Harman Kardon Onyx 5 VS 4

In this article, we will compare Harman Kardon Onyx 5 vs 4 to find out whether the new speaker is really better than its predecessor. Harman Kardon Onyx 5 has introduced several major changes, and it generally has become much more portable and powerful. That said, Harman Kardon Onyx 4 possesses a few things that may be useful for some people.

By the end of this article, you will understand everything about Harman Kardon Onyx 5 vs 4:

  • How Harman Kardon Onyx 5 offers a better design than Harman Kardon Onyx 4
  • The connectivity features of Harman Kardon Onyx 5 and Harman Kardon Onyx 4
  • The battery life of Harman Kardon Onyx 5 and Harman Kardon Onyx 4
  • Why people with a smart home system may want to stick with Harman Kardon Onyx 4
  • How Harman Kardon Onyx 5 offers a better sound quality and overall performance
  • Whether you should get Harman Kardon Onyx 5 or Harman Kardon Onyx 4

Harman Kardon Onyx 5 vs 4: Design

One of the biggest differences between Harman Kardon Onyx 5 and all of its predecessors is the design. It still keeps a recognizable circular shape, but is without bulky legs. Instead, it comes with a rubberized bottom to provide stability. There is also a big aluminum carrying handle that further enhances its portability.

People are generally happy with this new design, as Harman Kardon Onyx 5 becomes much easier to place on a small desk. It measures about 11.4 inches wide and 5 inches deep, and it weighs 6.6 lbs. It is available in black, blue, and gray, all of which look sophisticated and elegant.

On the other hand, Harman Kardon Onyx 4 is cheaper and lighter. This model measures 11 inches wide and 6.3 inches deep. The weight is about 4.6 lbs.

It also looks very attractive, available in black, white, and blue color variants. But the problem with Harman Kardon Onyx 4 is the bulky legs, which are not detachable. Many users feel exasperated with these legs because they make it difficult to carry the speaker and place it on a small desk.

 Harman Kardon Onyx 5Harman Kardon Onyx 4
Product Dimensions11.2 x 11.5 x 5 inches
13 x 12.5 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight6.6 pounds
4.53 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

Harman Kardon Onyx 5 vs 4: Connectivity

Harman Kardon Onyx 5 still has three input ports, which are located at the bottom of the speaker as usual. One in the middle is the charging port, while the AUX input on the left is for wired playback use and the USB port on the right is for updating the firmware. All of them are clearly labeled.

In the wireless section, Harman Kardon Onyx 5 is armed with Bluetooth 4.2. It has a standard 33-ft maximum connection range. It has the ability to pair with up to two devices, but, unlike its predecessors, this speaker doesn’t have a mobile app. Also, although Harman Kardon Onyx 5 can link with another speaker of the same type to produce a louder sound, it can’t produce a stereo sound.

Harman Kardon Onyx 4 also comes with three input ports, which consist of the charging port, the AUX input, and the USB firmware update port. It also works with Bluetooth 4.2, which has a maximum connection range of 33 ft.

Some people consider Harman Kardon Onyx 4 to be the smarter speaker because it has some additional capabilities. It can pair with up to two devices simultaneously, and it can remember up to eight different devices so that you won’t need to repeat the pairing process.

It is compatible with the Harman Kardon Connect mobile app. This software allows you to control the speaker remotely and provides additional features.

Furthermore, Harman Kardon Onyx 4 can link with up to 100 compatible speakers that support Connect+ (including other Harman Kardon speakers and JBL speakers) to create a powerful sound system. When linked with another speaker of the same type, it can work in the party mode (both speakers play the same sound) or stereo mode (the two speakers act as separate left and right channels). Read also: Bose SoundLink vs Harman Kardon Onyx 4 here.

Harman Kardon Onyx 5 vs 4: Additional Features

On Harman Kardon Onyx 5, there are five control buttons, which are placed on the front panel just under the handle. They consist of a Bluetooth button for pairing, a power button, volume up and down buttons, and a button for play, pause, and skip. They are responsive and easy to use. Below these buttons, there is an LED light indicator to tell you the Bluetooth and battery status.

