Rock on! It’s the JBL On Stage IIIP takes your iPod or iPhone and gets it pumping with surprising bass response and volume. With its eensy footprint and portability, this is an ideal speaker that turns your personal multimedia player into a stereo that’s ready to party. The JBL On Stage series is one of the longest running portable speakers for the iPod, which is particularly impressive, given the over saturated market. But unlike cheap knockoffs of comparable price, the JBL On Stage delivers big time. Read on to learn about this particular model of the popular JBL On Stage speaker.
The JBL On Stage IIIP is simple in design. It features a universal dock for iPod and iPhone devices as well as a 3.5mm stereo line-in jack for other devices. It plugs into the wall via an AC adapter, allowing it to charge most Apple multimedia devices. Each JBL On Stage IIIP also comes with an IR remote that lets you control the volume, change tracks and fast forward or rewind from a distance.
What the JBL On Stage IIIP brings to the party that its predecessors hasn’t is the option to power it by batteries. JBL claims that you’ll get 12 hours of playback with 6 fresh AA batteries, but naturally, your mileage will vary.
The one downgrade from previous JBL On Stage speakers is that IR remote. Previous JBL remotes were RF. The problem with IR remotes is that you need a line of sight in order for it to pick up the signal.
For its size, the JBL On Stage IIIP is impressive. While it won’t give you the amazing theatrical boom of a Bose radio, it outperforms other speaker systems by far. That being said, it’s not magical. It does offer stereo audio, but given its compact design, its depth is somewhat limited. The payoff in portability is well worth the sacrifice, however.
Don’t buy this expecting it to be your charging station for years to come. The fact of the matter is that iPhones and iPods evolve incredibly fast. A software update, a model revision and other changes to the Apple hardware or software can make your device incompatible with the docking station in a matter of months. For example, your device may not charge using the JBL OnStage IIIP universal dock, or it may not even playback.
That’s no reason to avoid it, though. This is going to be true for virtually any iPod or iPhone dock or speaker you buy. But thanks to the 3.5mm stereo line-in jack, your JBL OnStage IIIP will never be “bricked.” You may get lucky and have solid compatibility for years to come—but if not, you can always line-in and get the same performance and sound. The charging and track controls with the IR remote won’t be there, but you can still control the volume.
This thing is built to last. Its sturdy ring design ensures that nothing is going to snap off or jiggle loose in terms of wiring. It may not survive a head on car crash, but it’s rather forgiving, say, if it’s dropped on the linoleum or tossed bodily into a duffle bag.
To Buy or Not To Buy?
Did I mention the price? The JBL On Stage IIIP is super affordable at just $78 new. While you certainly can find a cheaper iPhone or iPod dock/speaker, it’s not recommended. This one will last you years and the sound quality will continue to satisfy. Consider the moderately higher price an investment.