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JBL OnBeat Mini Review – a Lightning dock for iPhone & iPad

Can one of the first Lightning docks perform well enough to justify the upgrade?

JBL OnBeat Mini reviewKey features • Lightning connection • 8-hour battery • USB and 3.5mm ports

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Price: £119.99/$149.95

Smooth curves are the order of the day when it comes to the design of the OnBeat Mini, and it looks great. The sweeping lines manage to make the dock look smaller than it actually is, so whether you’ve docked an iPod nano or an Retina display iPad, it will look the part. Docking is simple and the device feels sturdy when leaning against the rubber padding at the back of the device.

The built-in rechargeable battery is bound to please users who want the flexibility to listen both at home and on the move, and with around seven hours of playback at a medium volume in our tests we were impressed with the lifespan. You can also charge a USB device or use the 3.5mm input for audio.

On the front of the device, controls are kept to a minimum – we would have preferred to see a play/pause button here alongside the power and volume controls. What we did enjoy, however, was the sound quality; the OnBeat Mini provides an impressive balance, and side-firing speakers offer a more immersive sound. Things got slightly strained at the highest volumes, but overall we came away impressed. There aren’t many Lightning docks available now, and you could do a lot worse than the OnBeat Mini.

Buy now?

Pros: A nice-looking speaker with plenty of options and loud, impressive sound

Cons: We’d like more controls

Orange 5 Stars