Really what would we do without music? I’m listening to it everyday. It provides the exact kind of ambient inspiration I need when working. Of course that means having something small yet powerful enough to really make all the money I’ve spent on digital music worth it. Enter the JBL On Stage 400P speaker.
At the time of this review, this speaker wasn’t even out yet. It’s still hard to find but at $250 it’s comparable to the Bose Sound Dock II. It’s the latest in a long line of JBL speakers carrying the “On Stage” name and the most powerful. Like its siblings, on-unit controls are limited to volume. Everything else is controlled thru the RF remote. Inside you’ll find 4 Odyssey drivers and a dedicated Atlas bass driver equipped with far more amplification than previous models.
Sonically the 400P is very full with clear highs, rich lows, and a bassy kick you’d be surprised to hear coming from a small desktop unit. One thing JBL has always been good at is maximizing sound quality while offering little features other manufacturers miss. In this case being fully compatible with iPhones since the unit is completely shielded from cellular interference and the remote being able to navigate different playlists. Music came in distortion free with only the slightest crackling heard when the volume was cranked up.
This isn’t the granddaddy of all stereos. It’s meant to be a mid-range solution for the iPod and iPhone toting cohorts but priced $50 less than the Bose Sound Dock II while packing more features. This is perfect for the office, your desk, bedroom, even a dorm room.
What we liked:
- Funny pyramid design with the top chopped off
- Fabric mesh actually makes it look and feel like an expensive unit
- Fully compatible with all iPods and iPhones
- RF remote navigates playlists
- Uses advance digital signal processing
- Clear highs and rich lows with strong bass
- $50 less than the Bose Sound Dock II
- Charges the iPod/iPhone even if the unit is off
What could be improved:
- No FM radio
- Drivers – one Atlas neodymium and four Odyssey transducers
- Power Output – 15 watts per channel
- Frequency – 40Hz – 20KHz