JBL ON TOUR IBT

$155.00

Tech Specs

GENERAL
Speaker System Type: portable speakers
Bluetooth Profiles: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
Manufacturer: Harman
Brand: JBL
Product Line: JBL On Tour
Model: iBT
Packaged Quantity: 1

POWER DEVICE

Nominal Voltage: AC 120/230 V

BATTERY

Required Qty: 4
Form Factor: AA type

MISCELLANEOUS

IPod Compatibility: iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPod touch
Included Accessories: Power adapter, stand, iPhone / iPod / iPad charging / data cable
Color: black

SPEAKER SYSTEM DETAILS

Speaker Qty: 2
Nominal (RMS) Output Power: 8 Watt
Frequency Response: 100 Hz

POWER

Form Factor: external
BATTERY / POWER
Run Time (Up To): 5 hour(s)
Type: power adapter

CONNECTIONS

Qty: 1
Type: USB, audio line-in
Connector Type: mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT

Height: 1.6 in
Weight: 1.32 lbs

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Description

Today, we’re reviewing  JBL’s On Tour iBT, its own advantages and disadvantages relative to other ultra-portable speakers.

JBL On Tour iBT have a number of features in common. They both use Bluetooth to make nearly instantaneous connections with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, streaming stereo audio from speakers mounted behind perforated grilles. JBL On Tour iBT have a microphone built in that allows users to make and receive phone/FaceTime calls, as well as integrated volume and phone call buttons, plus ports for power, auxiliary audio-in, and – unusually – USB.

From there, the speakers differ a lot in frills and functionality. JBL On Tour iBT looks like a black UFO with a roughly 6.5” diamater, containing four small JBL Odyssey speakers that fire upwards in a 360-degree ring. It ships with a wall adapter, a simple plastic iPad stand, and a Dock Connector cable that unusually allows Apple device users to eschew the Bluetooth wireless functionality for a purely wired connection. When used with this cable, JBL On Tour iBT can charge iPods, iPhones, and iPads at the same time as it’s being used for audio, assuming that it’s connected to wall power. Unlike many speakers these days, however, JBL On Tour iBT does not include its own batteries; you need to self-supply four AA cells, which will last for roughly five hours before requiring replacement.

In practice, however, the BTS200 remains the best pick in this category, with the JBL On Tour iBT close behind it, and the Zephyr 550 a distant third – the primary reason is sound quality. When we compared these three speakers to one another, Uniden surprisingly achieved the best overall sonic balance at reasonable volume levels, offering just a little more treble and bass than JBL On Tour iBT when streaming stereo music, while making only slight sacrifices in midrange clarity to achieve that performance. As is JBL’s traditional practice, JBL On Tour iBT aims for low distortion in everything that it does, but it doesn’t reach as high or as low as BTS200, resulting in sound that’s a little flatter and uninspired – particularly on the low end – but also relatively clear across its entire volume range, which is roughly the same as the other two speakers, or appropriate for near-distance listening. By comparison, Zephyr 550 was a disappointment, performing music with relatively bass-skewed sound that was regrettably plagued with considerable low bass distortion at higher volumes. While it initially appeared to make songs feel a little richer than JBL On Tour iBT, Zephyr 550 never really sounded better, and became decidedly worse as the volume level increased.

Speakerphone performance with all three units tracked with their streaming music performance. Uniden’s BTS200 microphone came the closest to sounding like the integrated speakerphones in Apple’s iPhones – quite close – and JBL’s mic sounded nearly as good during most of our tests, falling a little behind only immediately after Bluetooth pairing, improving soon after the wireless connection was established. Zephyr 550 was described by our test caller as sounding muddier; in some cases, we were told that we were very difficult to understand through 550, which sometimes showed signs of mic improvement during calls, then fell backwards without any apparent rhyme or reason.

The speaker itself has a power button and volume buttons. It can be plugged in to the wall for power or you can use 4 AA batteries for up to 5 hours of continuous play. It also has a USB connection if you want to charge your device at the same time. Last but not least, it has a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting a non Bluetooth device. The only thing missing in the box is a carry pouch. It would’ve been nice to include one for those who travel often.

It supports the AVRCP profile, which means that it can pause your music while you take a call and when the call is finished, your music will resume right where it left off. The UFO-like design makes it perfect for conference type calls or for boardrooms where there are a few people in the same room.

The On Tour features JBL Odyssey full-range neodymium transducers with computer-optimized DSP equalization that delivers a frequency response of 100Hz – 20kHz. For my tests, I mainly used the On Tour in the kitchen which is a really nice place. It fits perfecting on the counter. I was also thinking it would be cool to mount it under a cabinet, but it would take away from the 360 degree listening that is the highlight of this speaker.

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Brand Name
JBL
Product Name
On Tour iBT
Price
AUD 155
Product Availability
Available in Stock