose.
Other models of the Harman Kardon Speaker Onyx 3 Studio
Since the Harman Kardon Onyx 3, HK has evolved massively, bringing out the Onyx 4 to 7 offering additional features every time. Studio 4 is essentially an updated version of Studio 3, offering 7 hours playtime and also integrates with HK Connect+.
This can pair with devices and daisy chain with 100 speakers, where the Studio 3 could only daisy chain with 2 speakers.
This extra feature could allow you to have a speaker in every room of the home.
Harman Kardon Onyx 3 Studio
Harman Kardon Onyx 4 Studio
Up to 5 hours
Up to 7 hours
Up to 33ft
Up to 33ft
50Hz to 20KHz
50Hz to 20KHz
Integration With App
Integration With HK Connect +
Multi-host 3 devices connects to 2 speakers
Multi-host 2 devices connects with 100 speakers
As you can see, the playtime has increased by two hours and now has App integration - it can also connect with 100 speakers. Seems impressive to me!
The design of the Onyx 4 hasn’t changed from the Onyx 3; it still has the handles located at the rear, making it easier to carry. I’m happy the design hasn’t changed as it is one of the best features. The rubber feet help to keep the speaker stable and also prevents the heavy bass from causing vibrations.
There’s one small let down for me with both these speakers: they are not waterproof. This feature wasn’t added until the Onyx 6.
The Onyx 6 seemed to get more added features on the upgrade, 8 hours playtime, IPX7 waterproof and the design was completely changed, making this look even better and more stylish with an easier to carry handle. The only issue is that it's heavier, making this now even harder to take out.
A quick overview of the Harman Kardon Speaker Onyx 3 Studio
The Harman Kardon Onyx 3 has been an outstanding speaker for my home, it’s really easy to use and the music quality is tremendous.
Having now looked and researched multiple speakers, I have decided to upgrade to the Onyx 6 as the features compared to the Onyx 3 & 4 makes this upgrade justifiable.
Rating Harman Kardon Onyx 3 Studio - 4 out 5
(1 point was lost due to the battery life)
FAQs about the Speaker Onyx 3 Studio
Why buy a Speaker Onyx 3 Studio?
The Harmon Kardon speaker is simple, easy to use and affordable.
With 5 hours playtime and its portable feature, you can take this anywhere. It’s created to look stylish and blends in with your home furnishings.
What does it mean when my Harman Kardon speaker is flashing red?
This is an indication that your battery is depleting and in need of charge. A full recharge can take around 5 hours, then portable playtime will be 5 hours, depending on your volume preference.
How do you connect a Harman Kardon speaker to your mobile?
This is connected to your mobile via bluetooth under your setting option in your mobile.
- Press the bluetooth button on your HK speaker
- Go to setting on your mobile
- Connect to Onyx when discovered on your mobile
How is the sound quality when wireless?
The sound quality whilst wireless is great, I can’t actually tell the difference when it isn't plugged in.
Very impressive bass and the rubber feet help to eliminate any vibration, making the music quality outstanding.
How many speakers can you connect together?
The Onyx 3 only allows two speakers to connect.
The upgraded version on the Onyx 4 can connect to 100 speakers.
What is the difference between HK Onyx 3 and 4?
These speakers are very similar in design and features; the Onyx 4 can now connect to 100 speakers and also has app integration.
Apart from that, not much else has changed.