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Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs 5: Which Speaker is Better?

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs. 5_ Which Speaker is Better_

Podcasts, live streams, news broadcasts, and many more!

The myriad of audio content that we can listen to nowadays would LARGELY be hindered if we didn’t have as many choices for the devices we can use to listen to them.

But it’s important to remember that your listening experience isn’t solely dependent on the production quality of your favorite podcast hosts and whatnot.

It also depends on the sound quality that your speaker can carry out!

Let’s talk about the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 and 5 speakers — their features, similarities and differences, and which one ultimately fits your specific preference.

Table of Contents

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 Overview

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 Overview-

Dubbed as the “epitome of room-filling sound,” let’s flesh out the specs and features of the Onyx Studio 4 speaker.

It provides its users with the perfect balance of great sound, iconic design, and premium materials.

Specs

Before getting into what it can do, here are the specifications of the Onyx Studio 4 that overall foster its capabilities:

  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2
  • Bluetooth transmitter power: 0 – 9dBm
  • Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2402MHz – 2480MHz
  • Bluetooth transmitter modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Supports A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HFP 1.6
  • Transducers: Woofer 2 x 75 mm, Tweeter 2 x 20mm
  • Rater Power: 4 x 15W (AC mode); 4 x 7.5W (Battery mode)
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 20kHz (-6dB)
  • Signal to noise ratio: 80dB (A-weighted)
  • Power: 19V (2A)
  • Battery type: 3.7V (3000mAH Lithium-ion)
  • Battery charge time: 5 hours
  • Battery life: Up to 8 hours (depending on volume level and music content)
  • Dimension (H x W x D): 260mm x 278mm x 159.5mm
  • Weight: 2061g

Main Features

Now that we’ve broken down the specs of the Harman Kardon Onyx 4, let’s talk about what the abovementioned numbers mean for the performance of this Bluetooth speaker.

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Not all speakers are built with PORTABILITY in mind.

For instance, those big and bulky speakers used in professional studios and home theaters don’t exactly spell out convenience for users.

This puts wireless Bluetooth speakers at least one tier above other bulkier and heavier speakers in portability.

With the wireless streaming feature of the Harman Kardon Onyx 4 Bluetooth speaker, you can conveniently play music whenever, wherever!

It also helps that the Harman Kardon Onyx 4 only weighs around four pounds — roughly the weight of carrying around your laptop with you.

Simply put, you can carry it around with you without feeling like your back and shoulders would hurt at the end of the day!

Connect Up To Two Devices

Most basic Bluetooth-ready devices cannot simultaneously support multiple devices.

With the Harman Kardon Onyx 4, you can pair up to two (2) devices at a time without having to unpair or disconnect from your speaker.

This means that two devices can be used to alternately stream any song or podcast of your preference.

Up to Eight Hours of Playtime

What’s the use of having a portable speaker if you’re going to have to charge it every thirty minutes or so, right?

The Harman Kardon Onyx 4’s rechargeable battery supports up to eight hours of playtime, allowing its users to have an uninterrupted streaming experience.

Albeit its decent battery life, it is worth noting how it requires up to five (5) hours of charging time in order to fully charge.

HK Connect+ Ready

Developed by Harman International Industries, the HK Connect app acts as a control panel for speaker configuration and speaker software upgrades.

Through the free and downloadable app, you can access the other features of the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 speaker, such as:

  • Party Mode: This allows you to synchronize up to 100+ HK Connect+ compatible speakers, as long as you’re within a reasonable range.
  • Stereo Mode: Connect two same Harman Kardon speaker models and configure each speaker to perform as L/R channels.
  • Voice Assistant Mode: Easily access the voice integration feature of the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4, wherein you can use Siri or Google Now.

Built-in Microphone

Now, you may be thinking, “Why would I want my Bluetooth speaker to have a built-in microphone system?”.

Compared to other speakers, one thing that makes the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 a truly awesome speaker is its advanced microphone system which has an integrated voice logic and echo and noise-cancelation.

