Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 vs Studio 6: Should You Upgrade?

If you are in a hurry! here is a quick comperasion between Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 and Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6.

Model

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6

Dimensions

284 x 291 x 128 mm

284 x 291 x 128 mm

Weight

1980g

1940g

Drivers

1 x Woofer 1 x Tweeter

1 x Woofer 1 x Tweeter

Water Resistance

No

IPX7 Waterproof

Battery Size

3,283 mAh

35.8 x 23.9 mm

Charge Time

5 Hours

5 Hours

Frequency Range

50Hz - 20kHz (-6dB)

50Hz - 20kHz (-6dB)

Bluetooth Version

4.2

4.2

Rating

Price

Since the latest Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 came out, people are wondering if it is worth the upgrade. That is why we are here to find which is better: Harman Kardon Onyx 5 or 6.

Well, right from the start, it is hard to tell the difference between both speakers. To the naked eye, they look exactly the same.

They are both made from one of the biggest audio manufacturers in the world, and it seems like they spotted a few things that needed an upgrade from the previous Onyx Studio 5.

However, let’s jump down and compare Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 vs five and find out if there is any difference between both devices.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5

The fifth version of Harman’s unbelievable series was released at the end of August, back in 2018. The Onyx Studio 5 was a considerable upgrade from its predecessor the Studio 4, both in design and performance.

Harman Kardon is a well-known company for manufacturing unique and beautifully designed audio products. They are a byword for high-quality audio equipment, which is why they are a popular choice among people.

Since they released the first Onyx series, they decided to stick to the recognizable circular design, but fortunately, they decided to remove the undetachable legs from previous versions.

So that we can get a better understanding of Onyx Studio 5 characteristics, we will dig deeper into analyzing its performance.

Design

Design

Just as we mentioned, Harman Kardon is continuing the circular design shape, which is quite unique for a Bluetooth speaker. It is an outstanding looking design that has a handle on top of it so that you can carry it around more easily.

Basically, it looks elegant and sophisticated, just like a purse. Since Harman Kardon is focusing on creating high-quality products, we cannot expect less than perfection for the built materials used in the process.

It comes with a premium-looking fabric grille that feels incredible. You can choose from three color options gray, black, and blue. The blue version of the Onyx Studio 5 is a bit different since the handle on the top of the speaker is bronze, adding perfect color contrast.

In the bottom part, we can find a minimalistic design of Harman’s logo, which also looks sleek.

Moving up, there are five buttons placed right beneath the handle. The buttons can be used for functions like play/pause/skip, volume up and down, Bluetooth pairing button, and a power button.

Below the buttons, there is a single LED light that signals when you connect a device to the speaker or when the battery is low.

The backside of the speaker is wrapped in the same premium fabric, and at the bottom, there are three input ports. If you decide to purchase this speaker, you will also have a wired option by using AUS input, and there is also a service port for updating your Bluetooth speaker and the charging port.

More: Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 vs JBL Boombox

Specifications

Specifications

When it comes to specifications, there is a significant difference from its predecessor. The Onyx Studio 4 had four drivers (two woofers and two tweeters), whereas the newer Onyx Studio 5 has only two drivers (woofer and tweeter).

Despite the lack of drivers, the Onyx Studio 5 has much higher performance than its predecessor. It has a rich sound that will hit you in every element. The frequency ranges from 50Hz to 20kHz, which makes it a compelling speaker.

When it comes to battery, it is much smaller than you expect. Despite its large size, it comes with only 3,280mAh battery, which is slightly larger than the previous model. This battery size will only last for up to 8 hours if you play music at 50%. However, most people are reporting more playtime than 8 hours.

One of the most significant downside to this speaker is the lack of water resistance. Nowadays, most Bluetooth speakers are waterproof, and you can submerge it in water up to one meter.

Connectivity

Connectivity

Onyx Studio 5 comes with a 4.2 Bluetooth connectivity with a standard 33ft range. It is important to note that this speaker doesn’t support NFC quick pairing, so it might be disappointing for Android users that still use this feature.

On the other hand, the Onyx Studio 5 comes with a multi-host feature where you can connect two Onyx Studio 5 devices at the same time. Another weird thing is that the previous model, Onyx 4, supports up to 100 connected devices for a multi-host feature. Still, in reality, you won’t have the opportunity to connect with that many people.

The Onyx Studio 5 doesn’t have a built-in mic, so there is no speaker feature.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Beautiful design
  • Built from high-quality materials
  • Deep low-frequency sounds

Cons

  • Lack of IPX rating
  • No built-in microphone
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6

After a year and a half, they decided to update their previous model, but is it a noticeable update?

Well, let’s run through the characteristics of the latest model and find out which is better the Onyx 5 or 6.

