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JBL To Bring Lightning Connector To More Speakers

Las Vegas – JBL will update its selection of tabletop digital-media speakers at International CES by expanding its lineup of models equipped with Apple’s Lightning 8-pin connector.

 The two new Lightning-equipped speakers will enable docking of the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, 7th-generation iPod nano, iPad mini, and fourth-generation iPad without a 30-pin-to-8-pin Apple adapter.

  The Harman brand is also launching a new AC/DC Bluetooth speaker.

  One of the two new Lightning-equipped speakers is the $149-suggested portable OnBeat Mini, said to be the first AC/DC speaker to charge an iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad. The company’s first Lightning-equipped AC/DC speaker, the $99 AC/DC OnBeat Micro, charges only Lightning-equipped iPods and iPhones. The Micro shipped late last year.

 Other OnBeat Mini features include two full-range drivers, DSP, up to 5 hours of playback time when powered by batteries, and ability to charge the compatible Apple devices when the speaker is plugged into an AC outlet. The portable speaker fits in a backpack or travel bag.

 The OnBeat Mini will be available in March from select retailers and through JBL’s web site.

 The second new Lightning-equipped speaker is the $399-suggested JBL OnBeat Rumble, a high-power AC-only model that also incorporates stereo stereo Bluetooth. The device will be available in the spring through select retailers and It joins the $199 OnBeat Venue LT speaker, which also features Bluetooth and Lightning connector and shipped late last year.

 The Rumble’s features include 50-watt output and downfiring 4.5-inch subwoofer, and proprietary Slipstream port technology said to deliver low-distortion bass with “no unwanted boominess.” The speaker can be used with JBL’s new DJ mixer app for iPhones and iPads, enabling users to scratch, stream and mix playlists when streaming music via Bluetooth from the Apple devices.

 The OnBeat Venue LT and OnBeat Micro were the industry’s first Lightning-equipped tabletop speakers to become available when they shipped late last year.

 A third new tabletop digital-media speaker that will make its CES debut is the JBL Charge Bluetooth, a $149-suggested cylindrical Bluetooth speaker available from select retailers or in the first quarter.

 The speaker, which can be placed horizontally or vertically, packs two 1-5/8-inch full-range drivers, 2×5-watt amplifier, 6000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, and USB port to charge a smartphone or tablet.

 The Bluetooth speaker also includes bass port, DSP, ruggedized exterior and grille, rubber end rings, rubber cap for the USB port, LED battery indicator, 3.5mm mini jack, and Neoprene carrying pouch. The speaker will be available in several colors, including black, blue and green.