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on December 16, 2006
I bought this item for my Ipod because I needed a speaker for it. I was debating over the JBL Radial(black) and the Bose Sounddock(black). They cost the same and had the same features, so I had to decide which one sounded better. I went of to best buy and tried them both out. The bose sounded great but got distorted on some heavy bass songs. Other than that it was awesome. Then I tried the JBL Radial. I tried exactly the same songs on it and I was amazed at how much better it sounded. It didn't get distorted thanks to the subwoofer on the bottom of the system. The Radial overall sounded much better than the Bose and it can go a lot louder than the Bose with absolutely NO DISTORTION!! I knew right then that this was the system for me and that I wouldn't regret it. My friend got the Bose Sounddock and he kept saying it is better then the Radial, so I told him lets put them side by side and listen to them at full volume. We did and my Radial KILLED the Bose with its awesome bass and better high and low pitches. He finally gave up and returned his Bose and got the Radial.

Hope this is good enough to say that the JBL Radial is one of the best speaker systems for the IPOD, the only drawback is that it doesn't run on battery, but then again it can't because it is too powerful to and if it did the battery would only last 6 minutes because of the power.
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on January 24, 2007
I own both a Klipsch iGroove and the JBL Radial. If you've read the reviews comparing the iGroove with the Bose Soundock you won't waste your time with the Bose. So for those considering an iPod speaker system here's my two cents worth. The Klipsch seems to have a slightly brighter, more natural sound to it, which some prefer, while the JBL is a little more mellow. I liked the iGrooves bright, untouched sound a little better, however is doesn't even come close to the bass response of the Radial. But after playing around with the EQ settings on my iPod I found that by selecting the DANCE setting I could obtain the same brightness found in the iGroove while still getting the amazing bass the Radial is known for. The JBL remote control is nice and works well. When pushed, the iGroove will go louder than the Radial but the bass begins to distort. The Radial, while not as loud, remains clean pretty much to the limit, which is plenty loud for most uses. If you need louder you're going to have to spend a lot more money. The minimum volume on the Klipsch doesn't go very low. I had it on the headboard of my bed and I couldn't get as low as I would have liked when listening to it before going to sleep. And at the lowest levels there was also a lot of amplifier noise. The Radial will go as low as you want before going completely silent.

Some have complained about the power button being on the back of the Radial. You don't need to use it. The STANDBY setting from the remote (hold the PLAY button for three seconds) powers down the Radial and iPod (which still charges, even in STANDBY). Hold the PLAY button again for three seconds and it powers up.

Unless you're willing to spend a LOT more money you won't find a better system on the market. The Radial is one sweet speaker system!
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on June 22, 2007
I've been hunting for a good iPod speaker system for months, and the JBL Radial is by far the best. The built-in subwoofer ensures a full range of sound and the four seperate drivers create a crystal-clear representation of the recording. The s-video out is also nice if you want to watch your movies/tv on a larger screen.
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on January 17, 2007
As part of a house rennovation, I have been searching for iPod speakers to provide music in the kitchen. My wife is very 'cable-averse' so early on I abandoned the idea of using a 2.1 or 5.1 system since the house is very old (1850) and running cables is difficult and there was no obvious location for a subwoofer. So I looked hard at the standalone options and listened carefully to the Sounddock, the iGroove and other smaller systems. In the end, I went with the Radial and am very happy with it. The bass is actually quite extraordinary for such a small unit and the mid-range is more than satisfactory. As has been noted in several of the reviews of the system, the sound is very warm and this is manifest in a lack of crisp highs. This is not a huge concern for me and may be a result of my admittedly aging ears but, if you really like treble you should listen critically to the system before buying it.

Build quality is great and the remote is functional, although it takes a little getting used to.

Portability is not an issue for me so the lack of battery power doesn't bother me. It is quite easy to move from room to room. I have not tried it outside but suspect that it would be adequate for small garden parties.

