Onyx Studio 4 Review
The Onyx Studio 4 is the successor to the Onyx Studio 3. Harman Kardon is a subsidiary of Samsung and is a leader in the audio industry. Their products are available worldwide and are positively reviewed by professionals and consumers alike.
The Onyx Studio 4 is the second generation of Harman Kardon’s Onyx series. The Onyx Studio 4 is an excellent example of a wireless Bluetooth speaker that provides impressive sound quality, design, and functionality for a reasonable price.
Build quality of the Onyx Studio 4 is similar to that of its predecessor but with a few changes. The Onyx Studio 4 comes in a variety of colors, including Grey, Black, White, and Blue. It’s also available in a variety of textures including a rubberized finish and an all-metal finish.
The Onyx Studio 4 is also splash-resistant and dustproof. The Onyx Studio 4 is made from a combination of steel, aluminum, and rubberized plastic. The Onyx Studio 4 is not waterproof but is splash-resistant.
The Onyx Studio 4 also has a built-in bass port for deep lows and mids. Two passive radiators are also included for an added low-frequency boost. The passive radiators are located on each side of the Onyx Studio 4 to produce a 360-degree soundstage. The passive radiators are dual 5-inch woofers that provide extended subwoofer performance with minimal distortion.
If you’re looking for an extremely portable speaker, the Onyx Studio 4 isn’t for you. It weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 6 x 10 x 3 inches in size. Although it’s not the smallest speaker on the market, it’s excellent for use at home or in your office. The Onyx Studio 4 is perfect for use in any room or space that has walls.
The Onyx Studio 4 does not have a battery but does have a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10 hours before needing a recharge. It takes approximately 5 hours to fully charge the battery which is a reasonable amount of time considering it has a built-in rechargeable battery instead of a replaceable battery pack (although this could be seen as both good and bad).
The control panel is located on the top of the device and has power, volume up/down, play/pause buttons, an aux input jack, and a Bluetooth button. There are no buttons on the back of the device, but it does include an aux input jack, the power port, and an SD card slot which allows you to play music from your phone or another source such as an SD card. An SD card slot is pretty standard but not many speakers include them any more, so it’s nice to see one included here. The SD card slot can support up to 64 GB cards, so you have plenty of storage space for your music or audiobook files (or other audio files).
The Onyx Studio 4 also includes Bluetooth 3.0 technology meaning there will be no problems connecting to the speaker from any smart device that supports Bluetooth 3.0 (which should be most smart devices). Other wireless connectivity options are available, but I will discuss these later on in the review.
The Onyx Studio 4 also has an LED light ring that indicates power, aux input, Bluetooth status, and SD card status. The LED light ring is nice, but I wish it glowed more brightly or even pulsed to indicate the status of the device because it can be hard to see in certain lighting situations.
The Onyx Studio 4 also features a universal dock that allows you to dock your Apple products such as an iPhone, iPod, and iPad. This is great for homes with multiple Apple products or for those who own Apple products and prefer them over other smart devices. The universal dock is located on the back of the speaker and provides a place where you can dock your Apple device.
- ✓ Type: Portable
- ✓ Connection: Wireless, Bluetooth
- ✓ Colors: Black
- ✓ Excellent sound quality, good bass, good battery life
The design of the Onyx Studio 4 is similar to that of its predecessor but with a few changes. The Onyx Studio 4 has a more rounded design compared to its predecessor and has thinner edges compared to the Onyx Studio 3. The Onyx Studio 4 is also available in a variety of colors which includes Grey, Black, White, and Blue. It also comes in a variety of textures including a rubberized finish and an all-metal finish. I prefer the rubberized finish because it feels more comfortable in my hand and provides a better grip than the all-metal finish, which can make the speaker slippery and cumbersome when holding it.
The Onyx Studio 4 features a “touch ring” on top of the speaker that allows you to control volume, play/pause music or skip forward/backward tracks by simply tapping or swiping your finger around on top of it (more about this later in this review).
I found this control ring to be handy because it makes controlling volume extremely easy when using one hand or if there isn’t enough room to use two hands comfortably due to surrounding furniture or other objects.
Also if you’re listening to music with just one hand free all you have to do is tap your finger on either side of the touch ring to increase or decrease volume (tapping your finger right of the touch ring will increase volume while tapping your finger left will decrease volume).
