*Fully Review* Of JBL OnBeat Xtreme in 2021

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JBL’s OnBeat Xtreme is pretty simple to sum up: that is an extremely good-sounding iPhone/iPad speaker dock that also boasts an extraordinary feature set, which include Bluetooth wireless streaming and speakerphone capabilities. The simple truth is there isn’t an excessive amount of else you could require in this sort of speakers, although OnBeat Xtreme’s distinct and eye-catching design might not exactly to appeal to everyone. Really the only stumbling block may be the $500 price tag.


The OnBeat Xtreme is actually a supersize version of the sooner JBL OnBeat iPod/iPhone speaker dock. It has among those designs you are either likely to love or discover a little off-putting. The simple truth is it looks similar to the most notable of a woman’s formal dress or two sashes slung over each other. It doesn’t matter how it strikes you, we are able to say that it appears very well-built. It weighs about a good 8.9 pounds and the buttons, speaker grilles, chrome accents, and nicely designed RF remote indicate this being truly a luxury product. For the reason that sense, it shares some similarities with Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin products, though obviously not the form.

As noted, the OnBeat Xtreme features an iPad dock–and that dock rotates so that you can put your iPad in portrait or landscape mode for movie watching. Your iPhone and iPod will put on the dock aswell (yes, it charges iPads, iPhones, and different iPods), and JBL throws within an adapter for iPhones which makes your device sit more securely in the dock. The speaker looks completely different with an iPad docked in it. I believe it looks better with an iPad onboard, but because the Xtreme has Bluetooth you don’t need to dock your iPad to perform sound through the speaker.

I cannot say I loved the appearance of the Xtreme, but I didn’t hate it either. It’s among those speakers that should be positioned in an area where it could mesh well together with your décor. Again, for a few persons its design will continue to work well; for others it will not.


If you’re buying speaker which offers compatibility with Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming feature, this is not it. But it offers almost everything else you’d want in a speaker dock system, especially Bluetooth and speakerphone capabilities. This might make for a good “executive” system in a office at home or den and you might place it underneath a TV (on a shelf) and make right into a TV speaker using the line input. Gleam composite video output which allows you to perform video from your own docked iPad, iPhone, or iPod to your TV using an optional cable. Alas, that video connection is composite, this means the video quality won’t look terribly good–think VCR quality at best.

It is also worth mentioning that there surely is a USB port around back to help you sync a docked iPod/iPhone/iPad with iTunes on your pc (yes, your computer has to be near by for the included USB cable to attain it).

One note about the speakerphone: whenever a call will come in, your music will pause and resume when you hang up the phone the call. To utilize the speakerphone functions you do must be in Bluetooth mode instead of have your iPhone docked.


In its marketing material JBL talks up the way the system offers 30 watts of amplification to each of its four transducers “for crystal-clear high-output sound” and boasts the way the “Ridge tweeters and Hercules woofers with computer-optimized DSP equalization deliver impressive frequency response (20Hz–20KHz) and minimal distortion, even at high output levels.”

Frequently products don’t surpass the business’s marketing language, however in the case of the OnBeat Xtreme, it certainly does sound best for its size. Stereo separation is always a problem in speaker docks where in fact the drivers are just separated by a few inches, but this technique does play very loud and offers good clean, balanced sound with tight bass.

I tested the JBL in several rooms: our larger audio-testing room and my office. It played so loud at work that I acquired complaints from the girl who works at work behind me and had to carefully turn down the track from “The National” that I was playing.

I ran a couple of different music through the speaker using an iPhone and iPad, both streaming music wirelessly and through a wired docked connection. I’ve some lossless test tracks we use for testing speaker docks and headphones, and the ones tracks didn’t sound quite nearly as good when I was streaming them wirelessly over Bluetooth, but most of the people will be barely in a position to tell the difference between a wired and wireless connection, specially when streaming standard MP3 files with modest bit rates.

Overall, the sound was much like a number of the better speaker dock systems we’ve reviewed. Those are the Bose SoundDock 10, which retails for $600 and doesn’t include Bluetooth (you must buy an optional Bluetooth adapter for $150), and the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air, which also applies to $600 and which supports Apple AirPlay. Neither of these speakers provides an iPad docking option. Neither does Monster’s Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox, which does sound quite as effective as the JBL but gives a little more in the form of bass and costs only $320 (it began at $449.99 but has dropped). However, the Beatbox is missing an integral Bluetooth option.


If you are OK with the JBL’s design, the only downside to the merchandise is absolutely its price: it can cost $499.99, that is a lot to cover an iPad/iPhone/iPod speakers. But if you can obtain over that fact, you’re getting a high-quality, impressive-sounding speaker dock that also features Bluetooth wireless streaming and speakerphone capabilities. And, oh, you can dock and charge your iPad, which is a crucial feature for a number of folks.

Put everything together and I’ve no issue recommending the OnBeat Xtreme, though I believe JBL would find a lot more customers if it might somehow get the purchase price to $300 or less.

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