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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

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on 5 December 2013
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?
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on 28 April 2015
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.
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on 11 July 2014
Great sound quality, indeed very loud, so you will need to turn down the volume of the device. I use it for charging and playing music etc on my iPhone 5 and it's great, only slight disadvantage it that if like me, your phone is in a case you will need to take it out to attach it as there is no room in the connection aperture for anything but a thin cover. But to be honest this is a small complaint as everything else is of a good quality/spec
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on 7 June 2014
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.
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on 18 June 2013
Bought this for my son's birthday. He has an iPhone 5 and wanted to listen to music in his room. So far so good, connection is good, sound reasonable.
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on 20 November 2013
Speaker is fine, but switches into standby mode after 10 minutes and mutes the speaker on the iPhone. Crazy design - this would be the ideal speaker/stand to use together with an alarm clock app - and they've designed that option out of their product. Insane JBL! Do not buy if you want to use on the bedside together with an alarm app.
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on 14 May 2014
I'm really pleased with this - a great way to charge the phone and boost the sound. Sound quality is very good, not brilliant, but on a par with a decent quality portable radio. Music devotees may miss the lack of oomph in the bass, but overall the sound is surprisingly good and for the price it is fantastic. I've bought 3 of these units now (!) as I keep one in my bedroom, another for the kitchen, and one in my weekend retreat (shed).

The lightning connector suits the latest iPhone 5 series from 2012 onwards. If you have an older phone or other device, it has a USB socket that will play and charge other devices if you have the normal USB lead. It also has a 3.5mm socket if you want to connect a device by that type of cable.

I haven't used the battery power on this, but it takes 4 AAA batteries and is supposed to last 5 hours on a fully charged set.

I am surprised by the reports that it doesn't work with an alarm in the morning, or doesn't connect to iPhone 5c. Mine works fine for both.
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on 30 January 2014
I used to own a JBL hoop speaker which I loved and rated very highly but was a bit too big and cumbersome for a bedside unit. When the hoop finally bit the dust after 5 years and I switched from the old apple connector to the lightning connector, instead of replacing it I decided to stick with JBL but go for something smaller.

This fits nicely on my rather small bedside table and I find the extra usb port on the back very handy to charge my kindle from. The quality of sound is excellent and even churns out a nice amount base which for its size really surprised me. I really like that the lightning connector itself moves through a 45 degree angle. This means that as you reach for your phone to either switch off the alarm of answer a call, if you get the wrong angle it reduces the likelihood of damaging either your phone or the connection on the speaker. Really nice attention to detail.

The only reason this is a four star review is that I have to take my phone out of it's bumper style case in order for it to charge or play through the speaker.
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on 17 July 2014
After recently upgrading from an iPhone 4 to a 5, I found my old portable speaker dock redundant due to the lightening connector.

I wanted something simple, compact and with a decent sound that would also charge my phone and this speaker dock definitely ticks all of those boxes.

It's a nice, simple design and slotted into a small space nicely in my kitchen. The phone sits on the connector nicely although wasn't happy with the plastic case on my phone so this has to be removed when sitting on the dock. Sound is very impressive - very loud yet crisp and clear. Much better than my old speaker dock which was triple the price and very bulky.

Would very much recommend - amazing sound quality for the price.
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on 31 October 2013
This is a neat little unit and will accommodate a minimal case (bot nothing too chunky). Build quality is very good, the battery backup option is good, but they won't last too long taking just 4 AAAs. I have it on my bedside table for charging and the odd bit of music while reading or (using the batteries for portability) doing a bit of DIY.

Personally I find the sound disappointing. It's flat and a little tinny. I wasn't expecting anything spectacular but did hope for more than it delivers. It's still listenable and free from distortion for the most part, while the volume is impressive. Will easily fill a large room with your questionable taste in music!

Until Lightning-capable speaker docks become the norm, this is probably your best option in the short term at this price point.
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