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JBL® On Air Wireless

Powered speaker system with Apple AirPlay® wireless streaming and iPod®/iPhone® dock

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  • JBL® On Air Wireless

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  • JBL® On Air Wireless

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  • JBL® On Air Wireless

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Item #: 109ONAIRBK
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the JBL® On Air Wireless

by Ralph Graves
JBL

The JBL On Air Wireless powered speaker system may look like a spaceship that's just landed on your end table, but its capabilities are just as advanced as its appearance. A built-in iPod/iPhone dock gives you one easy way to play your music. But the coolest way to enjoy your tunes is using Apple AirPlay technology, which frees you from docks and wires altogether.

Play your iTunes® library wirelessly
AirPlay makes it easy to tap into your iTunes library wirelessly through the On Air system. For instance, just open iTunes on your laptop, select the JBL system in the AirPlay menu, and you're ready to start listening. You can control the volume remotely through iTunes, and even stream the music to additional AirPlay-compatible components, like a second On Air in another room. Download Apple's free Remote app to your iPhone, iPod touch®, or even your iPad®, and turn it into a powerful Wi-Fi® remote that'll control the music coming from your PC.

Read more

Your computer isn't the only compatible source, either. You can send music directly to the On Air system from any Wi-Fi®-enabled device with a current version of iTunes. That means you can bypass your computer entirely and stream audio directly from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad®. The On Air's helpful color LCD screen displays album art, along with track info.

And you're not just limited to music files. The On Air Wireless can play Internet radio stations that you access through iTunes, or audio from from apps on your AirPlay-connected device — including music services such as PANDORA® Internet radio, Rhapsody, and Last.fm.

All this and great sound, too
The On Air's unique design ensures you'll enjoy great sound, from whatever source you choose. Inside the curved top of the system are two full-range speakers, plus an additional smaller speaker to handle high frequencies. Thanks to advanced circuitry, these speakers produce a spacious, 360° soundfield that belies the On Air's compact size. And the system automatically adjusts the dynamic range to ensure clean, accurate sound — even at maximum volume.

From the review The JBL On Air Speaker System Plays Well With iTunes

"If you use iTunes, then the convenience of AirPlay can make the On Air worth the price of admission.... for casual, everyday listening the On Air became my system of choice."

— Ralph, Crutchfield Blog Editor and A/V Writer

Highlights:

  • powered speaker system for docking iPods and iPhones
  • Apple AirPlay lets you stream music wirelessly from your iPod touch®, iPhone®, iPad®, or computer
  • FM radio with 10 presets
  • 2 JBL Phoenix full-range speakers and one JBL Ridge high-frequency speaker
  • color LCD screen
  • docked player charges automatically
  • remote
  • AC power adapter
  • 11"W x 9-3/8"H x 7-13/16"D
  • weight: 6.8 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • iPod/iPhone wireless speaker dock
  • AC power supply (with attached 58" DC cord)
  • 2-Prong AC plug
  • iPod/iPhone adapter (with 2 rubber inserts)
  • Remote control (with installed CR2025 battery)
  • FM wire antenna
  • Owner's Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
  • Instruction Manual/Important Safety Instructions
  • iPod touch/iPhone adapter diagram
  • Warranty Information

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The JBL On Air Wireless AirPlay speaker dock streams iTunes 10 music or Internet radio directly from your computer over your existing WiFi network via AirPlay technology. You'll enjoy full navigation and playback control using Apple's free Remote app on your iPhone or iPod touch; and you'll see album artwork and track info on the unit's bright color display. The JBL On Air wireless speaker system also offers a great-sounding iPod/iPhone speaker dock and FM clock radio with RDS and dual alarms. An IR remote control is also included.

3 JBL Transducers with 360° HALO Acoustics: Distinct stereo imaging is often less than ideal with desktop sound systems, but the JBL On Air's unique HALO (horizontal acoustic level optimization) design delivers rich, full-spectrum JBL sound uniformly, across a wide listening area. The JBL On Air Wireless features two JBL Phoenix full-range transducers and one JBL Ridge high-frequency transducer. The three JBL transducers are powered by a built-in 7 watts x 2-channel amplifier.

Proprietary DSP Technologies: The JBL On Air employs proprietary digital signal processing technologies to maximize sound quality and output under any listening conditions. Computer-optimized equalization (COE) creates a musical soundstage that is larger and richer relative to other systems of this size, and optimized compression topology (OCT) adjusts the dynamic range for clear, low-distortion sound at high-volume levels.

AirPlay: Apple's AirPlay technology allows music, downloaded to iTunes, to be streamed wirelessly from your Mac or PC to the JBL On Air Wireless speaker system. You can even bypass your computer entirely, and stream high-quality audio directly from your Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (all without the need to dock the device). The JBL On Air Wireless and your AirPlay audio source must be connected to the same wireless network via a WiFi router or hub.

  • iTunes Streaming: AirPlay technology gives you wireless remote access to your entire iTunes 10 music collection and Internet radio with full navigation and playback control from your computer (Mac/PC) or iPod touch/iPhone (iOS 4.2 or later), via Apple's free Remote app.  To use the On Air Wireless AirPlay feature you need a Mac or Windows-based PC running iTunes (10.1 or later) connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network.
  • Apple Device Streaming: AirPlay also lets you wirelessly stream music and music apps stored on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to the JBL On Air Wireless. So there's no need to dock your Apple device, unless you want to charge it. The On Air Wireless AirPlay feature works with iPod touch (2nd/3rd/4th gen), iPhone (3GS/4), and iPad with iOS 4.2 or later - connected to the same wireless network.

