Much as we love the compact size, 360-degree audio, and no-nonsense design of many modern home speakers, you have to admit – they all kind of look the same. They’re either cylindrical or box-shaped, with the exterior usually covered in some kind of fabric or metal grille. That’s why we appreciate speakers like the Harman Kardon Aura Studio 3, which combines its contemporary sound and function with a distinctive elegant design.
Designed to make “a modern statement in your home,” the speaker sports a tinted dome on top, with built-in lighting that creates an ambient light effect behind the enclosure. Specifically, it creates wave-like ripples on the hill-shaped surface at the base of the dome, which dynamically changes to match whatever tune is playing with accompanying visuals. From what we can tell, the light show is confined inside the dome, too, so it won’t litter the whole room with a light show as if you were having a wild house party.
The Harman Kardon Aura Studio 3 is a tabletop speaker with a unidirectional sound, so you can place it on coffee tables, side tables, and, pretty much, anywhere in a room while still making sure you can clearly hear your music anywhere you sit. More importantly, the transparent dome design blends in seamlessly with practically any interior, allowing it to fit right in, whether in the living room, the bedroom, or that tiny room downstairs where you play video games while you get drunk away from your loving wife’s wrath. Dimensions are 11.2 x 9.1 inches (height x diameter), so it shouldn’t take up all that much space, either.
The sound is produced by six mid-high drivers and a subwoofer, along with three amps, two 15W and one 100W. Yep, that’s quite an impressive amount of power for such a compact speaker. While we have no idea how it sounds, the outfit does make some mighty fine speakers, so we have a feeling the audio quality is going to match its elegantly-refined aesthetics.
The Harman Kardon Aura Studio 3 is quite traditional as far as wireless speakers. It only has Bluetooth, for instance, with no Wi-Fi onboard, so you can only stream music from a source, like your phone or your laptop, instead of being able to directly onto your network like some of the newer speakers today. That also means, there’s no intelligent assistant here, so you don’t have to worry about an onboard mic listening in on your private conversations, in case that’s one of those things you’re paranoid about.
Do note, this is not battery-powered, so it’s not the kind of speaker you can move around from the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom and back. Instead, you’ll have to plug it in the whole time it’s in use, so you’ll likely be keeping it in a semi-permanent place in your home, like the living room coffee table or the nightstand in your bedroom.
The Harman Kardon Aura Studio is available now.