JBL, a US audio electronics brand is known for their stylish set of speaker products produced over the years. Their On Stage series has enjoyed a number of eye-catching designs but their fourth generation seemed to go a little over board. Check it out.
The JBL On Stage IV looks like something that got salvaged from an alien spaceship. It’s mainly composed of glossy plastic interwoven upwards against folds of silver metal speaker grills housing four Odyssey drivers culminating to the transparent dock that lits up when powered on top. It’s a design that can definitely make you do a double take and probably keep your tongue tied as well.
Conspicuously hidden at the back in a small piece of exposed fold is the Power button along with the AUX input, a miniUSB port, and the DC port to power it up. The AUX input allows you to use the On Stage IV as speakers for non-iPod/iPhone products, like laptops and other music players. The miniUSB port lets you hook this to your computer so that you can sync your iPod/iPhone directly from it. You can also use this without cables by way of six AA batteries that you put on a compartment on its underside.
A small IR remote comes included with the On Stage IV and can be used to control volume, navigate between tracks, or access the menu from as far as about 15 feet.
This speaker predates the new iPod/iPhones and their Lightning port so you’re stuck with your old Apple products if you want to dock it here. A plastic dock adapter which you can fit onto the dock is included so you can place your device on top and just connect it via an audio cable running towards the back.
Sound quality wise, the four drivers are angled outward giving this speaker good room coverage, louder than what I think it’s capable although sound slightly distorts at a high volume. Sound profile is definitely midrange focused. Bass was lacking for our taste but it excels in the clarity and richness of its treble.
The On Stage IV is not a compact speaker which you can place in that spare space on your shelf. It’s a speaker that needs to have space created for it and is is meant to be seen and talked about. JBL is banking on its design and brand for you to purchase it for Php5,495 because in terms of sound quality and output, there are slightly better but plain-looking options out there that costs a little less.