The Harman/Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Bluetooth speaker has a distinctive rounded design. Its integrated handle makes it easy to transport on the go, and it even has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don’t currently test for this. It’s well suited for listening to a wide range of audio content thanks to its neutral, balanced sound profile, though it struggles to reproduce thumpy low-bass. It also doesn’t get very loud, and it lacks sound customization features such as an EQ.
The Onyx Studio 6 is an upright, circular speaker with a cutout, rubberized handle that, from certain angles, resembles a designer handbag. The 11.2-by-11.5-by-5.0-inch (HWD), 6.5-pound speaker, available in black, blue, or gray, has considerable heft, so the handle is a must. An array of rubberized black buttons, including Bluetooth, power, volume plus/minus, and a playback control that skips a track when pressed twice, is almost hidden against the backdrop of the cloth grille.
Below these controls is a tiny status LED that shines through the grille, as well as a slew of powerful drivers, including a single 4.7-inch woofer and a single 1-inch tweeter, which combine for 50 watts and a frequency range of 50Hz to 20kHz. The speaker is Bluetooth 4.2 compatible and only supports the SBC codec. A stereo pair of Onyx Studio 6 speakers can be wirelessly connected.
On the back, a covered port protects the connections for the included power supply as well as a 3.5mm aux input. A micro USB service port is also included. An IPX7 rating means the speaker can be submerged in water for up to a meter, though Bluetooth signals do not perform well underwater. The point is that it should be fine by the pool or in the rain. Simply close the cover over the connections port. Harman/Kardon estimates an eight-hour battery life, but your results will vary depending on your volume levels.
On tracks with heavy sub-bass content, such as the Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Onyx Studio 6 delivers palpable deep bass that will vibrate most surfaces. The bass does not distort at high volumes, though it does thin out slightly, but the DSP kicks in to prevent distortion.
Fetch the Bolt Cutters the Onyx Studio 6 still delivers thunder and then some for tracks that don’t have bonkers sub-bass like this one but still pack some serious low-frequency punch like nearly every track on the new Fiona Apple record. Fortunately, it does not overpower the mix, but playing this record loudly has an almost live venue PA feel to it, with intense bass on the kick drum hits.