JBL Launches First Lightning-Compatible Speaker Docks

Harman today announced the launch of the first two Lightning-compatible speaker docks under its JBL brand, offering owners of Apple's latest iOS devices direct support for the new connector standard for the first time.

jbl onbeat micro
JBL OnBeat Micro

The two speaker docks include the OnBeat Micro ($99.95) for the iPhone 5 and other small devices, and the larger OnBeat Venue Lightning ($199.95) supporting the full line of Lightning devices including iPad, iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod touch, and iPod nano.

jbl onbeat venue lightning
JBL OnBeat Venue Lightning

Engadget has a brief review of the new speaker docks:

Based on a quick listening session, we can report that the Venue LT sounded very full and clear. Even with the optional bass- or vocal-boosts enabled, it didn't seem like the speakers were having trouble pushing out a high level of volume. The Micro on the other hand sounded decidedly tinny, which we're frankly not surprised about given the size. Both systems are compatible with JBL's MusicFlow app as well, giving you some extended options for tweaking the EQ.

Engadget also noted a couple of issues with the Lightning connector itself on the docks, including the observation that the docks will not work with many common iPhone cases and that flexibility in the connector on the docks feels somewhat wobbly, allowing flexibility while docking to lessen the risk of breakage but leading to concerns about stability.

JBL was one of the vendors highlighted by Apple during the Lightning connector's introduction in mid-September as having received advance access to the standard. Other vendors included Bose, B&W, and B&O, which should all be announcing their own speaker products shortly.

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Top Rated Comments

Leonard1818 Avatar
152 months ago
why is everyone so hung up on "Docks" when we have much simpler/better solutions available. I've never really seen the appeal of a "dock".
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Koodauw Avatar
152 months ago
I prefer speaker systems with airplay.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rudy69 Avatar
152 months ago
I prefer speaker systems with airplay.

While Airplay makes a lot of sense, it's also nice to be able to charge the phone at the same time
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Gates Avatar
152 months ago
That tiny connector seems a bit flimsy to support the weight of the phone.

Seems like a lot of stress on the part
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Born Again Avatar
152 months ago
This just doesn't make any sense to make... why not just have a wireless connection where you don't have to worry about the connection fitting or not.

some people want better sound guys

blutooth music bitrate isn't the greatest. 128kb but correct me if im wrong.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hogo Avatar
152 months ago
but your point is mute. plug it in and stream. Now its charging and playing AT THE SAME TIME. woa.
The expression is "your point is MOOT." Not MUTE. I'm sorry, that was bothering me. As you were...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)