You can use it to play music, any audio of your preference, AND use it for crystal-clear conferencing purposes.

Balanced Sound

The frequency response range of any device (e.g., speakers, headphones, etc.) determines the range of bass, middle, and treble frequencies that your device can reproduce.

For quick reference, here are the specific ranges of frequencies that fall under the three categories:

  • Bass frequencies are frequencies that fall between 20 and 300 Hz.
  • Middle frequencies fall between 300 Hz to 4 kHz.
  • Treble frequencies are all frequencies that go beyond 4 kHz.

The Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 has a frequency response range of 50 Hz – 20 kHz,

With this range, you can expect the Bluetooth speaker to easily reproduce sound in the same audio quality as typical loudspeakers can.

Though it would be better if the bass or low frequencies of the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 were lower (as low as 30 Hz), its specific frequency response range makes its overall sound balanced and crisp as it does not reproduce much heavy sound.

✔️ Pros

Here are some of the reasons why you may want to go for the Harman Kardon Onyx 4:

  • Good sound quality — crisp and typical-sounding
  • Good battery life
  • Good Bluetooth connectivity
  • HK Connect readiness makes synchronizing devices easier
  • It can be used for conferences and hands-free calls

❌ Cons

Here are some factors that you might not appreciate as much about the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4:

  • No stereo separation
  • Not the best choice for bass lovers
  • Eight hours of battery life may be lackluster

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 Overview

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 Overview-

Boasting its signature round silhouette, integrated aluminum handle, and elevated music-listening experience, let’s now talk about the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5.

We will discuss what the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 speaker is capable of — its bass quality, dimensions and weight, sound, and overall performance.

Specs

Before we get right into what the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 is capable of, let’s talk about the numbers:

  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2
  • Bluetooth transmitter power: 0 – 9dBm
  • Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2402MHz – 2480MHz
  • Bluetooth transmitter modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Supports A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
  • Transducers: Woofer 1 x 120 mm, Tweeter 1 x 25 mm
  • Rater Power: 1 x 50W (AC mode)
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 20kHz (-6dB)
  • Signal to noise ratio: 80dB (A-weighted)
  • Power: 19V (2A)
  • Battery type: 3.635V (3283mAH Lithium-ion)
  • Battery charge time: 5 hours
  • Battery life: Up to 8 hours (depending on volume level and music content)
  • Dimension (H x W x D): 284mm x 291mm x 128mm
  • Weight: 2980

Main Features

Wondering what all those numbers mean? Let’s get right into it!

Rich Sound Quality

Compared to previous models of the Onyx Studio (yes, including the Onyx Studio 4 that we just talked about), the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 has only one tweeter, one woofer, and two passive radiators.

Although this is less than its predecessors when it comes to quantity, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 makes up for it in size.

Particularly, its slightly larger woofer and tweeter allow the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 to reproduce a more balanced sound and more full low frequencies (perfect for the casual bass lover)!

Smooth Bluetooth Connection with Several Devices

Similar to the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4, this new speaker can pair and connect with two (2) smart devices at a time.

You don’t have to go through the trouble of unpairing and/or disconnecting from your Onyx Studio 5 speaker someone else wants to connect to your Onyx Studio 5!

Aluminum Handle

With its integrated aluminum handle and overall elegant design, users of the Onyx Studio 5 need not make space in their backpacks or luggage when traveling!

It’s even like a slightly heavier and more demanding version of the retro Walkman!

Rechargeable & Long-lasting

Like the Onyx 4, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 also has a rechargeable battery with around 8-hours of battery life,

Similarly, the only caveat is that it requires five (5) hours of charging to fully charge.

✔️ Pros

Let’s go through why you may want to go for this great speaker:

  • More premium sound quality (fuller lower frequencies)
  • Good battery life
  • Good Bluetooth connectivity
  • Has stereo separation
  • Integrated aluminum handle for portability

❌ Cons

On the flip side, let’s talk about some of the less notable details about the Onyx Studio 5 speakers:

  • Not HK Connect App ready
  • Heavier and bulkier
  • No integrated microphone for conferences and calls

Onyx Studio 4 vs. Onyx Studio 5: What’s the Difference?

