JBL OnBeat Review

By on September 20, 2011
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A small dock with a big heart.

Good: Pleasant design; Plug & Play operation; Supports all iOS devices; Vertical and horizontal orientation; Fast charging
Bad: Audio breaks at high volume; Underwhelming bass at high volume; iPad tilts downwards in horizontal orientation
Price: AED 650
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Now playing back songs or any other type of audio was pretty impressive at low and mid-level volumes. There’s no built-in subwoofer, but placed properly in the corner of a room, you can feel the beats in a song, but with some added booming effect as well. On high volumes, however, I noticed sound breaking up slightly for rock songs and beat heavy trance tracks. Still, that is a level of volume I wouldn’t ever use on the OnBeat as it was too loud for comfort anyways.

When playing videos, it’s best to turn the iPhone or iPad on its side. Now the OnBeat comes with two brackets which simply clips onto the swivel stands with rubber on the edges. Now the thing is that while the small brackets works perfectly fine for iPhone 4 and iPods, the iPad brackets was a little hard to be comfortable with. In vertical position it’s all good, but horizontally the bracket for the iPad is a bit too low, which results in the iPad tilting downwards. That, and the left speaker is covered by the iPad ever so slightly. Now I’m sure that all iOS devices, including the original iPad will fit comfortably on the JBL OnBeat, but the iPad 2’s slimmer frame has to be titled slightly for it to clip on to the connector at the bottom.

Overall the JBL OnBeat is pretty good bang for the buck; you get a good looking dock which is very simple to use. The only downside is that on high volumes the audio breaks, and that an iPad will tilt downwards went tilted horizontally. If these are two things that don’t concern you, then the JBL OnBeat is an easy recommendation for your bedroom.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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