Even though it took some time for them to appear, today there are several very quality speakers which support Apple’s new Lightning dock. It wasn’t easy for designers and manufacturers to simply change from the old 30-pin connector before very detailed testing of a design and technical characteristics. Of course, many manufacturers waited on a market to expand and for people to switch to the newest generation of iOS products. So today we’ve got quite a few interesting Lightning-enabled speakers which are promising to bring great audio quality.
JBL is a well-know and respectable manufacturer of audio equipment. Their speakers were always on top of the bestselling lists, and it seems that JBL always delivers a quality product. During the last several years, this company also made a number of iOS-compatible wireless speakers, where some of them were very popular.
Now JBL has introduced their first Lightning-powered speaker called JBL OnBeat Venue LT (which stands for – Lighting). Plus, it is also Bluetooth-equipped, so it can be also used with your Mac or any other Bluetooh-powered device.
OnBeat Venue LT features a classic design, it is rounded in shape and has very nice curvatures. Its front side is completely covered with grille, and of course this is where you’ll need to place your iOS device. The Lightning port is actually hidden, and you’ll need to press that JBL logo in order for a small drawer to pop-out and there you will the Lightning port. Simply place your iPhone 5, iPad Mini or the newest generation of iPad, and you’re ready to go.
As we said earlier, you can also use this speaker via Bluetooth. In practice, you’ll easily realize that output quality is much better when you connect your iOS device via Lightning port. Bluetooth seems to drop some quality, which is easily noticeable. On the other hand, I see this only as an extra feature, so I can connect my MacBook once in a while, in case I’d like to watch a movie. Still, quality achieved over the Lightning port it amazing. Sound is very rich, bass is strong, and there’s no distortion even at higher volumes.
JBL also published an iOS app called JBL MusicFlow. This app can be used as a remote controller, since OnBeat Venue LT doesn’t have one. MusicFlow can be used to create playlists and organize music that’s already present on your iOS device, and you will also get to use equalizers like Movie, Rock, Jazz, Basic, and Gaming. It is nice to see that JBL took some time and designed this beautifully looking iOS app, which is also very useful. I would even have to say that this app looks even better than Apple’s own app, especially on iPads. For those who would like to connect via Bluetooh, OnBeat Venue LT offers two physical buttons named “Bass” and “Movie” which are equalizers and they are really able to enhance music output.
Speaking of JBL’s MusicFlow, I need to say that I didn’t have any problems using it. It behaved normally, and allowed me to perform any operation. Still, some users reported that this app failed to show entire music library, and that some iCloud tracks were listed, even though they weren’t downloaded.