Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 Bluetooth Speaker Review

Harman has updated the Onyx Studio speaker system, the previous version of which, Studio 6, Studio 5, Studio 4… According to the developers, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 combines high-quality stereo sound with an avant-garde design.

According to representatives of Harman Kardon, the new wireless speaker not only tries to provide impressive sound but also inspires with its high-quality materials: aluminum and fabric in various stylish colors.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 Black 2

Onyx Studio 7 design

With its distinctive round shape, high-quality fabric cover, and sleek anodized aluminum handle for easy portability, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 combines style and comfort in a sophisticated Bluetooth speaker that makes it easy to use anywhere in the home.

If the Onyx Studio 6 looks like a designer bag, the Onyx Studio 7 takes a completely different approach. The fabric and metallic materials are preserved, but this speaker looks more like a tribute to the planet Saturn. 

Available with black, blue, or white fabric grilles, the Onyx Studio 7 measures 268.0 x 302.5 x 159.5mm (W x H x D) and weighs 3.2 kg. It has a rounded body that seems to float on its ring-shaped handle. The stand handle, on which the speaker rests, is also smart for sitting upright on flat surfaces. 

The design itself is interesting if you look at it through the eyes of the company trying to push the boundaries a bit in the portable device space. Hence, its appearance seems unconventional with respect to the speakers recently launched on the market.

Being a portable speaker, as its battery and built-in handle indicate, the Onyx Studio 7 is quite a heavy specimen, making it more portable in a room-to-room sense rather than transporting it on any adventure.

Unlike the previous version, Studio 7 is not waterproof and has no IP (Ingress Protection) rating, making it a poor choice for most outdoor scenarios.

Below the grille, two 1-inch tweeters and a single 4.8-inch woofer together draw 50 watts and deliver a frequency range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz. At the top of the grille are button controls for Bluetooth, power, play, and volume up / down. 

The play button can be double-tapped to skip forward one track, but there is no way to navigate backward.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 white
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Studio 7 Connections

A recessed panel at the rear houses a connection for the supplied power supply, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, and a USB-C port for service. No cable is included for auxiliary input.

The Onyx Studio 7 supports Bluetooth 4.2, which is a bit outdated and sadly only supports the SBC Bluetooth codec; It does not play AAC or AptX codecs. 

There is also no companion app with EQ, so you won’t be able to customize the sound signature. Fortunately, the speaker can connect wirelessly to another Onyx Studio 7 for a superior music listening experience.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 Blue 1
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Sound quality

By adding dual tweeters to the latest evolution of Harman Kardon’s renowned line of portable speakers, the Onyx 7 creates the illusion of an immersive, multi-directional soundscape.

The Onyx is designed to deliver exceptional sound quality. Its traditional V-shaped sound signature is truly defined by its upper and lower registers. 

The highs of the Onyx spread relatively well and its lows can reach some very low frequencies. There is a big swing around 2-3 kHz to support the vocals and from there a steady boost in the highs.

The upper register is clear and articulate, but not entirely light or airy. The Studio 7 surprises with the amount of detail it picks up, even when streaming via Bluetooth.

The audio from string and percussion instruments is served with excellent texture. Excessive sharpness in the upper treble does not cause wheezing in poorly mastered songs like Satisfy.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 Black

The midrange tuning the Onyx provides is remarkable. The lower midrange is warm and inviting, while the upper midrange has a few spikes to aid in vocal clarity. 

Voices can be perceived as too sharp, but you can also reduce the peak by 1 to 2 dB at 2 kHz (this is a solution that can be easily applied with an equalizer). As such, Studio 7 is excellent for playing male voices like I Am The Highway and Too Close, but for female voices, it might need a few minor adjustments.

The loudspeaker does an excellent job of separating the instruments in the middle area. The sound of bass, piano, or drums can be distinguished with relative ease, even though they share a large part of their respective frequencies.

The Onyx Studio 7 also demonstrates a consistent balance to maneuver its ability to deliver detailed acoustic guitar performance. With electric guitars and drums, the Onyx does an excellent job with an onslaught of active riffs and rhythms effortlessly.

