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March 29, 2011

JBL Unveils iPad-Optimized Stereo Dock, the OnBeat


Audio electronics specialist JBL added to the ever-expanding list Apple (News - Alert)-focused premium stereo speaker systems earlier this week with the introduction of OnBeat loudspeaker dock.

Set to hit Apple and Best Buy (News - Alert) stores next month, the OnBeat is JBL's first attempt at a dock system that is compatible with the iPad. The new offering can hold Apple's latest tablet device in either portrait or landscape mode, and can rotate to handle both the iPod Touch and iPhone (News - Alert) in a landscape orientation.

Besides the 30-pin connector dock, the JBL OnBeat also provides users with a USB connection for easy syncing and charging of iOS devices, a 3.5mm auxiliary jack for non-Apple devices and a composite output connection for streaming video content to HD TVs. Unfortunately, none of the cables are included, so you will have to pick them up on your own to take full advantage of the system.

JPL's new dock also features dual Phoenix full-range transducers with computer-optimized DSP equalization, which help produce 7.5 watts of high-quality, content-specific stereo sound.

“Imagine what moviegoers must have felt when they heard sound paired with film for the first time in history. This is what we hope to accomplish for the next era of entertainment experiences with products such as the JBL OnBeat for the iPad, iPhone and more,” David Slump, Harmon consumer division president, noted in a statement.

"Our goal is to awaken our senses to the power that great sound and music can have on bringing media to life through the most cutting-edge devices out on the market right now," he added.

Priced at $149.95, the JBL OnBeat costs about as much as today's average top-level dock system. It offers all of the usual bells and whistles, including touchpad controls, an IVR remote and ever-charge topology, which enables the system to power up iOS devices even when the dock is off. OnBeat owners can use the IVR remote to leaf through their iTunes menus from up to 15 feet away.


Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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