Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 – Review

The new Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker is now slimmer with a more elegant design that makes it fit and complement the inside of your house as a piece of decor.

Build & Design

It’s wrapped in premium fabric all around with a practical metal handle at the top that complements its high-end design language. Unlike a lot of similar price speakers, the Onyx Studio 5 is not meant to be a rugged outdoor speaker. The grill is made from a soft plastic material instead of the durable reinforced metal grills that you would find on similarly priced Bluetooth speakers. There’s also no sort of waterproofing either because this speaker was not designed for that purpose. This speaker is great for picnics, indoor entertainment whether in the living room or bedroom. Even with its tall and narrow design, it will stand perfectly stable and will not be easily be tipped over even under heavy rocking.

All the buttons are very clicky and responsive. It has a pairing button, power button, and your typical playback controls. Using the pairing button, you will have the ability to pair it with another Onyx 5 speaker. Pairing two Onyx 5 speakers together will enhance your audio experience while providing more room filling music. The one thing to consider is that it cannot be pair with any of the older versions of the Onyx Studio speakers only to another Onyx 5 speaker.

It also doesn’t have voice assistant capabilities, so you can’t access your voice assistant on Android or Apple devices.

Battery Life

It comes with its very own wall charge and not a USB cable so you have to connect it directly to a wall outlet when adding power.

Battery life is rated at up to 12-hours. But in real-world testing, the Onyx 5 gets closer to 4 and a half hours at 50% volume. When you compared that to speakers like the Sonos One and Bose SoundTouch, the Onyx Studio 5 offers the best portability because those other speakers don’t have batteries built in.


This speaker comes with Bluetooth version 4.2 and it works really well. You’re able to get an impressive 100+ feet in wireless range with a clear line of sight. Where this speaker loses points is when playing with video, whether you’re using an Apple or Android device you get really bad delays in audio, voices simply are not in sync. But Harman Kardon does insist that this speaker is more for music and not video.

If you really want to watch videos you can always use the 3.5mm cord if you don’t mind having a wired connection.

Sound Quality

The biggest difference between the Onyx 4 and Onyx 5 is that Onyx 5 has one less tweeter and one less woofer so the Onyx 4 has slightly more bass. Despite those differences, the Onyx 5 is loud enough for medium to larger areas.

Even though the Onyx 5 has one less woofer it still has a good amount of bass. It’s deep, rumbling and better than similarly priced speakers from there sister brand JBL. One thing to be aware of that the bass will get a middy and baffling at high volume. The midrange is great you get very clean and detailed vocals without it being overbearing or too forward. The highs are sharp but not ear piercing allowing for a well refined audio experience.


The Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 is a great speaker with a beautiful design that’s ideal for indoor entertainment. It delivers a very enjoyable audio experience but audio quality isn’t as detailed or as balanced at maximum volume.

If your the kind of person who prioritizes audio quality first and you like to blast your speaker at maximum volume this speaker won’t be for you. The Onyx 4 will be a better option with its additional woofer and tweeter. Read Now: Best Bluetooth Speakers 

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One Comment

  1. The older speakers with legs break after a while. they’re hard to replace because the legs screw in apparently from the inside. the sound is great, the power it takes to switch it off and on is very difficulty on the onyx 1 & 2. MY SPEAKER IS NOW ONE LEGGED

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