Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!
JBL OnBeat Venue iPod dock
This Bluetooth iPod dock has a simple design and good speakers
- Solid construction
- Good sound quality at low and moderate volume
- Maximum volume introduces distortion
- No remote control
JBL's OnBeat Venue is a simple, mid-range iPod dock with built-in Bluetooth. It's got good sound whether you use it wirelessly or with the dock, and can reach an impressively loud volume. It does distort at max power, and sounds punchy, which may annoy some listeners. As an easy-to-use wired or wireless music system that's almost portable, it does a good job.
Price$ 279.00 (AUD)
JBL recently updated its mini hi-fi speaker docks with three new systems: the OnBeat Awake, the OnBeat Rize, and the OnBeat Venue. The Venue is the big brother of this group, with a body that hides four speakers and 30 Watts of oomph.
JBL OnBeat Venue: Design and features
The OnBeat Venue looks as if it’s taken deportment lessons from the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air — a long, low, wide body with a central iPod dock and top-mounted buttons.
The dark grey fabric that covers most of the OnBeat Venue’s body looks good, as does the satin light grey and black plastic used for the chassis and buttons. The iPod dock that pops out from the centre of the base can also accommodate an iPad, and there is a small rubber foot on the centre of the speaker that your iDevice can lean on.
Buttons up top from right to left range from volume to power with three mode lights (for Bluetooth, the iPod dock, and the rear auxiliary connector), then a mode toggle and two equaliser modes — Movie and Bass, predictably.
Beyond the three status lights, there aren’t many visual cues to show the OnBeat Venu is active — there are soft white backlights for the buttons, but that’s it. The lack of a physical volume control dial might be annoying, since it’s possible to accidentally boost the volume to an excessively loud level before plugging in a device and starting music.
The iPod dock that the OnBeat Venue uses is the traditional 30-pin connector, so the newest iPhone 5 and iPad mini won’t be able to connect (although an adapter would fit with no problems). There’s no bundled remote control, so you’ll need to walk up to the hi-fi to change the volume or input.
JBL OnBeat Venue: Sound quality
We tested the JBL OnBeat Venue with an Apple iPhone 4, predominantly through the dock but also over Bluetooth.
Sound quality at low and moderate volumes is good, with well-balanced treble, mid-range and bass. If you’re listening to the OnBeat Venue in a small- or medium-sized room, you won’t have any problems with its sound quality — for the $279 price tag, there’s a good amount of detail and some reasonable bass response.
Larger rooms to begin to expose the OnBeat Venue’s main flaw, though, which is a small amount of distortion, especially in lower bass notes, in the upper half of the volume range. Play a particularly bass-heavy track at a loud volume, and you’ll hear the woofer drivers clip and struggle slightly. We wouldn’t run the OnBeat Venue at maximum volume unless it was at a party where the speaker has to perform against loud background noise.
Up until around half-way up the volume dial, the Bass equaliser does a good job of adding a bit more low-end oomph, although it does contribute slightly to the clipping problem at max volume. Chain the Bass equaliser up with the Movie mode and for music playback, the JBL OnBeat Venue has a wide and involving sound that’s pleasant to listen to.
Bluetooth range to the device is good, with a usable distance of just under 10 metres line-of-sight, with thin walls presenting only a minor impediment to the range of the OnBeat Venue. The synchronising process is simple, changing songs or volume happens quickly, and we didn’t have any qualms with the audio quality over the wireless connection.
JBL OnBeat Venue: Conclusion
The JBL OnBeat Venue is an uncomplicated iPod dock and Bluetooth speaker system. It’s not particularly expensive, and would suit small or medium-sized rooms well, with good sound quality.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- Hisense's first OLED TV finally gets Australian pricing and availability
- Sonos pushes back Google Assistant support for its smart speakers to 2019
- Sonos announce HAY for Sonos One Limited Edition Collection
- Amazon bolster Australian Echo lineup with Echo Show and Echo Sub
- Panasonic releases DP-UB9000 Blu-ray player
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies