I had this stereo for a while, and still have, but I don't use it that much these days due to the fact that I have a much better DAB radio which meets my needs.
But apart from the DAB this one still gets used when one of the family, or a friends, wishes to play a track from a CD or even an external music player
This unit looks the part, being about 380mm by 225m by 90mm at the base and about 40mm at the top.
On the from there is a large black panel which is the CD tray door. This opens to the side so that you can get your CD in, although it only manages to open just over half way which means a bit of fiddling about to get the disc in.
Above the door there is the small display screen, 70 by 20, roughly, which shows you the basics of what is playing, be that radio, CD or external player.
Below the door there is a panel that, at the touch of your finger, pops open to reveal the ipod docking area. But don't worry if you don't have an ipod as there is an Auxiliary socket on the rear.
So, we have CD playing, FM and DAB radio, plus external music players, all capable of playing through the speakers, which are 10 watts in total.
The speakers are pretty good, and you can also change a few settings using the remote so that you get a clearer, more 'bass' tunes.
It has a 3.5mm earphone socket in case you want to listen to your Celine Deon disc without the kids finding out, and it has an auxiliary port for those people who can't afford to get on the 'i' band wagon. This means you can play any MP3/4/20 player through the units speakers.
The DAB radio is really bad on this one. I thought at first it was because of where it is but when I put my other DAB portable radio in the same place that one picked up more stations that there are teeth in a crocodiles mouth. The big difference between my other radio and this one is that my other radio has one of those extendible metal aerials, where as this one has a wire floppy wire one with a blob of plastic on the ends of each wire.???
This mini stereo system sells for about £120 - £140, roughly, which is way over priced for what is technically a CD player and an FM radio... with a docking station for the 'i's. You can't really count the DAB as it is a waste of space on this one.
We've had this iPod dock from Panasonic for a couple of years and while it's not without problems (niggles really) I think it's a fantastic gadget to replace a bulkier stereo system.
You can play CD's through the dock and also stand your iPhone/iPod in the recess to play the music you have stored on those devices. Both ways work well and it's welcome news that we haven't had to get rid of our CD collection as when we were looking at docks a lot of the ones we saw didn't have the capacity to play a CD.
The sound quality is fantastic, sharp and clear with no wobbles at all. The dock can be operated using the buttons on the top or through the remote, personally I tend to use the buttons as the remote has an awful lot of options for such a small device and I get confused very easily with things like that!
The only issue I have with it really is that the dock claims to be able to charge an iPod or iPhone, and while it does charge it up this takes a heck of a long time even if the dock isn't being used to listen to music at the same time. Even an overnight charge isn't long enough to fully charge my partners iPhone 3GS all the way up, and that's pretty poor considering when it's plugged into the electric socket the phone is charged within a couple of hours.
You can listen to DAB radio through this dock and that's something my partner does more than me, we've programmed in our favourite radio stations (both FM and DAB) and it's really easy to find them now. The scan function is pretty slow on the dock so it can be a nuisance if we want a particular station in a hurry but the same is true of a lot of DAB radios so I can't fault this dock in that case really.
I'm more than happy with my Panasonic dock, it's used by everyone in the family as we all love our music and no one has ever complained about any aspect of it. For around 100 quid you can't go wrong if you decide to purchase - it's a respected brand which works brilliantly and is perfect for a busy family home such as ours.