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?
- Cirrus Logic releases development kit for Lightning headphones
- Report details Apple Music’s vision for exclusive content
- Walgreens adds digital coupons to Apple Pay
- China orders Apple and others to monitor, report on app users
- South Korea regulators investigating Apple
- Apple Q3 earnings call set for July 26
- Apple’s UK tax bill under scrutiny
- Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection
- Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- IK Multimedia iKlip A/V
- ClamCase ClamCase+ for iPad Air 2
- Philips Hue White Ambience Starter Kit
- Naim Audio Mu-so Qb Speaker
- Phiaton BT 460 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- 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
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app