JBL OnBeat Xtreme review

The JBL OnBeat Xtreme sets itself apart from other similar iPod, iPhone and iPad speaker docks by both a much heavier price tag and providing excellent audio performance.

The Xtreme doesn’t toe the line when it comes to design. Unlike other docks that usually either have a conical or bar design, it has a unique shape that makes it look like an ‘X’ from the front and back.

The Xtreme also comes with a variety of dock attachments that help your iPod/iPhone and iPad fit better and be at less risk of accidental falls. The JBL dock uses a lot of plastic in its build but still feels very well put together. Also, in our opinion, the matt-black colour scheme with silver accents makes the OnBeat Xtreme look classy.

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

While there are controls on the dock body itself, the device 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 made an OnLive music player app available on the iTunes App Store that also works with the remote, but there’s really nothing that special about the app. You’d probably rather just use the default music player.

OUR VERDICT

The JBL OnBeat Xtreme’s audio performance was among the best we’ve heard from a dock, especially with bass-heavy music. At times the treble end of the spectrum gets overpowered by the thump, but it didn’t take much away from the overall quality. Nikhil Pradhan

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