Note: The AirPlay feature is easy to set up and use with virtually any wireless (WiFi) computer network, including WPS-protected systems. The JBL On Air supports 802.11b/g WiFi networks. Configurations for up to four wireless networks can be stored in system memory.

iPod/iPhone Dock: The JBL On Air's integrated iPod/iPhone dock lets you play and control music directly from many docking versions of iPod and iPhone. The unit will also display song/artist text and charge your iPod/iPhone while docked. The JBL On Air Wireless has been certified "Made for iPod" and "Works with iPhone", compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model functions (as of April 2011):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type AirPlay (audio only) Charge
Audio Video Out Remote iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N N
clickwheel
color
4th N/A N N N N N N N N
mini 1st N/A N N N N N N N N
2nd N/A N N N N N N N N
video 5th N/A N N N N N N N N
classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
nano 1st N/A N N N N N N N N
2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y Y N N Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y N Y Y
3rd 4.3.5 Y N Y Y Y N Y Y
4th 5.0 Y N Y Y Y N Y Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y N N Y
3GS 4.3.5 Y N Y Y Y N Y Y
4 5.0 Y N Y Y Y N Y Y
4S 5.0 Y N Y Y Y N Y Y

Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the device and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available.

High-Resolution Color Screen: The JBL AirPlay speaker dock features a high-resolution color screen which displays album artwork and song/artist information from iTunes, a docked iPod or iPhone, or from an AirPlay connected iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

IR Remote: In addition to the unit's top-panel controls, the JBL On Air Wireless includes an IR wireless remote control. This credit-card-sized remote can control all of the JBL On Air Wireless functions from up to 15' away. When listening to iTunes, a docked iPod/iPhone, or streaming iPod/iPhone device; the On Air Wireless can control basic functions (Play/Pause current song or Skip to the previous or next song).

FM Radio with RDS: The JBL On Air wireless speaker system features a built-in FM tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning. RDS lets you have easy access to your favorite FM radio music, news and talk programming. You'll also see artist, album and track information on the unit's color LCD screen. You can store up to 10 of your favorite FM stations as presets for easy recall.

Auxiliary Input: The JBL On Air features a top-mounted 3.5mm auxiliary input for connecting an external audio source, such as your iPod shuffle or other portable MP3 player.

Setup Wizard: The unit's setup wizard enables easy AirPlay setup without having to use your Mac/PC, iPod, iPhone, or Pad. When you turn on the JBL On Air Wireless for the first time, the Setup Wizard requires that you set the language, region, time zone, time, day, and network before you can play music or use the clock functions.

Alarm Clock: The JBL On Air Wireless features dual alarms which can be set to wake you up to your docked iPod/iPhone, the built-in FM radio, or the integrated buzzer.

Sleep Timer: The unit also offers a sleep timer which can be set to 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, or 90 minutes.

USB Port: The unit's USB (type-A) port is designed to perform system updates via a USB thumbdrive. Do not connect it to a computer or any other type of USB host device.

 
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JBL® On Air Wireless Reviews

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4 out of 5

My Month with JBL On Air

Written By Lee, Los Angeles, CA on Monday, July 11, 2011
 
I've had my JBL On Air for a little over a month now and the experience has been amazing. Previously I had been using a Boxee as a sort of Jukebox, but that proved to be cumbersome when all I wanted to do was push audio from my laptop to an external set of speakers. Enter the JBL On Air:

Setup was easy (I plugged in one power wire). Then I eagerly ran back to my computer, played some Thin Lizzy, and clicked the "Choose speaker" option in the bottom right corner of iTunes. Two seconds later Thin Lizzy was blaring. Success.

Pumped, I then fired up my iPhone and played the most gangster jam I had (Paul Simon) and ran into my first minor flaw: "The JBL device is currently in use." Bummer, it seemed I had to stop my iTunes to play from my iPhone. No worries though. Pause one to play the other, it works.

The quality of the device's speakers is lacking. It works, but it's far from perfect. I'm definitely going to invest in a nice set of external speakers which I'll connect to the device. It's perfect for casual listening, but you'll want a bit more quality for those taco fueled DJ sets.

In summary, the JBL On Air device is easy to use, highly versatile, and just plain fun. I would suggest it to anyone looking to keep their home/office full of music and free of wires.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Frequently Reboots, Buggy

Written By drrjv, Mid-Atlantic on Monday, July 11, 2011
 
Nice unit overall except that the unit reboots frequently when on Airplay. Plus, no way to have the clock display on continuously.

So, in summary, great concept, poorly executed (I'm taking mine back for refund.)
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5 out of 5

Loving It!

Written By mattheartspade, Brooklyn, NY on Sunday, June 12, 2011
 
I've owned many devices similar to this but none as great. The JBL On Air Wireless Speaker System's highlights:

A) Easy To Use B) Features Amazing Sound Quality C) Incredibly Portable D) Scrolls Song Title E) Charges iPod

Amazing!
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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