Onyx Studio 4 vs. Onyx Studio 5- What_s the Difference--

After going through the individual features of both the Onyx Studio 4 and 5, let’s now talk about the similarities and differences between the two portable Bluetooth speakers.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs. 5: Pricing

Both Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers belong to the same price range.

Whereas the Kardon Onyx Studio 4’s price ranges from 140 to 209 USD, the Kardon Onyx Studio 5’s price ranges from 239 to 286 USD.

In short, the Onyx Studio 4 is slightly better than the Onyx Studio 5 when it comes to its pricing.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs. 5: Build and Design

Quick recap! Although both Onyx Studio speakers have elegant dome-shaped designs, several notable nuanced differences set them apart.

On the one hand, the Kardon Onyx Studio 4 only weighs around four pounds.

  • It has two built-in stands on its back which it requires for it to be able to hold itself up.
  • This feature may be highly functional, but it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing for some, especially for those looking for Bluetooth speakers with a more minimalistic design.

On the other hand, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 weighs slightly heavier at around six and a half pounds.

  • Though heavier and larger, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 makes up for its size with its aluminum steel handle, making it easier to carry around without worrying about it taking up space.
  • Additionally, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 has a flat bottom which may be the more minimalistic design between the two Onyx Studio speakers.

For this round, the winner is the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4, especially for those looking for wirelessly connecting Bluetooth speakers that are smaller and more lightweight.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs. 5: Sound Quality

Considering both speakers’ frequency response range and design in the Onyx Studio series, both can easily be expected to have good overall sound qualities.

The only trouble might be if you listen a bit closer to what you play.

You might notice that when at full volume, the Onyx Studio 4 has a relatively louder sound than the slightly fuller sound of the Onyx Studio 5.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 vs 5: Battery Life

When it comes to the battery duration of both Bluetooth devices, it’s a TIE between the Kardon Onyx Studio 4 and 5.

Both speakers can last up to eight hours of playtime — Stream music wirelessly or even binge your favorite podcast.

Though it is worth noting that the content and volume that you play your audio in may affect the battery duration of your speakers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions-

Pretty much decided at this point?

Let’s go through some of the few remaining questions regarding the speakers that might be brewing in your mind!

Are Harman Kardon Speakers Better Than Bose Speakers?

Both brands have earned outstanding performance and reputations connected to their names.

Harman Kardon devices have been known to excel more in portability, affordability, design, and bass production.

Meanwhile, Bose speakers have been known to excel more in connectivity, durability, and applications.

Can HK Speakers Connect to Each Other?

Absolutely!

If you have more than one device from Harman Kardon, you can easily synchronize them using the HK Connect Application that’s free to download both on Google Play and Apple.

How Many Onyx Speakers Can You Connect?

For as long as they are within a reasonable distance, you can connect up to 100+ Harman Kardon speakers through the HK Connect application.

Final Verdict: 4 or 5?

Final Verdict- 4 or 5--

After breaking down both speakers, the Onyx Studio 4 triumphantly wins over the Kardon Onyx Studio 5 regarding its size, weight, and integrated microphone for calls and conferences, and pricing.

But, for those who are looking for a more bass-forward stereo sound, the HK Onyx Studio 5 may be the better fit.

Conclusion

There really isn’t one perfect speaker.

Instead, some specific speakers fit all users’ nuanced and specific needs.

For those who frequently attend online conferences, getting speakers with a speakerphone lets them engage with their environment better.

Meanwhile, a studio monitor speaker may be a better fit for those in the audio production industry.

At the end of the day, our team encourages you to look for what speaker fits YOUR NEEDS best!

Happy listening!

About the author

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After becoming obsessed with the beats that were the soundtrack to his youth, Nick became a student of hip hop, digging for vinyl records, looking for the perfect break. Before he got his hands on an MPC sampler, he would mash these records, beats, and breaks into mixtapes and live DJ sets.