JBL On Stage 200id

The JBL On Stage 200id is a speaker dock system made for the iPod and iPhone. The dock features two 10 watt speakers and a universal dock system for use with all iPods that utilize it, as well as the iPhone and iPhone 3G. The system will charge any iPod connected to it and includes a remote to control the unit from afar.

During testing, I found the sound quality of the dock to be outstanding for its size. The speakers produce a lot of sound for their size with no audible popping or crackling until the volume was turned up to the maximum setting. Bass remained clear and deep throughout and the highs and mids were rich and crisp. I did notice that when the volume was turned up to the highest setting, the left side of the dock would pop more than the right, which may differ between units or be a simple manufacturing flaw. Regardless, audio quality on the whole was very good.

One issue overall was the appearance of a “This Device Not Supported” message when plugging in an iPhone 3G. After clicking the message it no longer appeared and didn’t suffer from cellular interference. It should be noted that this message disappears when used with iPhone 3.0. Another small issue we noticed was that the dock sometimes wouldn’t be recognized as being plugged in until the dock was powered of and then back on.

The unit comes with a few accessories such as a remote, dock adapters, and a line-in cable for audio players not made by Apple. The inclusion of dock adapters is nice since the iPhone and some iPod models don’t come with inserts. One little thing that I liked about the dock adapters, is that they have a small lip to guide the iPod into the dock. Simple, but a very nice touch.

The remote that comes bundled with the unit isn’t great. The range is about 15 feet and requires complete line of sight. There is also a slight lag while controlling an iPod while using the remote. The buttons on the remote have little tactility and feel very mushy when pressed. The remote has a few redeeming qualities to it though. One of them is the ability to navigate menus on the iPhone and iPod, to an extent. You can navigate through a menu such as artists or albums, but you cannot change categories from the remote. This requires you to navigate through the categories directly from the iPhone or iPod.

The good: Amazing sound quality for such small speakers. Aesthetically pleasing design. Line-in. Many dock inserts. Includes a remote for controlling iPod from afar.

The bad: Speakers would pop on highest volume setting. Remote requires direct line of sight. Remote has defined lag between input and track changes.

The bottom line: The On Stage 200id is a great speaker dock for its size. It looks great, sounds good for its relative size, and works well with the iPhone. The included remote works for navigating iPod menus, although it’s not great when you’re not right on top of the unit. Overall, the On Stage 200id fills a small room with ease and packs a surprising punch. For its price, the 200id is a great choice if you’re looking for a compact, aesthetically pleasing speaker dock.

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