You may have noticed that Harman Kardon Onyx 5 has one fewer button than its predecessor. This is because Harman Kardon Onyx 5 does not have a built-in microphone, which is necessary for speakerphone. This also renders the speaker incompatible with Siri and Google Now.

Harman Kardon Onyx 5 has a slightly bigger battery capacity, which is rated at 3,280 mAh. However, the estimated battery life remains the same at 8 hours with a continuous playback at 50% volume. Harman Kardon Onyx 5 also requires about five hours to recharge.

Harman Kardon Onyx 4 features six control buttons on the top, which consist of the Bluetooth button, Connect+ button, volume up and down buttons, hands-free button (which is also used for play and pause, as well as for activating your device’s voice assistant), and power button. Harman Kardon Onyx 4 possesses a built-in microphone that enables you to take calls and use voice commands.

The built-in microphone of Harman Kardon Onyx 4 works really well. It has noise cancellation that is very effective for preventing unwanted echo or distortion. Also, this speaker is compatible with Siri and Google Now. Hence, if you have a smart home system, and you want to easily control your speaker by voice commands, Harman Kardon Onyx 4 is a very attractive choice.

Last but not least, Harman Kardon Onyx 4 is armed with a 3,000-mAh battery. Although the capacity is slightly smaller, it is still able to last for up to 8 hours. You can also expect a similar recharge time of about five hours.

Harman Kardon Onyx 5 vs 4: Performance

In terms of performance, Harman Kardon Onyx 5 easily eclipses its predecessor. This speaker is very interesting because it comes with a very different sound signature. It is still quite balanced, but it has much more powerful bass.

Harman Kardon Onyx 5 has actually changed the driver configuration. Behind the grille, there is a large 5-inch woofer and a tweeter. Compared to the previous model, the woofer here is much larger. This is the reason why Harman Kardon Onyx 5 is able to produce such amazing bass.

You will be impressed by the well-defined lows, which come out without any distortion at all, even when playing at a high volume. Yet, the bass doesn’t overwhelm the midrange and treble. Mids and highs still come out crisp and accurate. Harman Kardon Onyx 5 even performs better than its more expensive competitors. It has a fuller, richer sound that is really pleasing.

Harman Kardon Onyx 4, on the other hand, is armed with two 3-inch woofers and two tweeters. The overall sound is balanced and accurate. Lows, mids, and highs are all nicely separated, and they come out natural and detailed. It has an amazingly wide soundstage.

However, Harman Kardon Onyx 4 doesn’t get really loud. The bass performance is good, but it is nowhere near the level of Harman Kardon Onyx 5. Perhaps the only advantage that Harman Kardon Onyx 4 has in terms of performance is its ability to form a stereo sound system when linked with another similar unit.

- Harman Kardon Onyx studio 5 Bluetooth 4. 2 enables wireless streaming for room-filling sound & Speakerphone lets you take hands-free calls
- Rechargeable battery provides up to 8 hours of playtime, so you can keep the party going all night long
- 50W total system power and 50Hz – 20kHz frequency response for crisp sound & connect up to 2 smart devices at the same time and take turns playing DJ
- Wirelessly connect 2 Harman Kardon Onyx studio 5 speakers for an elevated Audio experience (additional speaker sold separately)
- Amplify your listening experience by wirelessly connecting more than 100 HK connect+ enabled speakers.
- The rechargeable battery supports up to 8 hours of playtime
- Stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth to enjoy room-filling sound. Connect up to 2 smart devices at the same time and take turns playing music.
- Access Siri or Google now from the speaker with a simple button press. This can be easily configured via the HK connect app.


NOTE : Product prices, availability, ratings and save money information are accurate as of the date/time indicated on post time (as seen right bellow the tittle) and are subject to change. Any price, ratings, availability and save money information displayed on Amazon Site or Headphone Authority at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

In general, Harman Kardon Onyx 5 is more recommended. It comes with a better, more portable design. Harman Kardon Onyx 5 also has a better sound quality. It has powerful bass, but still with crisp and accurate midrange and treble. You will be greatly pleased by its performance.

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