"Great Sound!"on by AudioFile
Pros Clear Sound, Fills any room
Cons Cannot wake up to Specific Song
Summary With minor software defects aside, I would give this speaker system a 9/10. The Sound from this system is excellent, it has a great range of sound from low bass to high highs. I've had this speaker system since January 2006 and I am still listening to it happily.
The system is very versatile and will produce great sound wherever you place it, aside from in a cabinet. I used my OnTime on a camping trip and it was loud enough to warrant complaints from the neighboring campers :-0
I am currently using the Aux-in feature using the On Time as a speaker system for my laptop. It works amazingly well.
The one thing I do not like about this JBL On Time is that the "wake up to your favorite song" feature does not work properly.
(However, I have discovered a way to make it work: Step 1: Make sure your ipod's "shuffle" feature is set to "off." Step 2: Go into your itunes on your computer and find the song you wish to wake up to. Step 3: Edit the song's Artist as so: --(*your artist*)--
[Note- having the dashes will force this song to the top of your alphabetically organized artists list] Step 4: Update your ipod.
Step 5: Now set the alarm source on the On Time to "ipod" and as long as you have followed these steps, your On Time will play the song you selected.
Hope this Helps some of you frustrated On Time owners.
Have a great day. GO JBL!!
Pros When I first bought the unit, I put it in a very large, high ceilinged workshop. And it filled the room with good, clear sound. It looks cool, and the way the control menus work is similar enough to ipod navigation that it quickly becomes intuitive.
Cons When you go to listen to iPod, it automatically starts at the first song on the list, regardless of what you were listening to. It does NOT charge the iPhone 3g, and picks up cell phone transmissions, turning them into loud, audible buzzing noises.
Summary I bought this thing originally for an iPod, and to be fair, it was probably conceived before the iPhone was. Sound-wise, it's great, clear, and strong. (I think... I'm not a "serious" audiophile, but it fills a pretty big room with good sound with ease.)
My only complaint when I first got it was that every time I selected the "listen to iPod" function, it would start with song #1 in the iPod's song library. Every time. No matter what you were just listening to. It's possible to get around this by selecting "Listen to iPod," with the iPod disconnected, starting the song you want to hear, and then plugging the iPod back in. And it's not such an inconvenience, but it does give the impression that JBL had this function "Mostly figured out," when it went to production, instead of 'All figured out, no glitches or bugs."
Recently I came home with the iPhone 3g. Love the phone. But Apple, as is their right, started pushing a 5V charge via USB, instead of 12v via firewire paradigm, and manufacturers are still trying to catch up to that. The down side is that this particular product does NOT charge the iPhone 3g. It's not certified to, anyway, but it was a disappointment. It will still play music, but there's another issue now, which is the transmissions from the phone... they get picked up and converted to loud, audible buzzing sounds that are more annoying than any other sound I've ever heard from any alarm clock... and that's saying something.
The next thing I discovered was that the On Time is very susceptible to RF transmissions, even when it's not connected to the iPhone. Because the iPhone does periodically check for emails and other things, it will send out signals even in the middle of the night. And those signals got picked up the other night, around 1 in the morning, and I got woken up by those same loud, obnoxious sounds from the On Time's speakers. Apparently leaving the iPhone 3g lying NEXT to the JBL On Time at night will still result in obnoxious, RF generated noises.
It's curable, of course... once you've changed your shorts, (really, really jarring noises) just switch the iPhone to airplane mode, so it doesn't send or receive anything. And as long as you remember to switch back in the morning, you're all set, more or less.
I've heard complaints that there isn't a remote control, and I think that, to a point, they're worthy complaints. But given the advent of the iPhone, I think there are fresh complaints to be made.
I personally don't really think the remote is so necessary, but I would really like to see this product updated to be usable with the iPhone 3g, or at least shielded, so that it wasn't so prone to waking me up at odd hours due to cell phone activity. That was really, really annoying.
For what it is, an iPod dock/alarm clock, I think it's a really nice product. The automatic restarting at song one glitch is pretty irritating, simply because it means that the consumer has to do the work-around measure every time, or re-select whatever they want to listen to when they want to. Not that I mind listening to AC/DC, but since it's at the top of the alphabetical heap, it came on EVERY TIME, and that got old. But still, I was generally happy with this product as an iPod dock, and speaker system.
As an alarm clock, I have to say, it's pretty pleasant. JBL managed to find a wake up tone that's consciousness-inducing without being jarring. And it's a progressive-volume kind of thing, meaning that it will start out at a reasonable volume, and then slowly get louder, which is also useful. Snooze button is right on top, and impossible to miss. The display is light-sensitive, so it's not glaringly, room illuminatingly bright when the lights are out.
I give 2.5 stars because it seems that JBL didn't fully work out the iPod controls, and because it woke me up the other night. In an era where cell phones are ubiquitous, and it makes sense to leave them charging at night next to the alarm clock, not shielding against that sort of thing is a pretty clear error, whether it's an apple cell phone or not.
That said, if they updated this product, shielding it against RF transmissions, and setting it up to charge the iPhone 3g, (this would also work to charge iPods... iPod has basically 2 charging inputs, iPhone only has the one... so this switch would not affect iPod compatibility) ... I'd buy a new one. Yes, they're expensive, but I was sufficiently impressed when I only had an iPod that I'd buy another one, if it would work with, and charge my iPhone.
Pros Excellent Sound, Cool design
Cons Expensive, No Remote, Nightlight way too bright, Wake-to-specific song does not work
Summary If this unit did what it said, I would easily give it 9 stars. But it doesn't.
It looks and sounds GREAT but the cons are just far too heavy to warrant a purchase on your part.
No remote. WHY for this price would they not throw in a remote? Much less expensive iPod docks have these.
Nightlight is wayyy too bright - I don't need my bedroom lit up hazy-blue all night.
Wake-to-specific-song does NOT WORK. I know, they SAY it works with all models. THEY LIE. I own a black 80 gig iPod and instead of playing the song you choose, it plays some random song. Aggrivating. I'm told this is an issue with the latest release of software on the iPod and that a rollback is necessary. Ridiculous. JBL should be ashamed for claiming this works with "all iPods" when it clearly does NOT.
Do not buy this for your bedroom. You WILL be disappointed.Updated
* After owning this for a bit I'd like to edit my original entry.
1) If you own an iPod which doesn't work with this thing to wake you up to a specific song, here's how you can make it work: The unit won't play your song (per the instructions), and instead plays the first song on the first playlist. If you want to wake to a particular song, find the song in iTunes, make a copy of it, edit the copied version's info so that the artist is "00" or something. This will make it appear as the first artist in your iPod directory. Since this is the only song under that artist, it will play when this thing goes to wake you via iPod. Stupid workaround. I still give this thing 2 stars.
2) Stick a piece of black electrical tape over the blue l-e-d nightlight. It helps.