CNET First Look
JBL OnBeatIf you can look past its inability to dock iPads horizontally, the JBL OnBeat is a decent little iPad/iPhone speaker dock that's affordably priced and well-suited for nightstand use.
I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com. And I'm here with the JBL On Beat. As you can see this is an iPad stereo docking system. It also takes the iPhone and the iPod touch. But the big deal here is that it's supposed to work with the iPad. Now, the one small flaw is well it has a swiveling arm design, it doesn't swivel with the iPad. That's a real problem because if you wanna watch movies in landscape mode, you can't swivel the dock. (It won't send up?). It is not designed to work with the iPad. You can do it with the iPod touch or the iPhone but not the iPad. Apart from that, this is a pretty good little stereo system. It is fairly light weight so you can take it from room to room. It is designed to sit on a bed side, nightstand. Does have a little bit of a funky design. The front looks a little bit like a woman's formal dress. Some people won't like that, some people will. This does sound decent. Only plays loud. It has decent amount of detail. It will fill a small to medium size room and that's really its strong point. IT's a little fit on the base because it is so small and there isn't much in the way of stereo separation but it is a decent sounding little system. Round back, it does have a couple of extra features. There is a USB port so you can connect this to your computer and sink your iTunes. There's also a video output over. That is a composite video output so the picture isn't could be all that great but you could send the video from your iPad or iPhone to a TV. That's all that really is to it. There isn't any built in bluetooth like there is on his bigger brother, the JBL On Beat Xtreme which does retail for a lofty $500. This one goes for about $120 online. That's down from its list price of a $150 when it first came out last year in 2011. I wouldn't call it a bargain on that price. Really should be less than a $100 particularly because of that design flaw where you can't put your iPad in landscape. Really an iPad stereo docking system should allow you to do that. So it's really hard to recommend at this price. I'm David Carnoy. And that's the JBL On Beat.