JBL On Tour Rocks the House!

When it comes to gadgets I’m always looking for the smallest gear I can find that has the most impact or features. However, when it comes to speakers, usually smaller means sacrificing sound quality, bass and volume. Is it too much to ask to have a speaker system that’s small enough to fit in my laptop bag, yet loud enough or clear enough to enjoy from across the room? JBL doesn’t think so.

I was doing a seminar one day and one of my colleagues had the JBL On Tour Speaker System. I couldn’t believe how small it was, yet it was delivering enough sound for a room of about 100 people to enjoy. So I made a mental note and said to myself, the next time I need to take some speakers on the road with me, I’m going to have to try these out. That day came! I took the JBL On Tour Speaker System with me to California last week. I drove it with an iPod nano and the sound was better than I expected. It was certainly loud enough and clear enough. However, I’m a fan of bass and the bass just wasn’t as good as I would have hoped. Don’t get me wrong, very few if any small speakers have enough bass to satisfy me, so there wasn’t a whole lot of disappointment here. Other than that, this speaker system more than fit the bill for what I was looking for.



How small is small?

When you’re not using the speaker, it folds down to about half the size. VERY COMPACT to say the least. Although it’s not battery powered, the supplied power adapter is small enough that it fits into the sleeve with the speaker. Although I used it with an iPod, there is no iPod dock connector. So no iPod charging or line out audio. I simply connected the supplied cable to the headphone jack of the iPod nano. If you’re looking for an iPod only speaker, then you should probably look elsewhere. I got this speaker because it would not only work with an iPod, but also with my laptop.

It also works on batteries. I didn’t try it yet, but the On Tour works with 4 AAA batteries and is rated to play for 24 hours on a fresh set.

Dimensions Width: 7" (175mm) x Depth: 3.5" (88mm) x Height: 1.4" (35mm)
Weight 12 oz (350g)


The Bottom Line

If you need a SMALL travel speaker system for your presentations and personal enjoyment, you can’t go wrong with the JBL On Tour Speaker System. Amazon has it for $53.62.

  • Mike – Massachusetts

    Hi Terry, my wife and I rented a beach house in 2005 and it didn’t have a stereo. We had our iPods but thats about it. There was a Radio Shack in the area which carried a few speaker systems for iPods but we bought the JBL one listed here and we were blown away at how good it sounded for such small speakers.

    We have used it on numerous occasions since then. We even had an outdoor barbecue and I hooked up the JBL system to my airport express and played my iTunes library all night. Everyone was amazed on the quality of the sound not to mention the never ending playlist…

    Well worth the money!

  • Leo

    Hey ya!

    That’s cool that there is a decent portable speaker set that you suggest. I know some who have bought Bose® Computer MusicMonitorTM silver for a portable awesome sounding solution. I know many such people who have bought it to do presentations of all sorts. (and may hook it up to an airport express and use airfoil to add the wireless functionality to other apps) But the only catch as I see it is the price tag.