HARMAN

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If you think Bluetooth speakers aren’t worth owning, you can be forgiven. Not long ago, this was actually true. Bluetooth không dây speakers offered some of the lowest quality of any speaker type. Even an expensive sầu, well-constructed Model was limited by poor connectivity. But this has changed in recent years. The invention of True Wireless Stereo and công nghệ Bluetooth không dây have significantly improved wireless audio quality. Now, you can enjoy high-bitrate audio, even on a wireless connection. As long as the speaker is well-constructed, it’s going to lớn sound just fine.

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Over the years, we’ve reviewed several Bluetooth speakers, from boom box-sized units to lớn pint-sized speakers. In general, we’ve stuông chồng with the same few tried & true manufacturers, but today, we opted for something different. We’re about to lớn reviews the Harman Kardon Aura Studio 3. Harman Kardon is a well-known European manufacturer, but might be unfamiliar khổng lồ some American consumers. Nonetheless, they have sầu a longstanding reputation for building chất lượng, well-engineered speakers. Because of this, we were excited to see what the Aura Studio 3 has khổng lồ offer.

We’re going lớn examine the speaker thoroughly, from top lớn bottom. We’ll start with the physical thiết kế, including the attractive LED lights. Next, we’ll talk about the power supply & the connectivity of the unit. Finally, we’ll look at the most important feature; the sound unique. Once we fully understvà all the features, we’ll be prepared khổng lồ render a final verdict. Has Harman Kardon lived up to their international reputation for high quality? Or is this one Bluetooth không dây speaker you should give sầu a hard pass. Let’s dig in, và see what it brings to lớn the table!

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Design & Construction

The first thing we noticed about the Aura Studio 3 is its unusual kiến thiết. Most công nghệ Bluetooth không dây speakers look lượt thích, well, speakers. They have a faceplate with a grill or screen, just lượt thích traditional wired speakers. Even 360-degree speakers that look lượt thích Coke cans still look like speakers, albeit unorthodox ones. On the other hand, the Aura Studio 3 looks more lượt thích a humidifier than a speaker. It’s all black, with a round, solid base & a smoky bubble lid that arches over the top. If you’ve ever played the board game “Trouble”, you’ll be tempted to press down on the lid.

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The reason for this kiến thiết is that the speaker has built-in LED lights. They illuminate the inside of the dome, và move sầu in a rippling pattern along with the music. The light is projected from a series of curved ridges on the top of the base, và reflects on the top of the dome. In a well-lit room, the effect is understated và you’ll barely even notice it. On the other h&, when the room lights are dlặng, the light effect on the dome is fairly striking. In other words, you’re not just looking at a speaker. You’re looking at a piece of home décor that’s sure to lớn be a conversation piece at your next party.

The overall dimensions of the speaker are 9.1 inches in diameter and 11.2 inches in height. This lends it a medium-sized protệp tin, which is suitable for most locations. You can phối it on a table, a shelf, a desk, or just about anywhere it’s suitable lớn place a speaker. And at 7 pounds, it’s relatively light for the kích thước. Not only that, but by its very nature, the thiết kế is bottom-heavy. As a result, it’s just about impossible lớn knoông xã over by accident. 90 percent of the weight is located in the bottom third of the unit. Even a hard bump will not cause it lớn fall over like some other Bluetooth không dây speaker models.

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On the bottom of the speaker, you’ll find a mix of three rubber feet. These feet are anti-skid, và prevent slipping, even on a wet or slippery surface. There’s also a USB port, which is covered by a rubber plug. This port is for service use only, and doesn’t actually serve sầu as an audio input đầu vào. Unless you need to lớn have sầu the firmware updated, it’s never going to lớn see any use. On the baông chồng of the speaker, you’ll find a couple of different ports. The first is a simple 2-prong power port, which connects lớn the AC power adapter. The second is a 3.5mm aux jachồng, which we’ll talk about more in a minute.

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On the front of the base, just under the dome, you’ll see a three different control buttons. These are relatively simple and easy khổng lồ understand, so the learning curve is very shallow. You get a simple volume up and volume down button, along with an on/off button for the LED lights. On the bachồng, there’s a power button, as well as a button lớn turn the Công nghệ Bluetooth on và off. All of these buttons are located on a narrow bvà between the base và the top dome. They’re very discreet, so you won’t really see them unless you’re looking for them.

