I first saw the JBL On Time speaker, $249, earlier this month at Macworld, but didn't get the chance to listen to it until last week. Visually, the speaker is quite fun - I've decided it looks like the machine Jodie Foster goes into in the movie Contact - and surprisingly, the sound quality and power is pretty stellar. While there are plenty of other iPod speakers out there that take the cake for originality, such as the colorful flower power speakers, this little number is attractive enough that it won't be an eyesore on your desktop or bedstand, and does include a nice element of design and symmetry.
My friend bought one for his home office, so I was able to tinker with it for a bit last weekend (that is until people at the party started calling me a "geek" and asking why I was alone in the room playing with a gadget). Of course, it doesn't measure up to more advanced iPod Hi-Fi, but it's also a better size for cramped spaces. Bottom line, you're never going to get huge sound out of novelty speakers like this, but something about the shape does project a nice, clean sound.
For more pictures and specs, just
I do like that the On Time includes a radio, clock and dual alarm. I also like the fact that you can dim the LCD to the correct brightness level in any environment - meaning if it's in your bedroom it won't wake you up because it's so bright. A stereo mini jack connection allows you to connect a variety of other devices, including the iPod shuffle, MP3 and CD players, desktop and laptop computers (all platforms), and satellite radio.