I listened to the JBL Onstage & two verions of the Altec Inmotion speakers (IM3 & first gen) B4 making a purchase. Sound quality was JBL first, the first gen second, & last, the IM3. The JBL was too pricey, so I purchased the first gen InMotions. Now, the JBL is disounted at MacMall ($124) & Amazon ($109).

Wish I had waited, 'cos at the discounted price, the JBLs are the best sounding, truly portable option available.

Posted by Rocky on December 25, 2004 at 12:01 AM (PDT) Comment 41

'Just got the Onstage for Christmas, they are great. I went to Apple last week to compare all the speakers and these blow the Altecs out of the water. I wouldnt waste my time with the Altecs, like another poster said, they will NOT fill up a hotel room, but the Onstage surely do. In my opinion great sound is the key. Who cares if a unit has a remote and battery capable, but sound like my Dad's AM radio in his '61 Willy's?

The Bose sounded the best but are definitely noy for travelling

As I got these for traveling in the US and EU, I need a source to buy the 18VCD .8a -230v Euro transformer. Anyone?

Thanks! and Happy Christmas

Posted by PJSALERNO on December 26, 2004 at 10:34 AM (PDT) Comment 42

I pestered my wife for these for Christmas and I am really pleased with both the quality and the look of On Stage.

Sound is quite amazing considering the size of the speakers and it is certainly loud enough to make my wife regret my pathetic begging.

I thought of the Bose but was put off by 1. Size. 2. Cost....perhaps triumph of spin over performance?

In conclusion if you want a top notch sound system for an office or room you can't go far wrong with On Stage. Happy New Year.

Posted by Perfidious Albion on December 31, 2004 at 9:20 AM (PDT) Comment 43

When I started up my new Sound stage, the volume control was stuck on full volume and the touch controls won't respond. I guess I'll have to send it back

Posted by Bgoose on December 31, 2004 at 12:00 PM (PDT) Comment 44

re Bgoose and the stuck volume. This has happened to me twice (different onstage sets) I suspect a design fault

Posted by gbadder on December 31, 2004 at 12:53 PM (PDT) Comment 45

Hi everyone
After four months of research I have finally bought myself some Ipod speakers for my birthday and thought I would share my opinion.
I looked closely at the Altec Lansings (Aus$279-$319) as they have been the only reasonable quality purpose built speakers available here in Australia for a few months.
The Bose have appeared here now but priced out of the market for me (Aus$499).
I deciuded to wait till the JBL Onstage (aus$299) and Ontour (Aus$199) were released before buying.
After listening to all and shoping around for the best price I opted for the JBL Onstage and am very pleased with the result.
They sound great, substantially better than the Altecs. Much better than I had expected.
I agree the lack of battery capability is disappointing but wherever I would use these there would be power anyway, so to me its not a problem. I don't tend to use remotes on these types of products so I didn't see that as being important either.
I recommend the JBL Onstage strongly as a portable speaker suitable for your office, den or hotel room, or even a small family room.
Keep in mind that I am not a youngster(49) so I don't need extreme volume. I got more than enough out of these to satisfy me without any distortion.
These are good stuff.

Happy new year fellow Ipodloungers from Australia!

Posted by Pete285 on January 5, 2005 at 8:38 PM (PDT) Comment 46

Just for interest to my fellow Aussies I paid Aus$255 at Harvey Norman who were one of the few retailers to have stock on January 1st. Might have been able to get the price down a tad more but lack of availability held me back.

Posted by Pete285 on January 5, 2005 at 8:41 PM (PDT) Comment 47

CompUSA is selling these for $159.99.

Posted by Galley on January 6, 2005 at 12:58 AM (PDT) Comment 48

Dig around online (Amazoon, eCost, eBay, etc) I founf these speakers in the $110 -$130 range pretty quickly.

Posted by ebyson on January 10, 2005 at 5:38 AM (PDT) Comment 49

Don't forget guys I am talking aussie dollars - double US and add a bit for conversion.

Posted by Pete285 on January 14, 2005 at 3:38 AM (PDT) Comment 50

I just ordered these from Amazon for 100 dollars. (price was 130, plus 30 dollars off when signing up for a visa amazon credit card) ..

...but the downside is i have to wait 1 - 2 weeks cause they aren't in stock or something. and also im worried as hell about the whole volume buttons getting stuck, i'll be too lazy to send mine back.

Posted by Mitch2742 on January 19, 2005 at 6:37 PM (PDT) Comment 51

Checked out many speaker alternatives at MacWorld SF. The only thing I didn't like much about these is the lack of a remote. Sound quality seemed much better than all the rest (except the Creatures) even considering all the MacWorld background noise. Found it at the show for $135. Setting them up at home, I am extremely pleased at the sound quality. It sounds better than my desktop Sony stereo. For a medium to long trip to a fixed place, they would be worth taking despite the power supply brick.

Posted by Apple Dog on January 21, 2005 at 6:00 PM (PDT) Comment 52


I work for a shop that sells these speakers and we have had 5 differnt display models in the space of a few weeks.

They all kept locking the volume control and there was no way of fixing it. There seams to be a major fault in the design of these speakers.

When they work and thats not often or for long they do sound good though.

Posted by MacGaz on January 25, 2005 at 2:19 PM (PDT) Comment 53


I too find the lack of a remote a huge oversight for this unit. However, I did set my iPod up with the Navi-pod remote so I can control a lot of the operations through it. I can't remote control the volume and a lot of the more complex features of the iPod, but really have little need to do more than the functions the Navi-pod offers with normal playback. I have mine set up in my art room.

