I've left the original review as it was after this paragraph so here's the update posted January 2014. Well, it appears that the alarm bug was down to APPLE. There has been a slight update for the phone over the past few weeks and I'm pleased to say that the alarm now works in the dock without the dock shutting down and muting the alarm so it's a great dock. The price seems to be going up and up but for the price I paid its a 5 star product but it's fairly pricey at its current price of around £80. Original review follows....
Tricky to review this one. I think the original price of this is around £90 which is a no go but this can now be bought for around £30 everywhere. At £30 (I paid £20) it's a brilliant buy if you want to charge your phone and listen to a bit of music in a bedroom. The sound is very neutral and doesn't suffer horrible "bass boost" like 99% of other docks. For its size is the best dock I've heard. I auditioned a £700 b&w dock and it's was terrible, not worth £100. Overblown bass, splashy treble and no mid range. The jbl really shines at low volume levels. Really shines. It fails at higher levels though so it won't be good for filling a room. Build quality is superb with rubber rails on the bottom to prevent slipping. The lightning connector is hinged so you don't feel your snapping the internals of the phone when inserting or removing it. It also works with cases too. Not all cases obviosly but if you have an open bottomed case like a lot of the belkin cases you will be fine. If your case has cut outs for the speakers and dock port you may struggle. So why the 3 stars? Most people will want to charge their phone overnight and use it as an alarm whilst it's charging. You cannot do this with this dock. It may be an apple stipulation (hoping you will buy their licenced poor quality cable only for £15. apple greed strikes again). So if you set your alarm while it's docked the alarm will not sound. This is due to a power saving feature which puts the dock into standby??? My guess is that is why it's so heavily discounted now. You can't use it for what most dock users need it for. If you just want a neat charger rather than leave the phone on a table then this is a great buy and costs the same as 2 nasty cheap apple cables. Great shame about the standby glitch. Without this big caveat it would get 5 stars easily. But would it be £30?
Complete waste of money. Bought this to use with an iPod nano 7g. The product looks good and is a good compact size, and was easy to set up. For the first few minutes my ipod played ok on it and the sound was decent for the price, but after a couple of songs it just started to make a crackling sound while the music was playing (as if you were listening to a badly tuned radio station). I tried pausing and replaying, forwarding to the next song or going back a song, but found the only way to clear it was to undock the iPod and turn off the unit, then start again. This would have been ok if it was a one off, but this happens on a continual basis, after every 3-4 songs. To be honest I would have returned the product only for it would have cost me too much to post it back, and from researching, it doesn't appear that I received a faulty unit, it appears to be a common problem with this item. I suppose the lesson is that you get what you pay for really, and I would have given this no stars if I could have.
I do a lot of travelling and staying in hotels and I always took with me a previous generation version of this JBL docking station. The old model charged the phone and was very reliable piece of kit [although I did have to replace the mains adaptor after around 2 years of heavy usage]. I bought this updated version because of the constant need to have an adapter to accommodate the new lightning connection on the new iPhone. It is smaller and chunkier then my old JBL "doughnut" docking station, but has controls recessed, which is a better feature as far as I am concerned. Very easy to use and it also charges an iPhone/iPod when connected. The mains adaptor looks a bigger, more robust unit than the one that came with the older model, but early days yet, as all of these types of mains adaptor tend to suffer from the same problem where the cable goes into the main transformer case that plugs into the wall socket. Constant use puts a lot of flexing on this joint which eventually leads to the cable breaking down, and repairing this is not straightforward as the transformer box tends to be glued together to prevent user entry. Regarding the sound quality, I also have a Bose Mini bluetooth speaker that cost around 4 times what I paid for the JBL so I am able to compare the sound with that, along with the sound of the previous JBL doughnut. The Bose has a much richer bass and sounds "bigger" and more detailed than both the JBL units, and for general listening sets a bit of a benchmark for this type of product. Listening to the two JBLs side by side there is very little difference in sound quality. Both lack a bit of depth in the bass area and both can sound a bit over-bright when you crank the volume up. When used to play back radio broadcasts the spoken word is clear and natural. For the price I would say the sound quality is pretty good. Couple of gripes; the old unit came with a travel case and this one does not. As I spend a lot of time travelling, having a cloth case to protect the unit from knocks and scratches was very useful. I found that the travel case supplied with the old model is fine for the new one. Also the old unit had a remote control pad which this one does not have, although personally I hardly ever used it. This is an excellent value for money product. I would have given it 5 stars but for the lack of travelling bag.
Great sound but cuts out after a few minutes. Very very irritating-sending back for refund. It's obviously the reason it's reduced from £100 to £20 ? Shame really, I'd be delighted if this didn't happen.