JBL On Stage IV review: JBL On Stage IV

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 5.0

Average User Rating

0.5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:

The Good The JBL On Stage IV has the look of modern art and offers a practical, portable solution for charging and listening to your iPod or iPhone.

The Bad In spite of the JBL name and four-driver design, the On Stage sounds anemic for the price.

The Bottom Line We understand buying the JBL On Stage for its unique look, but there are better-sounding options available.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Editors' note: We've lowered the JBL On Stage IV's rating from 7 to 6 in order to better reflect its current value among the competition. Be sure to visit CNET's list of the best iPod and iPhone speakers for the latest and greatest products hand-picked by our editors.

The JBL On Stage series has a long history as a stylish speaker dock with a small footprint. Now in its fourth generation, the design of the On Stage IV ($149) is a conversation piece unto itself, though its sound quality can't compare to the recent influx of great, affordable speakers.

The On Stage IV (and its smaller spin-off, the On Stage Micro III) looks like something you'd find in Frank Gehry's home. The fluid, organic lines of the glossy plastic weave across each other, creating a mound of speaker grilles that fire upward and out.

The overall footprint of the speaker dock is around 8 inches square, rising 3 inches high at its tallest point. At the top of the modern-looking heap, you'll find a clear plastic dock well that accepts universal inserts, including the matching clear plastic fitting that comes included. The system meets with Apple's "Made for iPhone" certification, so you can rest assured that your iPhone or iPod will charge, and that the speakers and wiring are shielded to prevent cellular interference.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Speaker System Type portable speakers with digital player dock
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 10 Watt
  • Speaker Type Portable speakers with digital player dock
  • Color black
  • Nominal Impedance 5 Ohm
  • Amplification Type active
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Type Speakers