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Harman-Kardon Aura Studio 3 Review – Beautiful Piece of Sound Art

I can consider myself to be an audiophile. I love music. I love movies. And I have an ear for quality sounds. I have been tuning the equalizers on my dad’s amplifier since I was a child, even when I don’t know what I was doing back then. Listening to the different sound it made each time I turn the knob tells me what it does and how it will sound like. I love solid bass sounds, but the treble have to match well with the highs and lows too.

I even spoiled myself with a good ICE (in Car Entertainment) a few years back just so that I can have my own personal mobile party vehicle. The punchy bass and crystal clear treble from 4 twitters made everything sounds loud and clear. And my love for audio device never fades even when I had to give up on my ICE system.

harman-kardon Aura Studio 3 Review

Recently, I had the privileged to test and review a new audio speaker by harman-kardon. The popular speaker brand on the European side has been making one of the best sound system in the world and I have always loved their products. But the awesome speaker that I get to review is the Aura Studio 3, the latest of the Aura Studio series.

First Look & Design

First of all. It is a speaker all by itself. Secondly, it is a great piece of futuristic art. This is by means the most beautiful “single” speaker that I have ever laid my eyes on. I said “single” speaker because it only comes in one gorgeous dome like design but it actually has an all around 360-degrees speaker + 1 sub-woofer right at the bottom. My first impression of it was Wow that goes on for about 30 minutes.

harman-kardon Aura Studio 3 Review

The clear black tint dome design is very futuristic and the wavy design element act as an ambient light show that is very pleasing to look at, especially at night when you’re just chilling away listening to Phantom of the Opera. The ambient light is an awesome addition to the already beautifully designed speaker. It makes everything about the speaker looks very futuristic.

Harman-Kardon Aura Studio 3 Review - Beautiful Piece of Sound Art

You can place the Aura Studio 3 anywhere you like. With its shape and size, it suits where ever and however you please. It doesn’t take up much space too. You can either hide it somewhere or leave it to display in the open on top of your table. It will look and sound good no matter where you place it. I will keep on emphasizing this because it does look gorgeous.

At the rear you can see the power socket along with the AUX port in the middle. The power button is located to the left of it and the Bluetooth button to the right of the power socket. At the front, you can only see two volume buttons located at each front sides. All of these buttons are located on a narrow band between the base and the top dome. They’re very discreet, so you won’t really see them unless you’re looking for them.

harman-kardon Aura Studio 3 Review

If you turn the speaker over upside-down, you can see the single woofer at the bottom. If you’re thinking this single medium sized woofer to have a mild bass sound, think again. You can turn the volume up to 100dB without a single breaking sound from this baby.

The Sound

The Aura Studio 3 has the best bass sound in it’s category. I would easily place this Aura Studio 3 right at the top as the best home Bluetooth speaker of 2020. I blasted Enter Sandman by Metalica at the highest possible volume and the Aura Studio 3 managed to rock the house without breaking a sweat. That has to be the most solid bass sound I have ever heard, no cracking and no distortion. It just rocks!

harman-kardon Aura Studio 3 Review

The surround high and mid range speaker sounds great too. At high volume, it is still able to produce great clear sounds without breaking to match the solid bass. I have to test it out with few other songs from my list but once I played hard bass dance and techno music, the party officially started. Party Rock Anthem never sounded so good and those by Alan Walker placed me in a different world. I fell in love with the Aura Studio 3. I love the look, the ambient lights and most of all, the awesome sound it produces.

My nights were filled with great songs and I think I might woke up the neighbours a few times when I blasted Enter Sandman again, especially with that solid drum intro. Most of the times I tuned in to good music, but how does it sound like for movies?

Never better! As how you heard it for music, it is just as good for movies. I connected the Aura Studio 3 directly to the PC via AUX cable that I connected to the TV as my home movie studio. I fired up Netflix and it’s good to go. Sound quality? Just like in the cinema.

The surround sounded really good here to give that maximum 360-degrees ambient output. Sound from the mid to high range for speech is loud and clear too. I can’t find any faults with the Aura Studio 3 up to this point. Seems like it has been ticking all the right boxes. But in terms of connectivity, I have some bad box to be checked.

The Aura Studio 3 only comes with 2 types of connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 and AUX only. Some Bluetooth speakers out there supports USB playback but that function is not available with the Aura Studio 3. This can be a little disappointing for some but for me, I prefer to connect it directly via the AUX port for lossless audio. The Bluetooth also has low latency here, so any movies you watch via Bluetooth connectivity will sync well with the speaker.

Another checked bad box is the overall function of the speaker. There are no options or buttons to tune the equalizer. You can only turn the volume up and down so with the Aura Studio 3, you can’t customize the sound output. But having said that, you don’t need to because the sound is already well balanced and tuned. It is just a tuning option that you want, but don’t actually need.

Conclusion

harman-kardon Aura Studio 3 Review

The new harman-kardon Aura Studio 3 is a beautiful piece of art. It looks gorgeous no matter where you place it. You can display it out in the open or partly hidden around the corner. But I very much prefer to show it off in the open so that my guests can be in awe looking at it. Definitely a head turner and eardrum breaker.

Basically, the harman-kardon Aura Studio 3 can play any types of music genres you throw at it. May it be rock, techno, dance, R&B, ballads, jazz or even classical, it will leave you satisfied. I had some great time listening to my favourite rock music and some techno. My movie binge has never been better too. It’s just like watching movies in the cinema. Best to watch is the final battle scene in Avengers Endgame.

The sound does not break at high volumes. There are no distortions as well. From low to high, it still maintains its crystal clear sound and solid bass. I really love the woofer on this bad boy. It produces one of, if not the best solid bass sound in its class. And I personally think the Aura Studio 3 is way above it’s own class when it comes to awesome sound quality.

The Aura Studio 3 performs marvelously in that regard. Moreover, the sound quality is some of the best on the market. It’s very powerful, with enough volume potential to knock your socks off. Not only that, it performs well at all frequencies, so it’s suitable for any genre of music. So with this conclusion, I can safely say that it does satisfy an audiophile like me.

Harman-Kardon Aura Studio 3

RM1,299.00
9

Design

9.5/10

Sound (Low & Bass)

9.5/10

Sound (Mid & High)

9.0/10

Functions

8.0/10

Price

9.0/10

Pros

  • Gorgeous design
  • Small footprint
  • Awesome bass
  • Great highs & mids
  • Quite affordable

Cons

  • Lack of sound customization function
  • No built in battery, only power cord
  • Only two input options, AUX and Bluetooth
  • Not so portable as other BT speakers
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