Our music has gone portable, with many wireless services, which makes it easy to use on our smartphones. This in time lets us take our music with us anywhere. But once we get home, we want an easy way to enjoy our tunes. So wireless speaker systems have gotten popular. Yet not all wireless speaker systems are created equal. Enter the Harman Kardon Omni 20. They are an elegantly styled home wireless speaker system that would fit well in any décor.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Features and specs:
Transducers2 x 75mm woofer, 2 x 19mm tweeter
Rated Power4 x 15W
Bluetooth Transmitter Frequency Range2402 − 2480MHz
Bluetooth Transmitter Power<4dbm span="">4dbm>
Bluetooth Transmitter ModulationGFSK, 3.14/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
2.4G Wi-Fi Transmitter Frequency Range2412 − 2472MHz
2.4G Wi-Fi Transmitter Power<20dbm span="">20dbm>
2.4G Wi-Fi ModulationOFDM, DSSS, DBPSK, DQPSK, CCK, 16QAM, 64QAM
2.4G Wi-Fi Network CompatibilityIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Frequency Response53Hz - 20kHz @ -6dB
The Harman Kardon Omni 20 came shipped in a nice looking box, with photos of the speaker and its specs printed on the box. Opening the box manifested an elegant looking speaker held firmly in place by protective packaging. Materials used in the construction is mostly plastic with some cloth. Quality of materials used in the construction is excellent. And the same is true for the fit and finish. The Harman Kardon Omni 20 felt very solid, and well made. Also included is the power cord, and safety instructions, and manual.
The Harman Kardon Omni 20 is controlled with the Harmon Kardon Controller, which is an app for your phone or tablet that you would download online. My initial thought was some people who are not tech savy could be confused and not know what to do without any owner's manual with step by step instructions. Then I saw in the start-up guide that the owner's manual is available online, with clear step by step instructions. And it is rather simple. Just download and install the app, and it will walk you through getting everything set up. You will be listening before you know it. It took a few tries, and then I saw there was a software update. After installing the update I was easily connected to my home wi-fi.
I loved the ability to link up to my wi-fi system. Doing so allowed me to link two Omni 20’s together for either stereo sound in one room, or to have whole house music. You can also have it linked to your music, so when you go from room to room from one Omni 20 to another, your music follows you. You end up having a lot of options and usability. Although as great as the multi-room whole home system is, this isn’t for everyone.
I really liked its versatility as well. Not only can you do wi-fi, but there are also the typical Bluetooth as well as wired connections. If you aren’t looking to use multiple Omni 20s together for a whole house system, or maybe that’s a little too advanced for you, there is still the ability to use these more traditional connections. Any mp3 player can be connected to the 3.5 mm wired connection. The Bluetooth connection also works very well, and was really easy to pair with my HTC One M9 smartphone.
Now that I’m paired, it’s time to jam to some tunes. And jam it can! The Harmon Kardon Omni 20 can really bring out the awesomeness in your tunes. Kansas: Carry On My Wayward Son, had very good harmonics and texture in the vocals. The percussion was dynamic with crisp cymbals and kick drums with very good depth. Fresh Aire II: Going to Another Place, had better than expected resolution. The strings were so crisp and clean, so much so that I could hear the pick sliding across the strings. The piano also sounded very natural. The flute was very smooth without being too warm, and had very good air.
With it being the Christmas season, I thought I’d also turn to some holiday music. Manheim Steamroller: Pat A Pan had really crisp percussion. When the bass kicked in, it play with more authority and deeper than expected. The passive radiator on the back did it's job very well, as I could actually feel it in my chair. The flute also had good harmonics and air, and was only a tad warm. The strings were also very smooth with good texture and detail.
I ended up going through a multitude of different songs from a lot of different genre. And I kept hearing the same thing; songs that were true to the sound of the original recording. Highs were crisp yet not bright, mids were smooth yet not overly warm. And the bass had nice texture, dynamics, depth and played with authority. And while being small in size, the Harman Kardon Omni 20 still threw a good sized soundstage, and had very good imaging. The sound was very good in all aspect.
The Harman Kardon has hit the ball out of the park with the Omni 20! The Wife Acceptance Factor is high based on its elegant looking oval design with gloss black cabinet. It will fit right in with any décor. The Omni 20 also sounds as good as it looks. With the built-in WPS button on the back, it was also fairly easy to get it set up on my wifi network. Add in the fact that it also does Bluetooth as well as having a 3.5 mm input, it is a fairly universal speaker system. The build quality is also top notch, giving well built speaker system to provide years of service. The only downside- their music service selection doesn’t include Spotify or Pandora, which was a little surprising and slightly disappointing.
Based on its design, features, quality and performance. The Harman Kardon Omni 20 wireless speaker system has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. With an MSRP of $299. And add to the fact that you can use multiple Omni 20’s together to create a whole house system is just icing on the cake! It is a good value, and would be rather economical to create a whole house system. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.harmankardon.com.