I wasn’t very impressed with JBL’s last alarm clock/iPod dock, the On Time Micro, but this one seems to be bigger, better and a whole lot prettier. The JBL On Time 5V a dock that you keep beside your bedside that also serves as an alarm.
The JBL On Time 5V
Design and Features
The dock looks really cool and kind of reminds me of two very different things. The first is some sort of alien space station and the other (weirdly enough), a wedding arch. If I had this dock when I was much younger, I’m sure my baby sister would’ve used it as an accessory when she tried to marry my action figures to her dolls (ugh). I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I really think the design is innovative unlike the other bland ones I’ve seen so far.
As far as features go, the 5V is quite up to the mark, except for the fact that there is no remote, and I found that this was quite a pain. Even the On Time Micro, which was smaller than and cheaper had a remote, albeit a very complicated one. JBL has provided a bunch of plastic adaptors for various iPod models and I find this quite redundant as I don’t think it’s really required. I’ve seen some other docks that don’t come with these cheap plastic adaptors and I’ve been able to use everything form a 3rd generation Nano to an iPhone with it.
The view from behind
The clock and alarm functions for the On Time 5V are fairly simple. You probably won’t even need to read the manual, as it’s all laid out right in front of you. The buttons are all backlit, making it easier to operate in the dark as well. You can set your alarm to the iPod, alarm ringer or radio, which has 5 presets. JBL has integrated the snooze button into the design so it looks like part of the speaker and I thought this was a pretty smooth move. The back of the dock has a few connections as well. They’ve provided a line in, an AM antenna input as well as an optional subwoofer output. This dock also runs on three AAA batteries, so you can carry it around wherever you go.
I like the sound that comes from this dock. You can actually hear the bass and the mid frequencies are sufficient as well. However, I did think that it was a tad sharp. But the overall sound is pleasant and the On Time 5V didn’t distort when I pumped the volume all the way up. I found it really painful to use my iPhone on this dock as I kept getting static when a call or message came in. It’s the 21st century and iPhones have been around for a while now, so I really think that it’s high time that this issue was resolved.
Nice and glossy
I ran the customary test tones through the On Time 5V and found that it played back tones from 100 Hz to 15 KHz with ease. It did play back a 60 Hz tone too, but the output was quite low.
A nice dock for your bedside
The JBL On Time 5V costs Rs. 12,490 and I wish they had cut the price down a little. I like this dock, although it could definitely have been better equipped. For starters, I really miss the remote. Even JBL’s entry-level docks like the On Stage Micro have remotes, so there’s no excuse as to why they haven’t included one. However, the dock looks really good and has some pretty nice features apart from the alarm clock such as an auxiliary input and an optional subwoofer output. Although it isn’t the best I’ve heard, the On Time 5V definitely sounds good. It has decent bass response and doesn’t distort when you pump up the volume. With that said, I can safely give this dock 3 ½ stars.