All in all, a very nice, well-engineered unit.
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on September 2, 2007
After a girlfriend got his from her "techie" husband for her birthday, I was in serious desire for the rich sound that filled her master bedroom and sleek styling. The fact that this can connect to your computer has to make it a high school or college bound student's serious contender as well. The sound is rich and fills the room (it radiates- circle not unidirectional) compared to many of the others I've seen which just fall short. The small foot print is a plus in the den or in a family room. It does start on the same song each time (use the remote to move around) and is not an alarm clock. Also, be sure to use a dampened cloth or you will get the million tiny white scratches (like a car) on the glossy black finish. I bought the Klipsh iGroove HG for $100 less but will be buying one of these very soon. It says you can take it outdoors, but it is not a true outdoor speaker, so bring it back inside. Still, it would be good for a patio party. To hear it is to know the difference.
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on December 28, 2007
I bought this speaker after reading a review about it in Consumer Reports. Their opinion was that the JBL had the edge on sound over Bose. This is my first ever ipod speaker and I couldn't be happier. I find the sound to be simply amazing.
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on December 4, 2007
I bought the Radial 6 months ago after researching the most popular loudspeaker docs (Bose, Klipsch, and JBL) for my wife's ipod. I am very happy that we decided on the JBL. Since purchasing the Radial we have had the opportunity to play it side-by-side to the Bose. The JBL has superior base, more volume, and better over-all sound quality. I have been impressed at the level of sound quality that comes out of this small apparatus (and its pretty stylish). Completely satisfied - love it!
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As I discovered upon reading the JBL Radial's troubleshooting instructions, these units seem to be unusually susceptible to interference from other consumer electronics.

Most of my iPod music is exercise or dance music that plays well with headphones or through my car stereo. But when I initially plugged my iPod into the JBL Radial, every beat made a crackling noise. This seemed to happen no matter how low the volume was set. (I tend to keep the volume low since I live in an apartment building.)

If I turned my iPod's bass booster on, the experience was like listening to Rice Krispies -- Snap! Crackle! Pop! When I turn my iPod's bass reducer on, all was well -- but who wants to listen to dance or exercise music with every hint of bass stripped out?

The troubleshooting instructions suggested relocating a unit if it suffers from such crackling or popping noises, which might be due to interference. There were no sources of interference in my case, but perhaps the apartment tenants next door had equipment near our shared wall. Whatever the case, I moved the Radial to different positions in the same room, with no improvement in performance.

Weeks later, I tried the unit again, and this time it sounded fine. But I'm concerned that the crackle and pop might return, and while I appreciate the troubleshooting instructions, wouldn't it make more sense for JBL to simply make the Radial less sensitive to other electronics?
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on January 2, 2008
Purchased this for my wife's b-day. I first used an mp3 player with the supplied cable and the sound was fantastic but the remote did not work. In the manual it says it only works with a docked ipod. I then tried using the supplied dock plates with my wife's Nano and the alignment is off and cannot get it docked using the plate. This was still ok since it fit snuggly without it. Unfortunatly, the remote still did not work. Again reading the manual it states either reset the ipod or replace the battery. After doing both, it still did not work. I am now sending it back and will update when the new one arrives. Had the remote worked I would've given it five stars because the sound quality is that good. I can't wait to receive the new one to start enjoying great sound from her ipod.

Follow-up: I received my new one Jan. 29 and again it had problems. The AC adapter did not fit snuggly and after listening to music for about an hour the plug vibrated loose thus losing power. I again had to ship it back for another unit. I received the new one and finally am enjoying great sounding music. I would still give it 5 stars if not for the fact of the aforementiond problems. The sound will absolutely blow you away.
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on May 19, 2007
I bought the JBL Radial Micro - White for my daughter as a 10th birday present. The price is right at $129.99. She loves it! I am surprised by the warm/nice sound for such a small unit. I gave my wife the JBL Radial (full size) last year for her birthday and she (we) love it. The Micro will fit nicely in my daughter's room. Tried to get a black JBL Radial Micro for my son's 12th birthday, but can figure out why the white is $129.99 on Amazon but the black one is $284??? Seems odd. So we had to pick up the black one for my son at Target for $149.99 :o( Something seems quite fishy with the black radial micro listed on Amazon???
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