JBL On Tour Micro Portable Speaker
With portable music players and smartphones having permeated the lives of nearly everyone, there comes a time where the built-in speaker just won’t do. Portable speakers try to address this issue and they come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. In the past we’ve looked at one such product and now we’re back [...]
With portable music players and smartphones having permeated the lives of nearly everyone, there comes a time where the built-in speaker just won’t do. Portable speakers try to address this issue and they come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. In the past we’ve looked at one such product and now we’re back with another mini-speaker from JBL: the JBL OnTour Micro. Let’s see if this diminutively-sized driver packs a punch worthy of the JBL family. Let’s make this showy!
For those not familiar, JBL multi-division (JBL Consumer and JBL Professional) label and is a company under Harman which are makers of quality speakers and audio solutions that has a rich history of creating some of the most aggressive speakers and monitors in the market. From the gigantic Jackhammer subs to the petite OnTour Micro, JBL has something for everyone. PC users aren’t generally their main audience but they do have a wide assortment of audio solutions for the desktop and laptop market. For today’s review, we have their answer for the individual-on-the-go: the OnTour Micro. Aptly named might I say. Let’s see some specs on this baby:
|Satellite Transducers||JBL Odyssey|
|Input Connection||Mini USB jack for use with included USB power cable with 5V DC input; 3.5mm stereo plug|
|Frequency Response||150Hz – 20kHz|
|Computer-Optimized Equalization (COE)|
|Optimized Compresssion Topology (OCT)|
|MAPS Distortion Supression|
|Slipstream™ Port Design|
|Dimensions: Satellites (H x W x D – Metric/English)||3.15″ x 1.48″ (80mm x 37.5mm)|
Straight off JBL’s site, quite lacking in some details but nothing really significant missing.
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To test out the OnTour Micro, we engage in indoor and outdoor scenarios. The indoor test is conducted in a 10-seat conference room with mild sound-proofing and echo canceling. Outdoor testing is conducted in the middle of an open parking lot. To help in the tests is a Sony Walkman NW-E005 portable music player.
Since the OnTour Micro has an upward firing driver, I’d have expected it to sound better when heard from this direction but curiously the Micro is best heard from the sides. This is likely due to the protrusion partially covering the exposed part of driver helping in redirecting the audio waves. We found that the Micro performs best when there’s a large surface around it to bounce its sound off from like a wall hence the Micro performed much better in the indoor tests. Despite this though, the Micro still managed to be heard from quite some distance around 5-6 meters away in a busy parking lot (yes, we’re stupid like that playing around in the middle of a parking lot with moving cars.)That’s quite some power from such a small device.
Moving on to sound quality, the OnTour Micro is around what I’d call expected quality. Typical of mini-speakers is the fairly limited range especially on the low side and it clearly shows on this one. The lack of bass might put off some users especially bass-heads and club banger nuts but truth be told, you wouldn’t really be packing a speaker this size if you wanted performance in that area. The OnTour Micro has superb clarity even on maxed out volume with no pops and hiss to be heard. All in all, the OnTour Micro satisfies with impressive clarity.
Build quality and battery life are surprisingly both incredible with one charge able to carry on a continuous playback in maximum volume for up to 6 hours. Even more impressive is the amount of beating this thing can handle. The body is stable enough to still continue playing even after a drop from a table and while being banged on said table. The gentle exterior hides a solid product and is more than enough to convince that this is one product built to last.
We’ve had our fair share of surprises from small devices able to bring more to the table compared to their size and once again we’re left with a smile on our faces while we stare at the JBL OnTour Micro. A solidly built speaker that fits in the palm of your hands that can deliver clear audio to reasonable distances and still fit in your pocket, simply impressive.
For Php1800 in the local market, the JBL OnTour Micro is priced above a couple of competing mono solutions. These competing solutions are easily toppled by one attribute of the JBL OnTour Micro: durability. Owing to its unique shape and tough exterior, the ability to carry the Micro in the pocket is one true signature of a portable solution and one that is simply unmatched right now. That Apple-y shell isn’t hiding a pushover.
For those looking for a highly portable speaker, look no further than the JBL OnTour Micro. Perfect for business presentations where your laptop’s stock speakers just won’t do or b-boys and girls who prefer to travel light. We highly recommend the JBL OnTour Micro and give it our first perfect score ever.