Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I’m looking for some non-Bluetooth speakers with a Lightning Dock for charging my iPhone. It seems everybody is going with Bluetooth these days, but I really have no interest in paying extra for Bluetooth, and I actually want speakers I can use at my workplace where wireless equipment isn’t permitted—I actually have to keep my iPhone in Airplane Mode when I’m at my desk. Is there anything still out there that doesn’t use wireless of some kind? I know there are cheap wired speakers that connect to the headphone jack, but I’d really like something with a Lightning Dock so I can charge my iPhone at the same time. Thanks.
A: Although you’re right that the speaker industry seems to be moving rapidly toward wireless technologies, dock-based speakers have not been completely phased out. The options became a bit more limited with Apple’s switch to the Lightning connector, but there are still a couple of decent options available.
JBL’s OnBeat Micro (iLounge Rating: B-) is a good option that is still available. In your specific situation, don’t be thrown off by its low rating; it’s a good speaker in terms of sound quality and is in fact nearly identical to the JBL Flip, which won our Speaker and Accessory of the Year awards for 2012. Our main concern with it—and the main reason for the lower rating—was the price; there isn’t really a “Bluetooth premium” any more, and wireless speakers are generally better options for most users. However, for a user in a specific case where Bluetooth is simply not an option, the OnBeat Micro is a good choice.
Another option worth taking a look at is the Philips DS1155 (iLounge Rating: B). This is a slightly less expensive option with equivalent sound quality to the OnBeat Micro, but sacrifices some of the portability, lacking any kind of option for battery power. This is a good option if you plan on leaving the speaker at your desk, but will obviously be a limitation if you want more flexibility for moving the speaker around or taking it with you on the road.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple Music to supply content to Musical.ly
- Apple now withholding royalty payments to Qualcomm as dispute escalates
- New Puff Daddy Documentary will be another Apple Music exclusive
- Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.3.2
- Report: Apple’s Jimmy Iovine still has ambitious video plans for Apple Music
- Apple executive talks using AI to boost human memory
- Apple rolling out ‘Today at Apple’ educational courses starting in May
- Smart home device maker iDevices acquired by Hubbell
- Apple delays ‘Carpool Karaoke’ release to ‘later this year’
- Dutch court rules Apple can’t replace broken iPads with refurbished models
- FABRIQ AirPlay and Bluetooth Alexa-Enabled Speaker
- Advanced Evo X & M4
- Advanced Mezger aptX Bluetooth Receiver
- iDevices Wall Switch
- iDevices Wall Outlet
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartSocket for Apple HomeKit
- Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
- FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
- Blue Ella Headphones
- Apple iPad (Fifth-Generation)
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10