comments

Good review, bit expensive for me but it seems like it has better sound quality compared to the rest so i guess thats why its overpriced.

Posted by Robin Hood on October 4, 2004 at 10:37 AM (PDT) Comment 1

I thought the On Stage could run off the iPod's power adapter via the dock connector, and NOT normally need the included black adapter unless you have an old 1G/2G iPod.

Is that the case?

Posted by Nagromme on October 4, 2004 at 11:09 AM (PDT) Comment 2

If the Onstage unit has a dock connector interface for power, wouldn't you be able to power the speakers with one of the external battery pack solutions for the ipod?

Posted by BLow on October 4, 2004 at 2:04 PM (PDT) Comment 3

In our testing, the On Stage's speakers did not play unless the black AC power cube was connected. When FireWire was connected to On Stage via the Dock Connector port, the iPod could be charged and connected to the host computer, but the speakers would not turn on.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on October 4, 2004 at 3:42 PM (PDT) Comment 4

Re power issues: the On Stage has the capability of charging docking iPods using a computer's firewire output (and downloading files etc. as well). The firewire power is not used to power the electronics of On Stage otherwise, hence the answer to Nagromme's and BLow's questions is no. However, an ambitious and resourceful user could use a battery pack in lieu of the nominal 18VDC adapter, although there are no commercial products available for this that I know of.

Note that the adapter power will charge the docking iPod whether or not the On Stage is switched on. If the On Stage is also plugged into the firewire computer output, then the charging power will come from whichever source has the higher voltage.

Posted by bc on October 4, 2004 at 3:51 PM (PDT) Comment 5

I've been waiting for a review of these speakers for awhile, and was also questioning the price. But JBL is the speaker of choice for me in any venue so I wondered about the sound quality.

If its only close to what the creatures sound like, at its small size and able to make the sound feel more like surround, its gotta be my choice.

Thanks!

Posted by Earl on October 4, 2004 at 4:34 PM (PDT) Comment 6

In answer to Jeremy's musings about "dynamic bass control," I have learned that this refers to a proprietary frequency-dependent compressor-limiter that reduces bass energy preferentially (and automatically), when the level overall is high enough. The advantage: to allow the system, with its inevitably limited power, to play at higher levels overall without audible distortion, while still having substantial bass boost at lower levels. Apparently this is also a feature of the JBL fully-portable (battery- or adapter-powered) smaller system, the On Tour.

Posted by bc on October 4, 2004 at 5:46 PM (PDT) Comment 7

these things are horrible

all of the downsides of portable speakers, without any of the upside

all of the downside of larger speakers (no battery), with none of the upside (better sound)

they suck

Posted by slik on October 4, 2004 at 6:32 PM (PDT) Comment 8

slik - You may not want something compact to sit in a single room. Lots of people do, however.

The price seems too steep.

Re power... what if Firewire is connected not to a computer but to the wall-power brick? Will that power the speakers as well? (Probably not but I though I'd ask.... just in case they drop $100 and I might consider them smile )

Posted by Nagromme on October 4, 2004 at 10:01 PM (PDT) Comment 9

Nagromme, the power for the amp only reaches it through the adapter jack---although, if you use a high enough voltage firewire source (the spec is 8 - 30V, and Apple tells me that one computer, I think the G4, puts out about 28V) then the speakers may play a little louder becuase the iPod will be charging strictly from the firewire source. Hope you have a chance to audition these soon---they are pretty persuasive imao if as you say you want something really compact.

Posted by bc on October 5, 2004 at 5:20 AM (PDT) Comment 10

Thank bc for clarifying the difference in the various power leads. I look forward to Jeremy's review of the Bose Soundstage as well as the BMW audio connector/sound system. Jeremy, you might as well test drive a BMW645i in Alpine white. We can all dream:-) Reviews like this one make IPODLOUNGE worth coming back to again and again.

Posted by BLow on October 5, 2004 at 11:04 AM (PDT) Comment 11

iPod should have bluetooth so it can also be its own wireless remote control! ...

which instantly opens up great possibilities for it to be a DVR (Tivo) and set-top controller -- if only those guys would get there act together and start supporting B/T (and rendezvous)!

Part of the problem is that the B/T spec has made support for multiple profiles (headset, PDA, printer, whatever) difficult if not impossible ...

maybe someone who actually understands the way B/T (and osx) are designed could comment about the cause of this doltishness!

Posted by dlf on October 5, 2004 at 11:57 AM (PDT) Comment 12

I have purchased the jbl onstage and for speakers of this size, they blow away the sound quality of any of the altecs. The review fails to mention that the altecs are 2W per channel while the jbl's are 6W per channel -- an significant difference. The altecs will not fill a hotel room with sound without distorting, while the jbl's will. Although not battery operated (and the power adaptor is heavy!) the jbl's are a great choice if you want to travel with speakers with acceptible sound in your hotel room.

