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JBL OnBeat Air

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

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  • JBL OnBeat™ Air

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  • JBL OnBeat™ Air

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Item #: 109ONBTAIR
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the JBL OnBeat™ Air

by Ralph Graves
JBL

If you use iTunes® you could use a JBL OnBeat Air — it's a versatile powered speaker system that does it all. You can dock your iPod, iPhone, or iPad on the sturdy cradle and enjoy great, full-bodied sound. But that's just the beginning. With its built-in AirPlay capability, you can do more.

Play your iTunes® library wirelessly
AirPlay makes it easy to tap into your iTunes library wirelessly through the OnBeat Air. How do you free the music on your computer? Just open iTunes, select the JBL system in the AirPlay menu and start streaming to the OnBeat Air. Or you can pull your iPhone out of your pocket, select the OnBeat and play tunes stored on your phone. Watch a movie with your iPad on your lap and the OnBeat Air delivering the finely detailed soundtrack.

Read more

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

Remote control your way
The OnBeat Air comes with its own remote, but you've got other options, too. Control the volume remotely through iTunes on whichever device or computer you're streaming from. Download Apple's free Remote app to your iPhone, iPod touch®, or iPad, and turn it into a powerful Wi-Fi® remote that'll control the music coming from your PC.

Get great sound from your player
Inside the base of the OnBeat Air is a remarkable compact speaker system. Carefully optimized digital signal processing allows the twin full-range JBL speakers to deliver your music with plenty of detail in a spacious, 360° soundfield.

Video, too
Want to enjoy our player's videos on the "big screen?" The OnBeat Air has composite video output so you can connect it to your TV. Watch a movie from your iPad on the TV, while playing the soundtrack through the OnBeat Air.

Highlights:

  • compatible with docking iPods, iPhones, and iPads
  • Apple AirPlay lets you stream music wirelessly from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or computer
  • two JBL Phoenix SE full-range speakers
  • automatically charges your player while it's docked
  • sync docked player through USB input (mini-USB-to-USB cable not included)
  • dock swivels to orient player horizontally or vertically
  • detachable support brace for iPad
  • auxiliary stereo minijack input
  • composite video output
  • remote control
  • AC power adapter
  • 10-7/8"W x 5-3/4"H x 6-1/4"D
  • 1.9 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Note: You might experience network dropouts when using AirPlay with an iPhone 4S. Apple is working to fix this software problem.

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

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Apple AirPlay speaker dock
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6' DC cord)
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • Remote control (with installed 3V CR2025 lithium battery)
  • iPod/iPhone adapter clip
  • iPad adapter clip
  • Owner's Manual
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Warranty Info

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

High-Performance Wireless Speaker Dock: The JBL OnBeat Air is a high-performance loudspeaker system for the Apple iPod, iPhone, iPad, & iTunes 10. The JBL OnBeat Air lets you dock your iPod, iPhone, or iPad; as well as stream iTunes 10 music or Internet radio directly from your computer or compatible Apple device over your existing WiFi network, via AirPlay technology (requires free JBL OnBeat App). The JBL OnBeat Air delivers realistic, high-output sound from your Apple device via dual Phoenix full-range transducers with computer-optimized DSP equalization for a richly detailed 360-degree soundstage.  The JBL OnBeat Air docking station features an IR remote that puts you in full control of system functions & music navigation from across the room. The included AC power supply keeps your Apple device charged when docked. With an optional composite cable (sold separately), the JBL OnBeat Air system can even send video content on to your TV.

Compact Design: The JBL OnBeat Air dock is compact enough to fit just about anywhere in your home or office. The docking system measures only 10.875" (w) x 5.75" (h) x 6.25" (d), and weighs 1.9 lbs.

JBL Phoenix Transducers: The JBL OnBeat Air docking system is a great-sounding home entertainment system in the JBL tradition. Dual JBL Phoenix full-range transducers with 7.5-watt x 2-chanel amplification and computer-optimized DSP equalization deliver impressive frequency response (70Hz - 20kHz) with minimal distortion, even at high output levels. You'll hear your favorite music with accuracy and detail you wouldn't have thought possible from a system this size.

High-Output Digital Power: The JBL OnBeat Air docking station features a powerfully tuned digital audio path. The clean digital amplification delivers high-output, crystal-clear sound.

Apple Device Dock Connector: A universal dock connector firmly docks your iPod, iPhone, or iPad, and lets you rotate iPod and iPhone screens to portrait or landscape orientation for the best video display. The JBL OnBeat Air's integrated dock lets you play and control music directly from many docking versions of iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The JBL OnBeat Air supports audio playback, video output, menu navigation, and charging of select iPods, iPhones, and iPads. You will continue to use your iPod, iPhone, or iPad's LCD screen to view song/artist information and Album art (the JBL OnBeat Air has no LCD screen).

Note: The JBL OnBeat speaker dock includes two adapter clips: one for an iPod touch/iPod classic/iPhone device, and another for an iPad device (the iPod 5th generation & iPod nano models do not require an adapter clip). The adapters allow you to dock units with or without 3rd-party skins attached.

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 & your AirPlay audio source must be connected to the same wireless network via a WiFi router or hub. AirPlay does not offer video streaming.

  • 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 (requires free JBL OnBeat App). 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 & 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.

Apple Device Compatibility Chart: The JBL OnBeat Air has been certified "Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone/iPad model functions (as of October 2011):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Tested Version AirPlay Media Type Control Type Display Type 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 1.3 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
classic 80GB 1.1.2 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
120GB 2.0.1 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
160GB 2.0.4 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
nano 1st 1.3.1 N Y N Y Y N N Y
2nd 1.1.3 N Y N Y Y N N Y
3rd 1.1.3 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
4th 1.0.4 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
5th 1.0.2 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
6th 1.1 PC N Y N Y Y N N Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
2nd 4.2.1 Y Y Composite Y Y N N Y
3rd 4.35 Y Y Composite Y Y N N Y
4th 5.0 Y Y Composite Y Y N N Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
3G 4.2.1 N Y Composite Y Y N N Y
3GS 4.3.5 Y Y Composite Y Y N N Y
4 5.0 Y Y Composite Y Y N N Y
4S 5.0 Y Y Composite Y Y N N Y
iPad 1 5.0 Y Y Composite Y Y N N Y
2 5.0 Y Y Composite Y Y N N 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.

Rotating Dock: When an iPod or iPhone device is docked in the JBL OnBeat Air speaker dock, you can rotate the dock either a Portrait mode or Landscape mode. To rotate the dock to the landscape mode, turn it 90-degrees counterclockwise. To rotate it back to the portrait mode, turn it 90-degrees clockwise. The dock will hold in place at the portrait and the landscape positions.

Note: You cannot rotate the dock when an iPad device is docked.

Composite Video Output: A rear-panel composite video output displays video content stored on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad onto your connected television. Composite video cable sold separately. AirPlay does not offer video streaming.

Note: When you dock your iPod, iPhone, or iPad device on the JBL OnBeat Air speaker dock, its video output will automatically be set to Off, even if it was turned On before you docked the device.

IR Remote Control: The included IR remote control navigates iPod, iPhone, and iPad menus from up to 15 feet away. Using the included IR remote control, you can navigate your songs, playlists photos and videos, change tracks and system settings, and much more.

Note: You can also continue to use your iPod, iPhone, or iPad's clickwheel/touchscreen controls.

Side-Panel Volume Controls: Convenient side-panel controls let you raise or lower volume ,and mute or un-mute the system with just the press of your finger.

Note: The Power button is located on the rear-panel.

USB Port: The JBL OnBeat Air is equipped with a rear-panel USB (type-B) port which allows you to connect the iPod, iPhone, or iPad to your computer and sync the device to iTunes; without ever having to remove it from the speaker dock. USB cable sold separately.

Note: Before attempting to synchronize your iPod/iPhone/iPad device with your iTunes library, be sure that both your iPod/iPhone/iPad device and your iTunes library are updated to the latest software version.

Auxiliary Input: The JBL OnBeat Air features a rear-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input for connecting an external audio source, such as your iPod shuffle or other portable MP3 player. Audio cable sold separately.

Note: If you play audio through a docked iPod, iPhone or iPad device and an audio source connected to the Auxiliary In connector at the same time, you will hear both of their outputs mixed through the JBL OnBeat Air speaker dock. To hear only one source, you will need to turn off the other source (the one you do not want to hear) manually.

Evercharge Topology: The AC power supply charges your Apple iPod or iPhone device while docked. When plugged into AC power, the JBL OnBeat Air dock will charge your iPod or iPhone without a computer connection, even when the system itself is turned off.

Note: The JBL OnBeat Air speaker dock may not charge a docked iPad device via the USB connection to a PC. If the iPad device charges when it is connected directly to the PC via USB, it will charge while docked on the JBL OnBeat Air speaker dock. If the iPad device does not charge when it is connected directly to the PC via USB, it will not charge while docked on the JBL OnBeat Air speaker dock.
 
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JBL OnBeat™ Air Reviews

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5 out of 5

Fantastic concept that works beautifully!

Written By RajM, Naples, FL on Friday, March 16, 2012
 
Ever since I first read about the concept of streaming my music wirelessly, I've been looking for the right product at the right price. Which, lucky for me, brought me to the buy OnBeat! I FINALLY have access to my entire music collection just about anywhere in our home. And the dock's speaker is pretty sweet, too. I listen to it at my work desk and it sounds awesome...great built-in JBL speakers. I've had it for over a month now, and it's been a continuing love affair. I may never use my CD player again :)
Pros:
Works with my iPod, iPad and iPhone -- even my 160GB iPod Classic! the remote control lets me control all the unit's functions with great range; great built-in speaker system; no streaming drop-out, a huge plus for me.
Cons:
none that I've found in using it for 2 months
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

AirPlay works great!

Written By SarahP, Seattle, WA on Friday, February 17, 2012
 
Having AirPlay in this thing was such a clutch idea! I stream to it from 35 feet away and through two walls and it works perfectly. I highly recommend this thing
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Love this thing!

Written By StevieG, NY, NY on Wednesday, February 15, 2012
 
The sound quality and design of this thing are excellent. I really like the simplicity of the setup and the ease of use. It's pretty simple but produces a sophisticated sound. The streaming part is priceless and such a nice addition to the mix.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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