3 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 3 reviews of the JBL On Beat Xtreme. Experts rate JBL On Beat Xtreme 8.5/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the JBL On Beat Xtreme and JBL Docking Speaker.
Despite it's odd design, JBL's OnBeat Xtreme manages to be one of the best all-around iPod speaker docks -- offering up quality sound and an easy to use interface.We've always had a healthy respect for JBL’s professional audio products. It has consistently built rugged, high-performance PA speakers and monitors for over 60 years and remains a favored brand of many a musician and sound engineer to this day. Its consumer audio division, on the other hand, has had its share of ups and downs. We recall a period in the late 80’s/early 90’s when JBL, like Infinity and KLH, fell out of favor with the North American audio enthusiast community, perhaps in reaction to a sudden influx of, shall we say, rather mediocre (Northridge) speaker products. Since then, it seems as if JBL’s home audio products haven’t been able to recoup the prestige they once had. But when we ran into JBL and its $60,000/pair Project Everest DD6600 speaker at CES 2007, it was glaringly obvious that JBL was on the rebound. Over the past five years JBL has released several high-end speaker models, which have wowed us every time we’ve had the opportunity to hear them, but the company isn’t pouring its entire engineering prowess strictly toward esoteric floor-standing speakers with stratospheric price tags.
Taking on a widening field of Apple AirPlay-branded speaker docks and systems, the JBL OnBeat Xtreme is a Bluetooth-streaming contender that, at $499.95 (direct), is just as expensive as the top AirPlay competitors. It's not technically an "AirPlay" system—you won't find those words on the box—but it uses Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi to utilize the same AirPlay button on Apple iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone. The OnBeat Xtreme sounds better than just about all of its AirPlay competition, delivering powerful bass and crisp highs—even at very high volumes—and it suffers from none of the stream-interruption issues that plague the Audyssey Audio Dock Air ($399.99, 3.5 stars) and the Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air ($549.99, 3.5 stars). JBL's On Air Wireless ($349.95, 2.5 stars) was a clunker, but the company more than redeems itself with the OnBeat Xtreme, which earns our Editors' Choice for high-end wireless speaker docks. DesignThe OnBeat Xtreme is constructed of slick black plastic and metallic highlights. Its wavy design won't be for everyone—it looks like a missing piece of a Klingon ship console—but, at the very least, the design houses some excellent-sounding drivers and a very useful docking arm.
JBL's OnBeat Xtreme is pretty easy to sum up: this is a really good-sounding iPhone/iPad speaker dock that also boasts an impressive feature set, which includes Bluetooth wireless streaming and speakerphone capabilities. The truth is there isn't too much else you could ask for in this type of speaker system, though the OnBeat Xtreme's distinct and eye-catching design may not to appeal to everyone. The only real stumbling block is the $500 price tag. The OnBeat Xtreme is basically a supersize version of the earlier JBL OnBeat iPod/iPhone speaker dock. It has one of those designs that you're either going to love or find a little off-putting. The truth is it looks a little like the top of a woman's formal dress or two sashes slung over one another. Regardless of how it strikes you, we can say that it seems very well-built. It weighs in at a solid 8.9 pounds and the buttons, speaker grilles, chrome accents, and nicely designed RF remote point to this being a luxury product. In that sense, it shares some similarities with Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin products, though obviously not the shape. As noted, the OnBeat Xtreme features an iPad dock--and that dock rotates so you can put your iPad in portrait or landscape mode for movie watching.