- Great design, quality sound, charges and synchronises your iPod, works with any portable media player
- Expensive, no bass or treble controls, can't run on batteries
You'll pay a premium, but the Radial offers quality sound, an excellent remote control and a weird but attractive design. An excellent portable speaker system on the whole.
Price$ 499.95 (AUD)
The JBL Radial is an all-in-one, 2.1 speaker system for your iPod or portable music player that stands out from the crowd thanks to an outstanding, if unconventional design. The Radial features a remote control, excellent sound quality and added features like audio-in, S-video out and USB ports, but its high price may shy some people away from what is otherwise an excellent product.
The Radial has a similar design to the JBL On Time, using a unique dome shape with the iPod docked underneath, encircled by the speaker above. In the package, JBL includes a number of dock inserts allowing any version of the iPod to be used with the exception of the iPod shuffle (2nd Generation). Thankfully though, the Radial also includes an auxiliary input jack on the rear and a line-in cable in the package, so any digital music player with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack is supported.
Using the Radial is a simple matter of plugging in the included AC adapter and docking your iPod. One of the best features of this system is the remote, which does far more than most speaker systems. The remote allows users to increase and decrease volume, skip and forward tracks, play and pause and even scroll through your iPod like you normally would using the scroll wheel. Our only complaint is with the small buttons, as they are sometimes awkward to press. But as far as navigation goes, the Radial allows almost full operation of your iPod from up to five metres away, which is a huge convenience.
Sound quality is very good, certainly better than we expected from a unit this size. The Radial is the best sounding portable multimedia speaker system we've reviewed, alongside the Bose SoundDock. Bass levels are good and complex riffs are produced with fine crispness. Vocal reproduction was also excellent, with good separation of instruments in the middle and upper ranges. The only weakness is a slight lack of low mid to bass response, but that is somewhat expected from a speaker system this size. Most importantly, there was no distortion evident, even at high volume levels. Although the dome design is pleasing to the eye, it means that directional qualities of the speaker are compromised to an extent. Overall though, the Radial is clearly good enough to replace an in-home stereo system, and attractive enough to ensure you'll want to show it off.
It does however have one glaring omission; bass and treble controls. The Radial only has buttons for volume up/down on the unit itself, so users will have to rely on their iPod equaliser settings if they wish to tweak the sound. On a system commanding this price tag, we expected some kind of controls. The Radial can't run on batteries, so it only works through the AC adapter provided.
The Radial includes an S-video out port, allowing users to dock a photo or video iPod, connect it to your television using an S-video cable (not included) and view pictures and video clips. There is also a standard USB connection, meaning the Radial can act as a dock, charging and synchronising your iPod when connected.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Edge 20 Fusion review: A mid-range smartphone with all-rounder performance
- 2 Acer Nitro 5 review: A big-screen RTX 3080 laptop with screaming value
- 3 LG Gram 17 (2021) review: Super lightweight and primed for productivity
- 4 Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review: A superior tablet with baffling quirks
- 5 Acer Aspire Vero review: An eco-friendly Windows 11 laptop
Latest News Articles
- Apple TV will serve as hub for remotely controlling HomeKit devices
- Sony Smart B-Trainer headset gives runners vocal advice
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
- Apple shows off iPod touch, nano updates
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
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.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
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.
- Can 5G cause safety concerns in Australian airplanes?
- 4K Blu-ray support is dying on the PC. MakeMKV can help
- How to get the best deal on Samsung's new Galaxy S21 Fan Edition 5G phone
- 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