macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Harman today announced the launch of the first two Lightning-compatible speaker docks under its JBL brand, offering owners of Apple's latest iOS devices direct support for the new connector standard for the first time.

JBL OnBeat Micro
The two speaker docks include the OnBeat Micro ($99.95) for the iPhone 5 and other small devices, and the larger OnBeat Venue Lightning ($199.95) supporting the full line of Lightning devices including iPad, iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod touch, and iPod nano.

JBL OnBeat Venue Lightning
Engadget has a brief review of the new speaker docks:
Based on a quick listening session, we can report that the Venue LT sounded very full and clear. Even with the optional bass- or vocal-boosts enabled, it didn't seem like the speakers were having trouble pushing out a high level of volume. The Micro on the other hand sounded decidedly tinny, which we're frankly not surprised about given the size. Both systems are compatible with JBL's MusicFlow app as well, giving you some extended options for tweaking the EQ.
Engadget also noted a couple of issues with the Lightning connector itself on the docks, including the observation that the docks will not work with many common iPhone cases and that flexibility in the connector on the docks feels somewhat wobbly, allowing flexibility while docking to lessen the risk of breakage but leading to concerns about stability.

JBL was one of the vendors highlighted by Apple during the Lightning connector's introduction in mid-September as having received advance access to the standard. Other vendors included Bose, B&W, and B&O, which should all be announcing their own speaker products shortly.

Article Link: JBL Launches First Lightning-Compatible Speaker Docks


macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
why is everyone so hung up on "Docks" when we have much simpler/better solutions available. I've never really seen the appeal of a "dock".


macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2008
Why do they still make these with docks, I don't get it, use bluetooth and everything will work. Then just put a usb plug on the back incase people want to charge their device. Doesn't make any sense to make it proprietary. But I guess people will buy whatever without thinking.


macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
Vilano Beach, FL
All these dock type implementations should use the headphone jack as an additional stabilizer, since it's right there on the bottom.

Even if it wasn't an active passthrough (and just part of the stand) ... that being said, making a simple physical passthrough seems like a simple and handy design too.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
This just doesn't make any sense to me... why not just have a wireless connection where you don't have to worry about the connection fitting or not.
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macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2009
I've not had a chance to use Airplay yet, but will consider getting an Airplay system since it would be a pain to take the otterbox off of my phone each time to hook up to one of these speakers.


Aug 23, 2005
Definitely thinking of getting the OnBeat Venue LTE to replace my trusty old JBL that is now redundant thanks to the old 30pin connector.


macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2012
Just to let you know...

If i'm right the JBL Venue also supports Bluetooth connection and... the dock is like a drawer... push it and it comes out and vice versa...

I even believe the bitrate of Bt is optimized to a higher standard on this item too.... Not sure though...


macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2008
To me it makes complete sense to still have a dock. If I am going to be sitting at home enjoying music, I would most likely want to have my phone charging. Having a dock is a much cleaner option than running a cord from the back of the unit, or plugging it in elsewhere in the room. A dock is great just for simplicity. I agree, bluetooth and Airplay are not bad options. I simply prefer to charge my phone while listening.


macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
Vilano Beach, FL
some people want better sound guys

blutooth music bitrate isn't the greatest. 128kb but correct me if im wrong.

I thought BT would allow higher throughput than that [for music]? Doesn't A2DP (over BT) specify 320kbps for stereo?

I do know the OOTO BT max bitrate on OSX is craptacular, but there's a simple fix (made a huge difference on our Supertooth speaker).

Though to your point: that's a big perk of using the proposed Airdrop-like tech on audio devices, massive amounts of bandwidth vs. BT (plus far better range).
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