Posted by wax on October 7, 2004 at 3:14 AM (PDT) Comment 13

Thanks for the review. Does anyone knows the weight differences between the IM3 and OnStage(With adapter)? I'm a student looking forward to purchase a portable speakers before I leave for university abroad next year.

Posted by Sean Tham on October 7, 2004 at 3:43 AM (PDT) Comment 14

Sean, someone at Harman Multimedia should be able to give you the weight of the total package including the carton. Depending on where you are going the appropriate adapter could be a slightly different weight compared to the US version, but not by very much.

Posted by bc on October 13, 2004 at 7:09 PM (PDT) Comment 15

Someone should do a review on the Bose Speaker for the Ipod i saw it and listened to it and it blows the Altec Lansing away. The music is really clear. it is just a lot more pricey

Posted by JS on October 14, 2004 at 3:10 PM (PDT) Comment 16

the bose speaker also comes with a remote that you can change the songs and change the volume

Posted by JS on October 14, 2004 at 3:11 PM (PDT) Comment 17

The SoundDock IMO is the best-sounding of the bunch, but that's not saying a lot. The soundstage still sucks, and comes nowhere close to performing as well as my 'ancient' (by computer standards) PC speakers, a 2.1 set of Monsoon MM1000s. I can't see past the $300 price tag, because it simply doesn't possess SQ that surpasses a very good desktop radio system. The remote, while handy, is credit card flimsy and is minimalist in features at best. To me, it's merely another example of why I consider Bose as the Thomas Kinkade of audio (I could've said Martha Stewart, but at least Kinkade's not in jail).

At $100 less, the JBL donut to me has fair SQ (considerbly far above the Altec systems by my assessment), but aside from the integral dock and the iPod-matching aesthetics it to my way of thinking is even less of a value than the Bose system. The review is spot on in that the Creatures and its performance qualities are a better deal (though I'm no SQ fan of those, either), especially since the On Stage isn't designed for true portability in the first place. Harman has taken their JBL franchise into realms and product lines beyond its original focus, with very mixed results IMO; the On Stage device seems to reverb that trend once again. I certainly can't value its aesthetics THAT much as to put up with its very unsatisfying sonic performance, but that's just another example of my ears doing my thinking for me.

Posted by flatliner on October 16, 2004 at 10:45 PM (PDT) Comment 18

I have to disagree with flatliner about the SQ of the onstage. For its size, the sound is very very good. Yes, the bass response is so so and yes its not battery operated, but its still small enough to be very portable (certainly more so than the Bose) and is far superior to the altecs or anything else I have heard of that size. Yes, the Ceatures are ok but they are really NOT porable.

Posted by wax on October 18, 2004 at 12:24 PM (PDT) Comment 19

LOL at flatliner's characterization of Bose as the Thomas Kinkade of audio.

But I must ask: what systems DO you like for SQ?

Posted by bc on October 19, 2004 at 4:39 PM (PDT) Comment 20

Any idea how the JBL On Stage speakers compare with the Bose SoundDock Digital Music System? I know they're a lot cheapers (Bose is $299), but what's the difference in sound quality, etc?

Posted by Geri-Ann Galanti on October 24, 2004 at 5:16 PM (PDT) Comment 21

Geri imo they seem to have a bit more bass (they are quite a bit larger), although I like the mids and highs of On Stage more--the Bose semms a bit muffled. One thing that differs is there is no computer hookup on the Bose so you can't do downloading etc. while it is docked in SoundDock.

Posted by bc on October 24, 2004 at 7:09 PM (PDT) Comment 22

Good review...thing I'm concerned about is the lack of Remote. If I leave the Ipod on Sleep timer, can you confirm that it will shut off at my desired time?

Posted by lg on October 25, 2004 at 10:58 AM (PDT) Comment 23

lg, the on stage doesn't "talk" to the iPod---besides the amplified speaker function, it just allows the computer to connect to it for downloading, and also charges it. So there should be no problem with the sleep timer functioning. Of course with the charging function you won't run the iPod batteries down either, even if you leave it on continuously.

Posted by bc on October 25, 2004 at 2:27 PM (PDT) Comment 24

I just picked up the On Stage speakers. I may be missing something, but I can't figure out how to play my iPod Mini while the firewire is connected to my computer. My iPod will only display the "OK to disconnect" message.

Posted by Tracy Miller on October 25, 2004 at 9:06 PM (PDT) Comment 25
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