Harman had portable news at IFA this year, with a brand new small desktop speaker and some great new functionality for their JBL portable speakers. The Onyx Mini is a classy portable speaker with solid battery life, while the JBL speakers will be getting Google Now and Siri functionality without needing to use a smartphone — and that goes for those who already own their speakers, too.
The new portable speaker is called the Onyx Mini. It’s a round black speaker that has its own desktop stand, and has similar vibes to Harman’s Esquire Mini. Like that speaker, Harman is advertising it as a great choice for conference calls in the office, thanks to their noise and echo cancelling tech. It has Bluetooth connectivity and a battery that should last around 10 hours on a full charge. And, while it doesn’t sound like two units can be paired for stereo sound, the Onyx Mini can be synced with any other wireless Harman speaker for a volume boost.
Meanwhile, portable JBL speakers, including the Xtreme, Pulse 2, Charge 3, and Flip 3, will soon have Siri and Google Now integration. The play/pause button will now also be a push-to-talk button for use with either digital assistant, without any need to activate them with your phone first. All of those speakers sold from now on will have the feature built in, but if you already own one, you can download the JBL Connect app and download the new firmware for your speaker. The firmware update should be available sometime this month.
The Onyx Mini will be available in black, white, burgundy, blue, or grey for $150 and will launch this fall.