There’s good news for tech-savvy music fans with the iPhone5, who had to sacrifice the ability to use their existing speaker docks for their new phone.
The first wave of lightning-enabled speaker docks, compatible with the latest iOS devices – iPhone (News - Alert) 5, iPad Mini and iPad 4 – has been launched by JBL.
JBL has released two products – the JBL OnBeat Venue LT, a tabletop speaker dock; and the more compact and affordable OnBeat Micro. Both systems are compatible with JBL's MusicFlow app too, giving music lovers some extended options for tweaking the EQ.
The JBL OnBeat Venue LT is equipped with Bluetooth. It offers dual full-range drivers for “big sound” and about 30 watts of amplification. Priced at $200, it’s essentially a lightning-friendly version of JBL's existing Venue speaker dock. For wireless audio streaming, the device can be paired with up to eight devices.
JBL OnBeat has a movie button as well, which activates an extra-wide sound field to enhance the movie and video watching experience. It works with all your Apple (News - Alert) devices, as well as with the ones you’d want to plug in through an auxiliary input.
You can thus plug in any audio device including smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or laptop computer.
It also has a lightning dock connector, which charges the device when plugged in.
The OnBeat Venue LT. Image via PC Mag
For music fans looking for something a little smaller and less expensive, JBL has the $100 Micro for on-the-go use. JBL OnBeat Micro is compact and affordable- a perfect travelling companion, and has a USB port for charging other devices. It can last for up to five hours on battery power.
The dock, however, doesn’t work with an iPod. It also lacks the wireless streaming capability.
OnBeat Micro cannot dock lightning-enabled iPads.
During the lightning connector's introduction in mid-September, JBL was highlighted by Apple as a vendor that received advanced access to the standard. Other vendors such as B&W and B&O would soon be announcing their speaker products shortly. Belkin already released a lightning-enabled car charger and charge-and-sync dock earlier this month.
Both the OnBeat Venue LT and OnBeat Micro are available now from the online JBL store. The units are available in black and white.
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Edited by Braden Becker