This latest version of JBL's On Stage - made by Harman - has the same distinctive flying saucer design as its predecessors – in fact the main difference between this and the previous On Stage III (with no 'P') is that the IIIP model works with the iPhone as well as ordinary iPods. There's also a 3.5mm audio-in jack, so with the provided audio lead you can hook up any music player with a headphone socket.
The circular design might seem a little impractical for a set of portable speakers – you can't slip the JBL On Stage IIIP into a side pocket on your backpack as you can with most of its more rectangular rivals. However, it does mean that the four small speaker drivers can emit sound all around the unit, rather than just immediately in front. That helps to produce a clean sound, with good stereo separation and decent volume too.
Bass is acceptable, but not particularly strong, and it's a shame that the JBL On Stage IIIP doesn’t provide separate controls for adjusting treble and bass.
The JBL On Stage IIIP's range of additional features is fairly limited given its high price. The remote control is useful enough, with menu controls as well as basic playback and volume controls, and JBL also throws in a handy carrying case.
However, there's no radio or alarm option, and the JBL On Stage IIIP lacks a rechargeable battery. A mains adaptor is supplied, but it needs no fewer than six AA batteries to run without mains power, which could easily get expensive. The 12-hour battery life isn’t particularly impressive, either, given the number of batteries that it requires.
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