If you’re looking for an exquisite sounding and looking portable Bluetooth speaker, there’s no better place to start than high-end brands Harman Kordon and Bang & Olufsen. Both companies are renowned for their elegant and understated aesthetic mixed with superior sound quality. A couple of their effortlessly stylish offerings are the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 and the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1, and they’re both available on Amazon and Best Buy at incredible discounted prices. Save as much as $110 when you get them today.
– $140, was $250
The fifth iteration of the sublime Onyx Studio Bluetooth speaker line boasts premium looks combined with divine acoustics. It’s not perfect though, as it has a few shortcomings: It’s neither waterproof nor shockproof, and its portability is slightly questionable. Right now, you can get the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 Bluetooth speaker for a massive $110 off on Best Buy. Take home this high-end speaker for just $140 instead of its normal retail price of $250.
The Onyx Studio 5 sports the same understated round shape as the rest of the Onyx Studio line. A stout, all-black dish, the speaker boasts a solid frame and a premium feel thanks to the smooth, rubberized material that runs along the bulk of its exterior. The front of this speaker is encased in a mesh-like grille, with the Harman Kardon logo sitting proudly in the center. As we’ve already mentioned, the Onyx Studio 5 lacks an IPX rating, so it’s not water-resistant. It’s better left indoors but if you’re going to take it out of the house, make sure it sits on a dry surface. And it’s not an item that you should expect will always survive being dropped.
The control buttons are found up top, including the power and volume buttons, the Bluetooth pairing button, and the play/pause/skip button. Unlike its predecessor, the Onyx Studio 4, this one lacks a built-in mic, which means you cannot use it as a speakerphone, nor can you use Google Assistant and Siri. Underneath the buttons, there’s an LED Bluetooth/battery status indicator. This speaker is outfitted with a carrying handle on top, which helps in lugging it around, although it is still rather large with dimensions of 11.2 x 11.5 x 5 inches, and it’s unquestionably heavy at 6 pounds. At least the undetachable legs have been removed, which slightly improves portability.
Its Bluetooth connection is flawless. The Onyx Studio 5 has a connection range of up to 30 meters without obstacles. The pairing process is also quite simple. What’s more, it supports a multi-host feature which means you can pair it with another Onyx Studio 5 for a louder sound. Unfortunately, it is not downward compatible with the previous Onyx Studio models.
Now let’s talk about how it sounds. This speaker houses two very large drivers (one woofer and one tweeter), which power basses that are punchy and rich, but that don’t overpower the mid and high tones. Music sounds lush, crystal clear, and vibrant. It is capable of delivering a full-bodied and well-balanced sound thanks to its large cavity. Battery life is also quite impressive, capable of lasting up to eight hours on a single charge.
The Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 Bluetooth speaker is beautifully crafted and boasts fantastic sound quality. Get it on Best Buy today for just $140.
– $180, was $250
Bang & Olufsen is best known for its high-end audio equipment, TV sets, and telephones. What the Danish company normally puts forth is pretty pricey (in fact, it was casually name-dropped in The Devil Wears Prada), but recently it has been killing it with its (relatively) affordable consumer audio products, like the Beoplay A1 portable Bluetooth speaker. It normally retails for $250, but Amazon has cut a huge $70 off. Take home the Beoplay A1 in Moss Green for $180. What’s more, you can get an additional $60 off instantly upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, which brings the price further down to $120.
The Beoplay A1 is tiny, dome-shaped, and oozes class. Its top half is made of solid aluminum and it measures just 5.2 inches wide by 1.9 inches tall, weighing in at over 2 pounds. The bottom is a smooth rubbery polymer plastic. The combination of the polymer bottom and aluminum dome makes the Beoplay A1 dust and splash-proof. It also comes with a leather strap and a metal adjustment piece that makes the speaker super easy to hang anywhere, including your hand, a very practical feature.
Its disc shape allows for 360-degree listening and it has touch-sensitive buttons found on the side for basic controls, including the multifunction button, Bluetooth pairing button, microphone button, volume control buttons, and power button. Beoplay A1 buttons are tiny but they’ve recently been updated to make them easier to operate.
When it comes to sound quality, the Beoplay A1 is top-notch. For such a small device, it can go incredibly loud without sacrificing audio quality. Bang & Olufsen has been around for decades for a reason, and the Beoplay A1 is a testament to the company’s expertise. The bass it emits is solid and punchy, the mids are clear and lush, and the highs are clear and smooth.
Bang & Olufsen claims that the Beoplay A1 can deliver a full 24 hours of playback thanks to the Adaptive Power Management technology incorporated into the speaker, which feeds the amplifier only as much as it needs at any given time. This is a bold claim, and during our test, it did last a respectable 18 hours at normal volume. However, when we tested it again while playing music at its loudest volume level, it only lasted for three hours. For its price range, that’s kind of unacceptable.
The Beoplay A1 portable Bluetooth speaker provides superb sound quality paired with its premium looks. The average battery life and can honestly be overlooked. Get it for $180 on Amazon today.
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