Design

Design

In terms of design, there is nothing to separate these Bluetooth speakers. The Onyx Studio 6 also comes in a circular shape with the same built high-quality built materials and a handle on the top.

The biggest noticeable difference design-wise is the color of the handle on the grey model. In the previous Onyx Series 5, the only option that came out with a bronze handle was the dark blue one. However, Harman Kardon decided to add a bronze handle to their grey model, which looks absolutely stunning.

In addition to the bronze handle, the logo on the grey model also received a bronze coating making a beautiful color contrast.

Another significant upgrade on the backside is the cover of the ports. The main issue with its predecessor was the lack of IPX certification, which is why they decided to cover the ports making the Onyx Studio 6 water resistant with IPX7 certificate.

Other details like the buttons and the dimensions of the Bluetooth speaker remain the same. There is a slight difference in weight, making the Onyx Studio 6 about 40 grams lighter.

More: JBL Xtreme 2 vs Charge 4: Which One Is the Best?

Specifications

Specifications

The essential part of every update is performance. However, people are confused if the Onyx Studio 6 performs better then its predecessor since they share the same specifications.

Just like the Onyx Studio 5, the latest model comes with two drivers (a woofer and a tweeter), and they both have the same frequency range of 50Hz - 20kHz.

The battery type is also identical, coming at 3,283 mAh Lithium-ion capable of 8 hours of playtime.

As we mentioned, the most significant update is the water-resistant feature. The Onyx Studio 6 has an IPX7 certificate, which means that it can be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Apart from that, they share identical specifications. Which makes you wonder if you should upgrade to the latest model.

Connectivity

Connectivity

Just like the previous version, the Onyx Studio 6 has a 4.2 Bluetooth version and the same power supply unit. The difference is that now you have to pull out the water-protecting cover to plug in your AUX or charging cable. Just as the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 charger, it comes with a 19V/2A power supply.

It seems that the share play feature worked quite as well on the Onyx Studio 5 since they decided to make it the same. You can only pair two different speakers, but only from the same series (for example, you cannot pair the Onyx Studio 5 to Onyx Studio 6, which is a bummer).

Pros

  • Improved sound quality over its predecessor
  • IPX7 Waterproofing
  • Bronze handle looks great
  • Elegant design

Cons

  • Not so noticeable difference from its predecessor
  • Dual play is possible only with other Studio 6 speaker

What Are The Differences Between the Onyx Studio 5 and Studio 6?

Sound Quality

Sound Quality

The truth is, even though they share identical specifications, the sound quality is a bit different in the latest model.

We don’t know how they’ve managed to pull this off, but the latest Onyx Studio 6 sounds a bit richer and louder than the previous version.

However, is it worth the update?

Well, the difference is not astronomical, and only people that get deep enough can hear a better performance.

Winner: Onyx Studio 6

More: JBL Xtreme 2 vs Xtreme: Should You Consider the Upgrade?

Design

As we mentioned, there is nothing to separate both these speakers in terms of design. Yes, the latest version comes with a bronze handle, but that is not a significant difference since the previous version with silver handle looked just as well.

Apart from that, they share the same dimensions and built quality. There is a slight weight trim in the latest model, but 40 grams is not something that you would notice.

Winner: Tie

Performance

Performance

Both speakers are outstanding, but you might be wondering why Harman Kardon decided to release a newer version if there isn’t a significant upgrade.

Well, the Bluetooth speaker industry is quickly moving forward, and to stay on track, you have to update your previous models.

Considering that the Onyx Studio 5 performed very well in the real world, they probably thought that is good enough for another year. Plus, since there isn’t a significant difference in the price, you should go for the latest model since it is entirely waterproof.

Winner: Onyx Studio 6

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Which is Better Harman Kardon Onyx 5 or 6?

Water Resistance

The most noticeable difference is the IPX7 certification on the Onyx Studio 6 model. So, if you like a Bluetooth speaker that can be used by the pool or on the beach, you should go for the Onyx Studio 6.

Loudness

As we mentioned before, the latest Onyx Studio 6 sounds a bit richer and louder than the previous model. Even though it is not that noticeable difference, it might be a deciding factor for the people that expect nothing less than perfection.

More: Beats Solo3 Vs Studio3

Verdict

Choose the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 if:

  • You don’t use it outdoors or nearby water.
  • You like a great sound without caring that it is not the latest model.
  • Your friends or family have the same Studio 5, so you can enjoy share-play
  • You like to pay less but still get an almost identical sound quality.

Choose the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 if:

  • You want to use your speaker near water.
  • You like to have the latest model of the series.
  • You want that extra edge over the sound quality of the previous model.
  • You like the bronze finish on the grey model.
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