New Gear: Lightning Strikes JBL Docks

Apple's 30-pin connector was the accessory port that launched countless peripherals; it's analog and digital connectors (and long-term stability over years of product cycle) made possible an entire universe of iStuff, not least among them the dependable iOS speaker dock. But with the introduction of the iPhone 5 and the rollout of the digital-only Lightning connector, the dock, already under threat by ever-better wireless approaches, suffered its first serious shock. Sure, adapters would do in a pinch, but they hardly lent themselves to the lean lines promised by the Apple experience.

Have no fear - JBL is here with the first Lightning docks.

The new JBL OnBeat Micro ($99) and OnBeat Venue LT ($199) leverage the Harman brand's considerable experience in the dock marketplace, and incorporate the new connector (in a traditional top-mount for the miniature Micro and hidden away in a sliding drawer for the more upmarket Venue LT), giving your iPhone 5 a comfortable, classy place to nestle at last while cranking out the tunes. Got an older device? USB ports will let you hook up (and charge) via your antiquated 30-pin sync cable; the Venue even has Bluetooth onboard if you feel like cutting the cord entirely. And an auxilliary analog input caters to your non-Apple gear.

Both models are available for pre-order today at jbl.com; the Micro will be on retail shelves for Black Friday, with the Venue following soon.

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