I recently bought the On Stage for $119(USD) from Amazon and I find the sound quality quite good for a such a small unit. At that price, I think it makes it a little more competitive with the Creatures featured in the review.

Posted by akapbj on February 11, 2005 at 2:13 PM (PDT) Comment 54

Both this review and the review of the BOSE Sounddock indicate compatibility with the iPod photo; however, the Apple site says that neither are compatible.
Can anyone explain the different viewpoints?

Posted by White Witch on February 14, 2005 at 5:10 AM (PDT) Comment 55

just returned my new onstage
cost me 20$ shipping to receive and
send back a totally defective product.
obviously jbl does little or no quality control, cause this unit sucked right out of the box. would play at a whisper sound and if given any gain would break up and distort like a smashed boom box. deesgusting for an i pod product.

Posted by drblue on February 17, 2005 at 6:59 PM (PDT) Comment 56

This product is horrible. My family bought one this christmas as a gift for my sister. Less than 10 minutes after hooking it up to her ipod the volume got stuck on high with a high pitch sound and static noise. After battling Harman we were able to send it back, but we had to pay shipping. After 2 weeks we finally got the replacement, after 10 minutes that same exact thing happens again. Harman this time finally accepts that it is thier fault because of a bad chip, they agree this time to pay the shipping, but they are taking thier time to send the replacement which has been over three weeks. We called Apple to see if they would help since the product was purchased from thier website. Apple has been very rude to us on every phone conversation and refuses to be of any help on getting Harman to send out the replacement, which they have absolutely no reason to hold from us, Apple has basically told us we are SOL and will not help at all, they even tell us that Harman has not even admitted there are units with bad chips, which is a lie.
After all we are very disappointed with Apple and thier rude and lazy customer service people, nobody in my family will even buy a product from Apple or Harman ever again.

Posted by dan the man on February 22, 2005 at 5:09 PM (PDT) Comment 57

i love the look, and the sound is quite nice. however, i was unable to get my XP Pro PC to recognize my iPod through the On Stage. i kept getting the old "USB device not recognized" message, and could find no solution to this problem, even after reinstalling the iPod drivers.

the silver lining: i'm keeping it at my girlfriend's apartment, as a simple way to listen to music in her bedroom (she has no bedroom stereo!) while keeping my iPod charged at the same time.

Posted by cheesyBob on March 1, 2005 at 1:57 AM (PDT) Comment 58

I didn't see any reviews for the OnTour model. Does anyone have any comments? I need soem speakers, but I need something truly portable so I can make the rest of the world listen to techno.

Posted by KENNYtheTYRANT on March 2, 2005 at 7:50 PM (PDT) Comment 59

I was wondering if anyone has had any problems with these messing up their ipods? I'm not sure if it's the ipod itself or if my onstage caused it, but after sitting in the craddle for a few days (i was using it pretty much all the time) it became stuck on the album that was playing. I had to listen to the new interpol album about 20 times in a row!! It finally fixed itself when I plugged it into my computer for a while, but now evertime I use the onstage it seems to get stuck after a few songs. Any ideas?

Posted by chalaron on March 24, 2005 at 11:24 AM (PDT) Comment 60

Ok, how many have run into the defective volume control chip problem??

My wife had her's for less than a week and 'zap' the thing hisses at full volume and can't be turned down. Here is the link that explains the issue:

I can't believe she is willing to pay almost $300 CDN for this item. The only things it has going for it are its solid construction and reasonably good sound... when it works properly!!

Posted by Crazy Grampa on April 6, 2005 at 6:55 AM (PDT) Comment 61

my 40gb photo worked well at the apple store, but when i put it on my onstage it didnt work. i had to use the cable connected into the headphone jack. what am i doing wrong?

Posted by senecaripple on April 18, 2005 at 4:28 PM (PDT) Comment 62

senecaripple, my guess would be that it's the interchangeable plastic mounting panels. Onstage uses different plates, each supporting the basic connnector but with a differently-configured cutout, to match your iPod. I have the 40gb iPhoto and it's thicker than most iPods- so while the connector is the same, the thicker body of the 'Pod keeps it from fitting inside the cutout on some connectors. I would guess that at the Apple store they use the wider cutout plate on their Onstage, so that any iPod will fit. Is it possible you have run into the smalller cutout and that is whhat is keeping you from squeezing in there?

Posted by MrPodBoy on April 26, 2005 at 10:32 AM (PDT) Comment 63

After looking at all the options, I decided to give the On-Stage system a try. I picked mine up at CompUSA for $149. Got to admit, I'm pretty impressed. I needed something for my office and to take with me on the road. I spend a week or two a month in a hotel. These fit the bill perfectly. One piece plus the adapter so it is easy to pack and carry and impressive sound. Of course, there is no sub-woofer or anything so it doesn't have that booming bass, but I'm sure others in my off and the hotels will appreciate that smile I'm sitting here with "The Wall" playing and I'm really impressed with the sound.

Posted by ablessg on April 29, 2005 at 3:35 PM (PDT) Comment 64

I got my JBL On Stage at CompUSA for $149. So far, I'm pretty impressed. They put out far better sound than I expected from such a small unit.

Posted by ablessg on May 2, 2005 at 7:29 PM (PDT) Comment 65
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