JBL OnStage IV Review: Speaker with Style



In technology, it’s quite rare to find gadgets that achieve the perfect balance between beauty and function. The JBL OnStage IV Speaker seems to hit this balance with its stylish design and convenient controls.

The Good:

  • Stylish Design
  • Decent Sound Quality
  • Comes with a  Remote Control

The Bad

  • Outdated 30-pin connector

When buying speakers, you probably are more concerned with the quality of the sound instead of the design. But the JBL Onstage IV Speaker stands out because of its stylish and modern look, so that’s why it’s worth noting first.


Most speakers are regularly shaped (round or rectangle), but JBL On Stage IV breaks this traditional design by creating an irregular shape (which seems like a stylish X). The speakers point upward and are distributed across the surface.


It’s not just a speaker; it can also serve as a modern piece of furniture that you can proudly display on your side table.


At the center of the speaker, the 30-pin dock connector is neatly placed—surrounded by plastic, which kind of serves as a fence to guard the dock. At night, when the lights are turned off, it gives off a very subtle light—another aspect of its stylistic qualities.

On the plastic case surrounding the dock, the volume rocker is even placed at both ends. The power button, on the other hand, is placed at the back of the speaker. You’ll also find the aux input and a Mini-USB port.

Lastly, it comes with a remote control, which although it might not be equally elaborate and stylish as the speaker, is a great companion to easily control the speaker from a distance. The remote allows you to control the volume, mute the sound, and select tracks.



In the design department, the JBL On Stage IV Speaker can certainly appeal to anyone who appreciates stylish and unique gadgets.



What about the sound? Is it as impressive as the design? And does the design improves or hinders the quality of the sound?

Let’s get something out of the way first: For most audiophiles, the quality of sound might not be impressive compared to other speakers in the market right now. According to CNET’s review , the JBL On Stage IV “lacks a little in both bass and clarity.”

However, for someone who simply enjoys listening to music with a clear, crisp, and relatively loud sound, JBL ON Stage IV is definitely pleasing to the ears. When playing songs, it can fill the entire room with a clear sound with just the right amount of bass.

However, it’s important to note that we all have different levels of expertise when it comes to sound quality. So, the bottom line is to use your own gauge in determining the sound quality.


Personally, I have no complaints in using On Stage IV in playing music. I might have been keener if I played movies and TV series, but I only used this to play music.

Although I have no complaints in terms of sound, I have to note the feeling of restrictions when it comes to using On Stage IV. In our home, we have a few mobile gadgets that no longer have the 30-pin connector. Right now, I’m using a 5th generation iPod touch, S3 Mini, and MacBook Air. I usually connect these gadgets to a Bluetooth speaker. So being limited to a 30-pin connector dock feels kind of backwards to someone who owns newer generation of Apple devices.

Luckily, I still had access to my fourth generation iPod Touch, so I was still able to use the speaker.

 The Bottom Line

All in all, the JBL On Stage IV is a good speaker for those who simply wants to enjoy listening to music. Most audiophiles might not be impressed with the sound quality, but if you want a stylish speaker that also serves as an accent to your living room or bedroom, the JBL On Stage Speaker IV is the right one for you. Keep in mind though that this speaker is compatible with Apple devices that have 30-pin connectors.

If you have newer generation Apple devices, JBL has a lot of speakers to offer such as the OnBeat Mini and OnBeat Micro.

JBL OnStage IV Speaker is currently retailed at P5495.





Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan