JBL OnBeat Xtreme full review

The JBL OnBeat Xtreme sets itself apart from other similar iPod, iPhone and iPad speaker docks by not only by sporting a much heavier price-tag but by also providing excellent audio performance.

The JBL OnBeat Xtreme doesn't toe the line when it comes to design. Unlike other docks that usually either have a conical or bar design, the OnBeat Xtreme has an attractive unique design that makes it look like the alphabet 'X' when looked at from the front and back. See also: Group test: what's the best speaker set?

The JBL OnBeat Xtreme also comes with a variety of dock attachments that help your iPod/iPhone and iPad fit better and be at lesser risk of accidental falls. The JBL dock uses a lot of plastic in its build but still feels very well-built. Also, in my opinion, the matte-black colour scheme with silver accents makes the OnBeat Xtreme look classy. See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone accessory?

Apart from just plugging in your iDevice to the dock, the JBL OnBeat Xtreme also provides an extremely efficient way to play your music wirelessly using Bluetooth. During tests, the OnBeat Xtreme managed to play music over Bluetooth without any hiccups from a device that was about 80 feet away, which was extremely impressive. The JBL also offers USB, aux in/out and video connectivity options.

While there are controls on the dock body itself, the OnBeat Xtreme also comes with a remote control with some basic navigation and playback buttons. We tested the remote with the default music player on an iPad 2 and iPod touch and it worked well, although there was noticeable lag in the devices responding to the press of a button. JBL has also made an OnLive music player app available on the iTunes App Store and that also works with the remote but there's really nothing special about the app. You'd rather just use the default music player.

The JBL OnBeat Xtreme's audio performance was the best I've heard from a dock especially when it came to bass heavy music. At times I did find the treble end of the spectrum getting overpowered by the thump but it didn't do too much to take away from the overall quality.

Visit: iPhone Advisor


JBL OnBeat Xtreme: Specs

  • Amplifier: 4x 30W
  • Frequency: 20Hz-20kHz
  • 1x speaker
  • swivel iPod/iPhone/iPad dock connector
  • AUX entry
  • composite output
  • Speaker/docking station for iPod
  • Remote Control
  • 230x240x445mm
  • 4kg
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Hands-free function
  • USB port