Steve Rix

Tech Reviews and Thoughts

JBL On Tour XT Portable Speakers Review

I wrote this lame and much too short mini review a good 6 months ago and never got around to finishing it. But I will go out on a limb and say to this date the Tour XT  for its size are the best travel speakers out there and I have tried quite a few. JBL discontinued the XT quite a while back, sadly. JBL instead are still producing the  XTB (built in bluetooth) so you may struggle to find a supplier for the cheaper XT. Ebay did have some listings and I managed to pick mine up for £45 back in June 2010. Below are my scribbled thoughts on them.

My quest to find the perfect travel speakers continues..

The JBL On Tour XT is the bigger brother of the JBL On Tour speakers.  Sporting 4 drivers and a… sub woofer?! It has this meaty presence for portable speakers. Each driver is directed outwards designed to evenly fill a room with sound, the design looks very similar to what you may find in an office for conference calling.

Design and Build Quality

JBL have a reputation of not knocking out cheap and cheerful products and this most definitely holds true with their On Tour XT portable speakers.  When taken out the box  the speakers come wrapped in plastic for protection and when peeled off reveal a piano black casing – It looks fantastic. However I can see it being a scratch magnet after being carted around in the holiday suitcase a few times. The casing is very sturdy, as is quality of the on off button and audio input jack, nothing shouts cheap and nasty! – a trait hard to find in portable speakers.


The sound quality can be described as better than expected and with some continued listening I realised that it is actually pretty good. There is a definite improvement in sound quality compared to the JBL On Tour speakers, volume is improved by quite a margin and bass is now actually present! It isn’t bone shattering, but it is there and more apparent than any other portable speaker I have come across. In terms of clarity, volume and bass it blows away the XMI X-Mini Max 2 portable speakers.

Interestingly enough there is a slight drop in volume when running on 4xAA batteries compared to the supplied power supply.

Final Thoughts

These are the best of the best in terms of portable speakers. Requiring on 4xAA batteries they are convenient, loud and more to the point sound great for their size.

XMI have much to learn from JBL if they wish to be king of the portable speaker market.

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