JBL On Stage IIIp

Tiny portable iPod dock with iPhone support

JBL On Stage IIIp
  • JBL On Stage IIIp
  • JBL On Stage IIIp
  • JBL On Stage IIIp
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Portable design, good separation, battery powered, very functional remote

Cons

  • Lack of control in mid-range and bass, bass not all that punchy

Bottom Line

If you're after a portable iPod speaker solution then JBL's On Stage IIIp may be just the ticket. While it does have a few small sound quality issues there is no denying that its small size, carry bag and battery support make it ideal for road listening.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 299.95 (AUD)

Cashing-in on the incredible success of Apple’s iPhone is a popular option these days. All the big audio vendors have refreshed their iPod dock ranges to include iPhone support; the On Stage IIIp is JBL’s attempt to jump on the bandwagon. It is a circular speaker system with a focus on portability. While its audio does have a few issues, it should satisfy the average listener.

This unit certainly is small. It is 150mm in diameter and 50mm tall, making it one of the smallest docks we’ve seen. Weighing only 500g, it is also extremely portable. The unit comes with a carry bag included and can run via six AA batteries, so it's easy and practical to take it on the road.

It is generally difficult to produce excellent quality audio from small drivers, and while the On Stage IIIp makes a valiant effort its audio still suffers from a few key issues.

The biggest of these is a lack of punch in the bass; this isn’t really a surprise as most small systems lack a quality subwoofer component. The bass was reasonably loud and nicely detailed, but it didn’t really have the power and punch of some other systems. It was also a little uncontrolled and would have benefited from a slightly tighter sound.

The same can be said of the mid-range. We didn’t really notice it during quieter or simpler passages but when complex guitar riffs and multi-layered musical scores come into play the On Stage IIIp begins to lose control. The mid-range was relatively detailed but this issue means we wouldn’t really recommend it for heavy metal or hard rock aficionados.

The treble notes were fairly good, with a crisp sweet sound and nice extension. They tended to take a bit of a backseat to the mid-range and bass notes, which were more prominent in the overall balance, but this wasn’t problematic.

We found the separation was excellent, with all the instruments in our test tracks sounding distinct. The soundstage was fairly good, too, with the circular speaker projecting audio to all corners of the room. We’d have liked it to be a little louder; it will barely fill a medium-sized room, but given its size we were not surprised.

There is a fully functional remote control included in the package. It not only has basic playback controls but lets you navigate the menu too. We had a little difficulty with its responsiveness, but the extra functionality is much appreciated.

The dock has little in the way of connections; just a power plug and an auxiliary jack for non-iPod players. It has no bass or treble controls on the actual unit; in fact the only buttons are two discreet volume controls on the front.

Aesthetically it is pretty simple, with a gloss black colour scheme and a diminutive design. It's more subtle than stylish.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?