Portable speakers have an advantage over large speaker systems as they can easily be brought to the backyard, the park, or even the beach. The JBL On Tour XT comes with four speakers and claims to combine many proprietary technologies to provide users with the ‘highest quality sound.’ But the question is, can it really? The SmartHouse Team finds out.

The On Tour XT is small and can fit in any bag easily. The speaker system resembles a teleconferencing box, with all the speakers placed on top of the circular base. The power switch, USB port, power port, and 3.5mm audio jack are located along the sides of the unit, with the volume control buttons situated on top.

The piano black finish gives the On Tour XT flair, although this kind of finish attracts fingerprints.

Users can connect any music device as JBL has included two audio cables (3.5mm to 3.5mm and 3.5mm to 2.5mm) in the box. The package also includes a power supply, remote control, and carrying case for safe transport.

Turning the unit over reveals a battery compartment for four AA batteries. This is used for powering the speaker system without the need for any power outlets. It could have been better though if JBL just included an internal rechargeable battery pack to save users money.


Click to enlarge
The JBL On Tour XT is a flexible speaker system: it can easily hook up to an iPod, an MP3 player, a music phone, a notebook, a desktop PC, and even handheld gaming consoles. We tested the On Tour XT with our iPod Classic and found the sound quality to be clear. Mids and highs were well-articulated for such a small device, although the quality of its bass output was less than satisfactory despite its ‘astonishing bass’ claim. It can however, set the mood during indoor or outdoor gatherings as the four Odyssey transducers were able to pump out music at high volumes.

JBL has included a remote control with the On Tour XT, although it can only control the volume and put the unit on mute. One feature we love about the On Tour XT is its ability to charge mobile phones, iPods, and other devices via its built-in USB port. This will ensure that music will be playing for hours without any effect on the player’s battery life. Take note though: the unit will only charge your device via USB if it is plugged into a wall socket. The USB port cannot be utilised when the On Tour is running on batteries.

Overall, JBL’s On Tour XT is the perfect speaker system for those who are hitting the great outdoors. It is lightweight and portable, is compatible with iPods, MP3 players, and mobile phones, and has a battery-powered option for a total mobility. Just remember to bring an extra set of batteries just in case the battery falls flat.

See page over for product specifications and rating.


 JBL On Tour XT Technical Specifications:

Drivers (Tweeters): 2 x 4 Watts (tweeters) and 1 x 6 watts (woofer), at 1% THD
Battery Size: AA
Battery Type: Alkaline, NiMh
Input Impedance: >10k Ohms
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >85dB
Frequency Response: 100Hz – 20kHz
Maximum Power Consumption: 25 Watts

Diameter: 165mm
Height: 41mm
Weight: 0.6 kg

JBL On Tour XT | $299.95 |  | www.jbl.com

For: Can connect to any audio device with a 2.5mm or 3.5mm jack; USB port for charging; Can be battery-powered; Loud output; Bundled with remote
Against: Piano black surface; Bass is limited; Better if an internal rechargeable battery is used.
Conclusion: A good set of speakers on the go.

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