iPod docks might have almost killed the music system, but an iPad dock is still a rarity. JBL hopes to change this with its onBeat Xtreme. And when they say Xtreme it is no marketing gimmick. This is an extreme machine, right from the design to its sound.
The device can play from an iPod or an iPhone—the dock expands to hold an iPad vertically, and flips over to a horizontal position if needed. The second position is what we preferred for it is ideal for watching movies on and even better to just surf from the desktop. The dock actually frees your hands for a lot of other things while using the iPad. For instance, you can watch a movie while you lean back on a chair, or have a Skype chat with the entire family in front of the dock.
Before you start playing music through the dock, download the JBL OnBeat app from the App Store. It is definitely not better than iTunes, but is still good to just flip through the songs. The app also lets you select whether you want to play the songs through air or physically through the port on which the iPad is impaled. The selec- tion can also be made from the buttons on the right side of the dock—the source button changes colour to show where the music is coming from.
But the best feature of this device has to be the sound. Do not even dream of playing the 120W dock at full volume, unless you are having a wedding at home. We really like the bass in the device, set at a level where a Jagjit Singh melody and TubThumping sound the same. And the sound stays the same even if the iPad is in the next room. And the shape of the speaker with four amplifiers facing different sides is such that the sound throw is almost 360 degrees. There is also a handy remote to control the music, as well as the iPad from wherever you are. There is an auxiliary in port to play from other devices.
The price can be bit of a put-off, but remember this is one-stop music shop for all your devices, preferably of the Apple kind.
BAG IT OR JUNK IT?
Best iPad dock, superb sound
JBL ONBEAT XTREME Price: 24,990