JBL OnBeat Micro Review



The little OnBeat Micro is one of the few budget speaker docks available with a Lightning connector for the iPhone 5 and the rest of the newest-generation Apple devices. Reviewers say it sounds louder than it looks, and although it lacks deep bass, its midrange sounds especially crisp.

The OnBeat Micro from JBL is one of the few cheap docks with a Lightning connector for the iPhone 5 and other new Apple devices. A JBL OnBeat Micro review from PC Mag declares this small speaker surprisingly loud given its dimensions. As with most speakers this size, the bass isn't very strong, the reviewer says. However, the midrange and treble sound fine and the audio suffers from little distortion when you turn up the volume. At iLounge, an OnBeat Micro review notes the good balancing of the bass, mid, and high frequencies, as well as the volume. The reviewer wasn't impressed with the five-hour battery life, though.

The JBL OnBeat Micro (starting at $100, Amazon) may have a Lightning connector to support the latest versions of Apple's iPhone, iPod Nano, and iPod Touch, but it's too small to accommodate an iPad using the dock connector. Of course, you can still connect an iPad and other devices to the OnBeat Micro through its 3.5 mm input. One draw of docking, though, is you can charge a device as you play music. This slim speaker measures 6 5/8 x 6 5/8 x 2 1/4 inches. It can run on four AAA batteries when you're on the go and comes with an AC adapter for plugging into the wall.

The JBL OnBeat Micro is a pretty solid portable speaker dock, even if it's not ideal for music fans who favor deep, thumping bass (that's true of most small speaker systems). If you've recently bought a new iPhone or iPod with a Lightning connector, this little dock is ready for it.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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