Along with the speaker và the instruction sheet, you’ll also get a couple of extras. First, you’ll get a power cable with a 2-prong AC plug. Keep in mind that we’re reviewing the American version of this speaker, so it supports 110/120-volt power only. Harman Kardon offers a different version of the AC plug for European customers. You’ll also get a warranty thẻ. Make sure khổng lồ sover this card in as soon as possible to lớn ensure you’re covered by Harmon Kardon’s warranty.

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nguồn & Connectivity

The Hartháng Kardon Aura Studio 3 is a bit unusual for a Bluetooth không dây speaker. Most Bluetooth không dây speakers have sầu a battery as the primary power source. As a result, they’re generally very portable. You can move sầu them from room lớn room, or even take them outside without losing power. On the other hvà, the Aura Studio 3 supports corded power only. This is a limiting factor, since you’ll only be able to use it within a few feet of a power outlet. On the other hvà, you won’t have sầu to lớn worry about your battery running out, either. But since most Công nghệ Bluetooth speakers also have the option for USB power, this isn’t a major benefit.

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Another limiting factor of the Aura Studio 3 is that you don’t get a ton of đầu vào options. Now, we should be clear, the assumption is that you’re planning on using Bluetooth không dây. This is more or less true for any công nghệ Bluetooth không dây speaker. It’s in the name! But many Bluetooth speakers support USB flash drives, SD cards, & cell phone USB inputs. The Aura Studio 3 gives you only two options: công nghệ Bluetooth không dây và 3.5mm. If your phone or MP3 player supports 3.5mm cords, you can still use them. You can also use most modern stereo systems. On the other hvà, you won’t be able to lớn use less traditional audio sources.

The Aura Studio 3’s Bluetooth không dây connection is very secure and stable. It utilizes the Công nghệ Bluetooth 4.2 protocol, which ensures both low latency và high bitrates. Because of the low latency, you can use it lớn watch movies, và the audio will be in sync with the video clip. The range of the signal is 33 feet. For ordinary, everyday indoor use, this should be more than sufficient.

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Sound Quality

What the Aura Studio 3 lacks in connection options, it more than makes up for in sound quality. To begin with, this is a true 360-degree speaker. It projects sound throughout the room, and does so evenly on all sides. Obviously, this isn’t a significant benefit if the speaker is positioned on a shelf or entertainment center. But if it’s on a table in the middle of the room, it will fill the room from corner to lớn corner without any issues.

This feature is accentuated by the Aura Studio 3’s capacity for very high volumes. In fact, it can produce clear, distortion-không tính tiền sound at volumes as high as 100dB. This is very loud for a mid-sized Công nghệ Bluetooth speaker. You can easily hear 100dB music on the other end of the house, even if the house is fairly loud. For most people, you’re never going to lớn actually want khổng lồ use the maximum volume. But that’s a good thing. You can crank up the volume enough for just about any purpose, and not have to worry about audio quality.

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Another defining feature of the Aura Studio 3’s sound chất lượng is the clarity across all frequencies. Highs are clean & clear, whether you’re listening to strings, cymbals, or synths. Mids are similarly clear, without any distortion or crossover from the highs & the bass. Finally, the bass is also very clear. It’s also well-equalized. If you’re listening to lớn dance music or metal, you’re going to feel the thumb of the bass. This sets the Aura Studio 3 a cut above sầu some other Bluetooth không dây speakers, which still sound a bit hollow. The soundstage is also very wide. There’s plenty of separation between all frequencies, without any crossover or interference.

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Final Verdict

The Harman Kardon Aura Studio 3 is a bit of a chất lượng animal. This is obvious from the moment you open the box. It just doesn’t look lượt thích your typical Bluetooth không dây speaker. If it’s turned off, your friends might even ask you what it is. But the LED lighting makes it an attractive accent for just about any room. Whether you’re relaxing lớn Beethoven or playing Cardi B at a các buổi party, the lights will compliment the music. Not only that, but the bottom-heavy kiến thiết ensures that the speaker won’t easily get knocked over.

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The connection & power options are some of the Aura Studio 3’s weakest points. Without a battery, you’re limited to corded power only. And without USB tư vấn, you won’t be able khổng lồ play music from a flash drive. That said, most people buy a Bluetooth không dây speaker because they want Bluetooth không dây. The Aura Studio 3 performs marvelously in that regard. Moreover, the sound unique is some of the best on the market. It’s very powerful, with enough volume potential to knock your socks off. Not only that, but it performs well at all frequencies, so it’s suitable for any genre of music.