When it comes to consumer audio products, it is often the case that manufacturers are obsessed with producing bass, but not bass quality. 

However, with this new iteration of the Onyx, you can clearly feel a sophisticated bass tuning. The Onyx’s mid-lows are too soft and wild, but its subwoofer is excellent. 

With songs like Gold Dust, there’s a lot of rumble and vibrancy to be felt every time the beat drops, making the Studio 7 a great choice for bass heads.

Unfortunately, the bass cannot be adjusted. You can try using a third-party EQ to adjust the bass, but we only recommend doing so if you are familiar with it, as it could compromise sound quality.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 grey
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How long does the Studio 7 battery last?

The Onyx Studio 7 uses an 11.70 Wh (3.6 V / 3,250 mAh equivalent) lithium-ion polymer battery. The device requires an average of 5 hours to complete its battery.

With the battery fully charged, the playback time provided by the Studio 7 is equivalent to 8 hours of music, although this value will vary depending on the volume level and audio content.

As a side note, the speaker has better sound quality when plugged into a power source, so if you want to get the most out of your audio, this is an obvious recommendation, although you would lose your sense of portability.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7 blue
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Should you buy the Onyx Studio 7?

The Onyx 7 offers fantastic value for money (hard to imagine about a Harman Kardon product). It has excellent sonic performance, room-filling volumes, high-quality materials, and a distinctive design at a price that clearly surpasses its competitors.

As a counterpoint, due to its price, it simply does not offer the most accommodating experience, because it does not play high-fidelity Bluetooth codecs, it has no extras, and its portability is limited by its weight and lack of water resistance. 

The rest said this speaker wasn’t designed to rely on cheap gimmicks like a built-in light show, voice assistant integration, or crazy self-timers. 

The Onyx 7 is bulky, heavy and as already mentioned, its sound quality is above the average of the speakers offered in its segment; Harman Kardon couldn’t have done it any other way.

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Alternatives

For much less money, the JBL Xtreme 2 and Sony SRS-XB43 are two portable options that outperform the Onyx Studio 7 in several ways. If you want a designer piece, consider the Bang & Olufsen Beolit ​​20 , which overall offers a much more rewarding experience.

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Specifications

Transducers1 x 120mm woofer, 2 x 25mm tweeter
Rated output power50 W RMS
Power supply19 V / 2 A
Frequent response50 Hz – 20 kHz (-6dB)
Signal to noise ratio> 80 dB
Dimensions (W x H x D)268.0 x 302.5 x 159.5mm / 10.55 x 11.90 x 6.28 “
Weight3,295 kg / 7.26 pounds
Bluetooth® version4.2
Bluetooth® profileA2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
Bluetooth® transmitter frequency range2400 MHz – 2480 MHz
Bluetooth® transmitter power≤ 9 dBm (EIRP)
Bluetooth® transmitter modulationGFSK, π / 4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
Wi-Fi networkIEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz)
Battery Type11.70 Wh Li-ion polymer (3.6 V / 3,250 mAh equivalent)
Battery charging time5 hours
Music playing timeup to 8 hours (depending on volume level and audio content)
Package contentOnyx Studio 7
Power adapter
Printed materials
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User manual

Check out user manual>> Harman ONYX STUDIO 7 User Guide

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Pros and Cons

9.4Expert Score
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7

The heart of the Onyx Studio 7 is two 25mm tweeters, complemented by a “powerful bass module”. The column received a built-in rechargeable battery that should last for 8 hours of music playback. The device can be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker or as part of a two-speaker system (via the wireless dual sound feature).

Design and Composition
9.5
Functions and Features
9.5
Sound and Power
9.5
Battery Lasting
8.7
Technology
9.6
Pros
  • Powerful Bass Audio Performance
  • Interesting avant-garde and portable design
  • High-quality stereo sound
  • 8-hour battery
  • Can connect wirelessly to another Onyx Studio 7
  • Dual tweeters create the illusion of an immersive, multi-directional soundscape
Cons
  • The price is too high for what you get
  • The design is not waterproof
  • Limited Bluetooth codec support
  • No EQ to adjust the sound signature

Interested to buy? Check Price on Amazon.

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