Peruse any electronics store, whether virtual or brick-and-mortar, and you'll be overwhelmed by the breadth of choices offered in the iPod speaker category. As such, it is of the utmost importance that manufacturers of such goods make their products not just stand but jump out from the crowd. Taking an otherwise fairly standard iPod-ready AM/FM radio alarm clock and slapping a $250 price tag on it is surely one way of doing this; we're just not sure it's the right way. This is what JBL has done with the latest addition to its On Time speaker dock, the Micro. The sleek and compact unit sounds good and offers a nice array of features, but the remote is overly complex; even if not for that minor annoyance, JBL would still need to lop a good $100 off the MSRP for us to consider it.
The JBL On Time Micro may be the smallest in the series but it's not the most compact docking speaker we've come across. The base of the unit is 7.7 inches in diameter and the speaker dome stands nearly 5 inches tall. Though it's not supersmall, the Micro should fit comfortably on your average nightstand. The bulbous, brushed-silver speaker grille and faintly eery glow emanating from the LCD and backlit buttons give the unit the vaguely extraterrestrial look that we see repeated throughout the On Time line. We dig the sci-fi appeal, but, of course, style is all in the eye of the beholder.