Harman Kardon Onyx Mini Bluetooth Speaker – REVIEW

The Harman Kardon Onyx Mini Bluetooth Speaker is a great personal speaker, but for the price, check for sales first.

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Hey everyone, Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom.

Today, we’re looking at the Onyx Mini that Harman Kardon sent over.  It’s priced at $199 retail direct from Harmon’s website, but I’ve seen them on sale for as low as $99 on Amazon.  I’ll leave my link up above, click on that and you’ll get the most updated prices in real-time – you never know when they might go on sale.

 

PHYSICAL FEATURES
Going over the physical features first.  I love the look.  It’s simple, and looks sophisticated.  On the front has a very tough fabric mesh grill and rotating to the back, there’s a slight rubber coating to give it some grip and to give the Onyx Mini a more premium feel.  On the lower half, there’s a Passive Bass Radiator that is not only visually appealing, but the idea of a bass radiator is to help offer a bigger and deeper bass experience.  On the very bottom, you have a 3.5mm port for physical connections and to charge, the Onyx Mini uses the very common Micro-USB port.

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Rotating to the top, the on and off button is in center, volume up and down on either side and to the far left is Bluetooth Pairing the far right has the phone call answer button.  Everything is very tactile, very simple and easy to use.  The volume buttons don’t glow white, but during my time testing, for most average consumers, the minus and plus signs are visible enough.  Regarding phone calls, the Onyx Mini is promoting they have Noise and Echo eliminating technology for when you want to use this like a speakerphone.  From my test, it did work great, only within a 3 feet radius of the speaker.  Once I step 4 feet and out, my voice echoed as if I was in a hallway.  The speakerphone is really meant for you to stand or sit next to and use.

BATTERY LIFE AND FEATURES
Very last, there is a battery indicator with 5 white LED’s on the top.  Harman Kardon is claiming up to 10 hours of use which is average and good for a small speaker.  Regarding wireless range, I’m getting the very about 30 to 40 linear feet even having the signal go through several walls at the house.  The only other feature that is available with the Onxy Mini is what they call Wireless Dual Sound.  Similar to JBL Connect or UE Double Up, the Onyx Mini can pair with another speaker with the Wireless Dual Sound feature, such as the Onyx Studio 3, another Mini or the Go+Play models.  The Onyx Mini cannot pair with the Onyx Studio 2 as I have gotten that question quite a bit.  With two speakers, you do get much more immersive audio but keep in mind, they don’t offer true left and right audio separation.  Other than that, The Onyx Mini keeps it simple with no other features offered like water resistance, a charge out port, or claimed rugged build.  At the $200 retail price point, it is lacking a bit in offer other amenities when comparing to the competition.


SOUND TEST

Now jumping into the sound test.  Keep in mind, this is considered a small Bluetooth speaker.  Most small Bluetooth speakers are around the $100 range, give or take $20.  With my sound test, the Onyx Mini performed like a small Bluetooth speaker.  It’s not as loud as I would have expected considering how loud and impressive the Onyx Studio 3’s are from customer comments.  The loudness is great for personal listening at the desk, small rooms, dorm rooms, something in the bathroom maybe, again, in small areas or having this at your desk nearby, it’s great.  For medium-sized rooms, it’s more general listening but not so much for entertaining.  The Bass levels are neutral without sub-bass being hit, and with it playing it safe offered a distortion-free experience.

The mid-ranges, where vocals and most instruments reside, are impressive as it does provide a nice clear audio performance.  The very high notes don’t ting or cause listening fatigue which is great, but at high to maximum volume, you can slightly tell the speaker is stretching its legs and squeezing out all of its power.  Like many, if not all small Bluetooth speakers, the soundstage or left and right audio separation aren’t apparent.  In summary, I still enjoyed the speaker for personal listening and it does great there, but if you’re paying $200, there are other speakers that are louder, offers more definition and more features.  A perfect example is the B&O A1 offering a similar size, sophisticated styling… but it’s water resistant, built to be rugged without losing it’s high-end look and more importantly, it’s still small but provides a very rich and detailed audio experience.  For the Onyx Mini, if you can get it on sale, it’s worth a look into if you like the styling like I do, but if you’re going to shell out retail prices, definitely check your options.

So that’s it for this review.  Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.  My @JimmyLuongOfficial account provides personal updates on my goals and motivational content while Jim’s Review Room gives you behind the scenes content of the tech that I’m reviewing.  Again, I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room and my channel is here to help you make a purchase decision.  You guys take care, I’ll see you on the next one.

[table id=2 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,c,g,t” /] Specs from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.