When you're buying an iPod dock, it is usually with the intention of making life simpler for you, especially if it has additional functions like an alarm clock and such. However, the JBL On Time Micro does exactly fit into this description, and is also a tad expensive. Here’s a closer look.

The dome-shaped design is pretty cool, and gives the On Stage Micro a Sci-Fi-ish look. Although it’s quite small in size, the On Time Micro does come across as a little bulky because of this rounded shape. This black and gray dome shaped dock has quite a few shiny buttons on it with which you can control not only the iPod/iPhone, but also the alarm clock and radio. It also has an easily accessible snooze button right in the center, above which is a 2.2 inch display.

The features are quite standard, but the added alarm clock is what really makes this product better than some of the other small docks available. The alarm function is quite handy, as you can set different alarms for recurring schedules or even individual days so you can set it a little late for the weekend if you’ve been partying late the previous night. And you can use the AM/FM Radio or even the iPod to wake you up. It also has a sleep function so you can listen to your favourite music while falling asleep as well as a snooze button if you want those extra few minutes of sleep.

The audio features are more or less the same as any dock, apart from the fact that you can carry it around with you after putting in 3 AAA cells. You can use the various buttons to set your alarms, adjust radio presets and even browse through your iPod. But there’s also a remote, and I could write a paragraph on how complicated it is to use, but let’s just say that it doesn’t make life any easier, as it has too many buttons. A feature I found to be redundant is the brightness and contrast settings for the LCD display, which is plain monochrome, as it is pretty bright and can be seen from even a distance of ten feet away.

The On Time Micro produces pretty good audio quality, but like almost all other small docks, the sound distorts at high volume, mostly in the lower frequencies. However, if you turn down the volume a little, you’ll find that it sounds quite good. And for a small dock like this, even the bass response is good at medium volume.

The AM/FM radio has ten presets, and catches signals well. The detachable (wired) antennas provided are standard and the dock has separate inputs for AM and FM. Overall, quite a good radio system.

Even though this dock carries the JBL brand name, it’s a little too expensive, as it costs Rs 9,990. It has an alarm with handy features, AM/FM radio with presets and decent sound quality overall, but on the whole, is quite complicated to use. Besides, you can get plenty of other iPod docks with alarm systems that cost a lot less. If it was priced at a couple of thousand Rupees less, I’d definitely recommend it. But if you’re still hell-bent on buying an iPod dock with an alarm, why not check out the Logitech Express Plus?

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