Pros Standout design, amazing sound, great bottom end sound, rock solid built, super portable
Cons Pricey, small confusing remote, hidden power on button, no onboard EQ, no batteries means no picnics
Summary I went to Best Buy last weekend and saw and heard Bose SoundDock (whatever), the Altec Lansing InMotion (1980's cheap) and the JBL Radial, which I bought.
I moved it around my house (the design acts like a built-in handle) from my dining room to my bathroom to my living room to check the sound - not only did it exceed my "expectations" for a portable unit, but it looks like a piece of art. The downside is the remote was confusing and I had a really hard time intuitively using to move artists and tracks. (The truth is the it's stupid for anyone to think that a unit like this even needs a remote because iPod screens are so small you face has to be against them anyway to visually scroll through songs and artists).
You will not believe the bottom end sound on this thing from the built in subwoofer underneath - I listened tribal house, dynamic rock, and french jazz. You will not believe the crisp highs and mids, and will not believe the ambient way it throws sound around the room. My girlfriend kept coming over and saying "There is so much sound coming out of that thing". We cranked the sound up with very little distortion.
Seriously, do not waste your time or money on anything but the JBL - you will seriously be shocked at the sound.
Read my Pros and Cons to manage your expectations.
"Best travel and vacation speaker to pack for your hotel/dorm room any audio source...period."on by wesdoc
Pros Great looking one piece light weight (2.5 lbs) speaker and small form transformer with great bass sound, especially placed in a corner.
Cons Needs a battery or portable rechargeable power source option for outdoor/picnic/beach use
Summary While this is a great speaker for the office or bedroom, its is absolutely a breakthrough for those who want decent sound without using earphones, when away from from home. I have tried many small multiple speakers on frequent travel. The trade off is inadequate bass sound or packing an oversized speaker box like the one Apple makes plus a transformer weighing something like 3-4 bricks in your luggage. Hotels with few exceptions use outdated boom boxes/televsions in their rooms with no 3.5mm audio input jacks to send the sound from an Ipod, or other MP3 player, CD, portable satellite player, etc.
This unique speaker is the best balance of quality sound at low or high volumes, size (it fits in a small carry on bag), weight (2.5 lbs), and small form transformer. This is not for just Ipod users, if you need a smaller speaker in the office, bedroom, dorm, or hotel... don't buy anything else till you hear these or you will be sorry. Anyone who has or have heard the old AR powered partners (weighs 5 bricks)will know what kind of sound these speakers come close to replicating. When you CNET guys talk about this being an expensive speaker for the price you are somewhat misleading the readers. This speaker represents the best VALUE when you consider the portable or mobile listening experience. I considered the many other portable speakers including the Boomtube, but when I heard these recently with 8-10 other speakers in an Apple retail store, it was clear these were the best value. If people at Apple were smart, they would junk their own Ipod speaker and put their name on this JBL speaker and sell 5 million of them!
Pros Full, Rich sound and great bass
Cons Remote can be a little tricky at first
Summary Well, for Christmas, I was shopping for an Ipod speaker for my girlfriend. I already had the sounddock, (which I liked) so I was going to purchase her one as well.
I decided to go to the Apple store to listen around and when I got there I stumbled upon the JBL Radial. After 10 seconds of listening, I was blown away by how much BETTER it is than the Bose. Not to mention its cheaper.
So, I played the same song on both, the Radial and the Sounddock (R.E.S.P.E.C.T. by Aretha Franklin) and I couldn't believe it.
I ended up buying the Radial for my girlfriend, and then I sold my Sounddock on ebay that day and bought the JBL Radial for myself.
Do yourself a favor and go to an apple store and listen to them side by side. The Bose has a lot of static and practically NO bass whereas the JBL is really a great speaker.
Don't get me wrong, the Bose is okay...I'm not at all claiming it was horrible, but it falls flat on its face when compared to the Radial.
An ex-bose JBL convert.
Pros Design, sound quality, RF remote
Cons Expensive retail, bass not as deep as I'd like, custom docks not included with system
Summary I bought this from the JBL outlet store on eBay for less than 1/2 the price and it sounds great.
I use it for parties at my home and the music does indeed fill my entire living room. The treble is sharp but I wish the bass was a little deeper. Also, for the retail price, I wish that JBL included some dock adapters.
My suggestion: set your iPod's equalizer to "off" and let the radial work its magic. Overall, it's an excellent sounding system!!
"Rocks the House"on by headball
Pros crisp sound, remote, looks awesome, bass
Cons no cons - I am on day 3
Summary I am on day 3 with the Radial and I love it!! Best Valentines Day present ever.
Clean crisp sound & rich bass. I cranked the volume and it remains clear not distorted.
I was able to purchase this online & saved anywhere from $100-$150.
Please shop around and you can buy an AWESOME speaker at a mediocre speaker price.Updated
Day 6 - I've noticed some complaints about the Radial. One I have an answer for is the adjustment of audio levels. All I do is use the iPod EQ. This works for me.
As well search Ebay for this product. I purchased my "Open Box" Radial for $149 + $18 S&H - Then because I saved so much I purchased a 2yr warranty.