All you have to do is tap your finger once on the touch ring depending on whether you want to increase or decrease volume, so it’s effortless to use when changing volume frequently throughout your listening session. You can also swipe across the touch ring with one finger if you want to skip tracks backwards or forward instead of pressing play/pause buttons. A blue light surrounds the touch ring, which indicates that there are digital controls available (more about this later in this review).
It should be noted that Harman Kardon does not include any external remote control with their devices. Hence, there are no extra buttons or controls available for use outside of what’s listed above however most smart devices allow you to download apps that will enable you to control these functions from within your device itself.
How Do They Sound?
The sound quality produced by these speakers is excellent, especially considering their size. Still, they are not as good as some other speakers in their price range (which will be discussed later on in this review), but they perform very well overall especially considering their size which makes them perfect for home use. I was very impressed with how it handled different types of music, ranging from rock music to classical music with ease.
Bass performance was quite good however I wouldn’t say its bass response is better or worse than its predecessor. Still, I would say its bass response is better than average, especially considering its size (the larger speakers tend to have much more bass compared to smaller speakers). Bass feels tight and powerful without overpowering the mids and highs.
The midrange was also excellent as it is clear and crisp without having too much sibilance (sometimes too much sibilance can ruin an otherwise good set of speakers). Mids are slightly recessed, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it makes vocals sound more clear.
Treble was also clear and crisp despite being slightly rolled off at the higher frequencies. Overall the sound quality produced by these speakers is excellent; however, you should consider that there are other speakers in this price range that outperform these speakers (which will be mentioned later on in this review). Still, these speakers perform well overall, especially considering their size.
Onyx Studio 4 vs 5
The Onyx Studio 5 offers significantly better sound quality compared to the Onyx Studio 4.
Bass is tighter and more controlled on the Studio 5 compared to the Studio 4. The bass on the Studio 4 tends to get a bit boomy at times. Bass on the Studio 5 is also more impactful than the Studio 4, which makes it more suitable for larger rooms or for those who listen to bass-heavy music genres like EDM, Rap, Hip-Hop etc. However the bass on the Studio 4 is still good enough for most people who don’t listen to bass-heavy music genres, and if you listen to music at low volumes (under 50% volume) where there is no need to play with much bass, then the bass will not be an issue for you.
Midrange on the Studio 5 is also clearer and more detailed compared to the Studio 4 making vocals sound much more clearer and detailed compared to the Studio 4.
Treble on both of these speakers is also quite similar however I would say that treble on the Studio 5 is slightly more extended and detailed compared to that of the Studio 4.
Overall I would say that the Onyx Studio 5 is a significant upgrade when compared to its predecessor Onyx Studio 4 as it offers significantly better sound quality despite being only slightly larger compared with its predecessor.
The Onyx Studio 5 measures 10 x 6.7 x 3 inches while its predecessor, Onyx Studio 4 measures 9 x 7 x 3 inches.
Onyx Studio 4 vs 6
The main differences between these two speakers are as follows:
The Onyx Studio 6 has a built-in amplifier. In contrast, its counterpart, Onyx Studio 4, doesn’t have a built-in amplifier hence if you like your speakers loud then you will enjoy the Onyx studio 6 because it can get louder than its counterpart. The maximum volume of Onyx studio 6 is 93dB vs 88dB on its counterpart, Onyx studio 4.
Also, another difference between these two speakers is their Bluetooth version. Suppose your source device supports aptX Low Latency. In that case, you will enjoy near-zero latency audio when using Bluetooth with your phone or tablet devices hence making Bluetooth audio experience very enjoyable on the Onyx Studio 6.
The last difference between these two speakers is their battery life which is as follows:
Onyx Studio 6 up to 10 hours, compared to the Onyx Studio 4 up to 8 hours.
Overall I would say that if you want better sound performance than its predecessor at louder volumes, then you should consider buying Onyx studio 6. If you don’t mind not having aptX Low Latency support or if you don’t mind having a shorter battery life then go with the Onyx studio 4.
The only possible downside of getting Onyx studio 6 over Onyx studio 4 is that it costs more than its counterpart.
Consider taking our look at our Onyx Studio 5 vs 6 if you want to know the pro’s and con’s between these two brilliant speakers.
We hope you found our Onyx Studio 4 Review helpful – See you next time!