Introduction of the Apple iPad, the best tablet you can buy; has boosted one industry on the parallel lines i.e. the cellular/tablet accessory industry. Apart from the galore of cases, skins and other accessories, the docking stations have gained much popularity. Today on my desk I have the JBL OnBeat Loudspeaker iPad dock which is much similar to the much acclaimed JBL OnBeat Xtreme. This docking station is decently priced at $150 unlike its big brother which costs a whooping $500 although there are some cut-offs but it is intelligently done. One such factor is the inability of docking the iPad horizontally. It is an intelligent decision to save space and cost of production but can be felt when you try to watch any videos while docked in. Available in two colours – black and white, the JBL OnBeat is a decent buy for listening to music or watching videos even though you will have to sacrifice a bit as you would have to watch it vertically.
Looks and Design
Looks wise it is very much similar to the OnBeat Xtreme. The unique shape of the machine like its higher version is maintained to a certain limit but the looks is not that much intimidating. The dock area makes a rough heart shape and the device has some good weights which show that it is built well. I particularly liked this extra weight aspect as it gave a somewhat high-end product feel unlike the much lanky cheap stuffs. Design wise it might not draw much of an attention but at this price it is definitely one product that you can surely go for. The 30 pin unique Apple dock supports iPods, iPhone and invariably the iPad. The iPod and the iPhone can be docked both vertically and horizontally but the iPad can only be dock vertically. You also get iPod and iPhone compatible adapters that securely grip them and like the other docks it also charges the device. The JBL OnBeat supports both the iPad and the iPad 2 although you might fact a bit problem while docking in the iPad 2 as the point is placed in a bit different fashion in the iPad 2. It also comes with a normal remote control that is compact and has all the common options that you find in a docking station remote. Nothing is special about the design of the remote. It can be pretty well guessed that the remote is one area where the element of cost saving technique has been executed the best.
Output the video to your Television
A brilliant option that you get with the JBL OnBeat is the video output facility. You can connect your television set with the docking station via an optical cable and play the videos from your iPhone, iPod or the iPad. The video quality might not be the very best but of course it is decent enough for a pleasurable watch.
Easy syncing with iTunes
The USB port behind the device promotes another wonderful option. You will have the ability to sync your iTunes option with your Apple product. Just bring in your laptop and connect it via the USB cable. Set-up is very easy and connection can be made without any complexities.Though you might not even use it if you are already a fan of Wifi syncing which is supported on iOS 5 onwards.
The JBL OnBeat supports the iPhone, IPod and the iPad too. While the iPod and the iPhone can be docked in both vertically and horizontally, the iPad can only be dock in vertically. This can be a big drawback if you intend to watch videos on your iPad because watching it on the portrait mode is a definite daunting task.
Now the thing that matters the most – Audio feat… “Above average” should be the term I would like to use to rate the device in terms of its audio performance. The audio quality might not blow you away but when you compare the aspect of price with its performance, it is definitely worthwhile. The JBL patent equalization system along with the superior quality of transducers emits good quality sound. In the first stance I tried the device in my living room which is a bit big and as expected the device didn’t perform well as it didn’t have that much of power to fill the room but when tried in my bedroom, it worked wonderfully well. It played music decently loud and of course the clarity was pretty good too.
However it was surprising to see that the device didn’t have a good bass emission. Even with the host of JBL special technologies and options, the speakers didn’t generate a good bass effect. Overall impact – the JBL OnBeat has an above average sound effect. Although there are plenty of options available if you wish to get a decent sound quality but when considered the element of price, definitely a great buy. Models from Altec Lansing, Logitech, Octive etc. might be priced a bit low but in terms of style and technology, the JBL OnBeat is a handsome deal invariably.
- 1 pc JBL OnBeat docking station
- Universal Connector
- Power Cord
- Remote control
You get a 1 year warranty with JBL OnBeat Loudspeaker Dock.
What are other users of JBL OnBeat Loudspeaker saying
The JBL OnBeat received a great market response owing to its economical pricing and backed by its pretty decent performance. After studying the customer reviews on different forums and websites, this product is bound to receive 3.5 stars out of 5. A few customer feedbacks excepted across different forums are as follows:-
- Lovely product at a decent price
- Good design, nice sound, nice features
- Very good built up quality
- No horizontal docking for my iPad
The very first thing that comes into consideration is the element of pricing. At $94 (currently on sale, usually $150) it is very neatly priced compared to the powerful features. Even if there are certain lacks in the product like Bluetooth connectivity or ability to access the device wirelessly, still it has other lovely features like the video output, automatic equalization etc. to propel the product to higher statures. Overall a must buy product specially for those who are searching for a good quality docking station both in terms of looks and performance at a decent price.
Here’s a quick summary of the the Good and the Bad
- Economically priced
- JBL audio technology
- Works with iPod, iPhone and iPad
- Syncs with iTunes
- iPad cannot be docked horizontally
- Low quality bass
Follow me on Twitter at @vaibhav1981 Ipod Dock, JBL On Beat Dock, Loudspeaker Dock