JBL's On Time

JBL's On Time

Jan 24, 2007

(Welcome to Martina, one of the "techettes" vying for a blogging position at the upcoming AT:Home Tech. Comment away.)

Given the ubiquity of the iPod these days (I'm seeing them in the pockets of Grandma's sweater), it is no wonder that a whole cottage industry has sprung up to offer every manner of add-on, extension and customization. And while protective sleeves with pink polka dots are interesting, they aren't doing much more than ensuring that your lovely little devices go a bit longer without surface scratches.

Enter the hi-fi purveyors and their various speaker offerings for the wunder-device. My last visit to an Apple store counted no less than 21(!) separate offerings of iPod speakers. Impressive.

But the company whose product has caught my eye is JBL.

Unlike many of the other iPod speakers which carry a large footprint, JBL has put out a great little speaker/alarm clock machine (the JBL ON TIME) that not only is compact, but provides added functionality and style to boot.

Let's talk about that extra functionality: alarm clock, charger, and should you ever tire of your playlists, an AM/FM radio as well. All nice adds in addition to the pretty good level of audio fidelity. Two of the coolest features are the stereo connector that supports computer, satellite radio, the iPod shuffle and other MP3/CD players, and TimeCrawler. Time what? TimeCrawler is a feature that allows the JBL device to set the clock automatically from any [local] radio station that transmits time in its signal. Pretty neat.

And then there is the design aspect. While I think the biggest win here is the small amount of size you need to allocate for this device (10" diameter by 10" height), the nice aluminum/satin finish (in line of course with much of Apple's product line) along with the curved housing is refreshing. It is at least a nice change from the usual 'large box' approach which is unfortunately all too common these days. JBL also sells the On Time in black for those looking to color coordinate the Nano, the iPod and of course, the Macbook.

And the price? Depending on where you are sourcing it from, anywhere from $159 to $249.

I'm chalking out a space for one of these in my bathroom.

- Martina

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