Move over Sonos, Harman Kardon just revealed a portable smart speaker that's out of this world

The Onyx Studio 8, which looks reminiscent of the planet Saturn, is an eye-catching new portable speaker

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 8 speaker
(Image credit: Harman Kardon)

When it comes to smart, portable home speakers there's one name in town that I'm sure you'll agree is often touted as the most prominent: Sonos. But that's not to say other brands can't make a big impression. Indeed, Harman Kardon has announced a new portable home speaker that's, well, 'out of this world', but on show at the all-too-down-to-earth confines of IFA 2022.

Not literally, mind, as you'll only be able to buy one on planet Earth. Just that as your own eyes will surely tell you, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 8 looks more than a little reminiscent of the planet Saturn, albeit in speaker form. I'm sure it'll make very different sounds too, but then I'm no astronomer.

It looks as though Harman Kardon hopes to run rings around the likes of Sonos' Move in the portable home speaker market by introducing the Onyx Studio 8 into a lower price bracket, with a starting price of £249 in the UK undercutting the Move's nearer-to-£400 asking price.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 8 speaker

(Image credit: Harman Kardon)

I think it's a savvy shot, too, as Harman Kardon's established acoustic engineering skill is not to be overlooked. The company launched the Citation Move 200 a couple of years back, which I thought sounded superb, and clearly the company is looking for additional ways to chip away at Sonos' market dominance. 

The Onyx Studio 8's ring structure is actually described as an "anodised aluminium handle", which makes me wonder if it'll deliver the sort of quality that's typical of, say, a Bang & Olufsen product. The speaker itself is covered in fabric, which is available in black, blue or 'champagne' finishes. 

Beneath that fabric is housed a single 120mm woofer and two 20mm tweeters to pair together top-end sparkle and lower-end thump for balanced audio performance. Harman Kardon says it'll last for up to 8 hours on a charge, too, which pales against Sonos Move's 11 hours per charge really, but then the Harman Kardon product is the smaller option. 

I'm yet to see the Onyx Studio 8 in person, but hope to catch a glimpse at the IFA tech show in Berlin, which I'll be attending, to get my eyes and ears wrapped around this new home speaker. It'll be available to buy from October, which is just around the corner (not the 746 million miles that Saturn is from Earth, phew).

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.