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When entertaining guests in the dining room, it is important to set the right atmosphere with good music emanating from a good looking sound system. Our previous model was very dated so when my boyfriend won this hifi in a prize draw at work, we were very impressed and ever to put it to the test.
I think if we had picked it ourselves, we would have gone for a flatter swankier looking system, however this looks the part and it was a prize after all.
==Price and availability==
If you are taken with this and want to buy one, we were pleased to discover that Curry's stocks them for £105.00. To be honest, I think it is quite a lot of money to pay for a mini system, despite it offering great sound quality.
The main unit comes in black or chrome. I have the chrome version and the measurements are: 14.8 cm x 23.2 cm x 23.3 cm. It comes with two black speakers that are: 13.2 cm x 15.9 cm x 23.3 cm. If these measurements do not mean much to you, then I would say the device is average sized for a mini player and fits neatly on my shelving unit. There is plenty of wires to adjust your speakers to where you want them and the flex is long enough that you do not need to have it positioned right on a plug socket.
It comes with a remote control that can be used to control the iPod as well as the CD player and radio. This takes 2 AAA batteries that are not included.
At the front of the system is the iPod dock. I always wonder what people do with this bit if they do not own an iPod. It is compatible with: iPod mini, iPod nano, iPod with colour display, iPod 5th Generation, iPod classic, iPod, iPod 1G, iPod 6th Generation, iPod nano 1st Generation, iPod nano 2nd Generation, iPod nano 3rd Generation, iPod nano 4th Generation, iPod nano 5th Generation, iPod touch, iPod touch 2nd Gen 8/16/32 GB, iphone 3GS, 3 and 4. Interestingly, the device charges my iPod but it does not charge my iphone. I find this discrepancy a little odd but most of my music is on my ipod so I would rather it charge that up to be honest.
If this is the case then you can also connect your mp3 player to the sound system using the audio mp3 connection located at the front of the machine, however I'm not sure if you can control it with the remote as I do not use this facility.
There is a very shiny, finger print magnet LCD screen at the front of the main body that also shows the time.
The radio tuner is quite poor really and I have not been able to get many channels as clear as I would like to. There is an option to pre set up to 40 channels but to be honest I can only really get the BBC channels to receive! 40 are slightly optimistic. You can choose to have the clock alarm wake you up with the radio if you wish, but I use the player in my dining room so there is no call for this feature.
I think that for the money, it could have had a DAB radio however I stream digital channels through my iphone and through the system so I have managed to overcome this obstacle.
You can programme the player to play your chosen music for a specific length of time, if you like to listen to music before you sleep I can definitely see the advantage of this.
It sounds a bit old fashioned when you load a cd and it takes a minute before it decides it wants to play it, making a whole heap of whirring and burring. Once it is happy, it works a treat. I just would have preferred a quicker response. You can play downloaded tracks on discs as well as shop bought ones.
Although I have not fallen in love with this machine, I am very impressed with the sound quality. No matter what level the volume is on, the Dynamic Bass Boost enhances the bass content in the music. This is fantastic and the quality of sound for a small device is remarkable. Even when the volume is quite high, the quality remains clear and crisp. If it is getting late and you do not want the bass boost on you can turn it off or select one of the other presets: Jazz, Rock, Pop and Classical. These change the frequency ranges to suit the genre of music you are playing.
I'm disappointed that there is no USB port; I would think that a machine in this price range would have had one. I am just a little outraged with the price of this machine and think that it costs too much for what it offers. Having 40 pre sets on the radio is not cutting edge technology and I am disappointed to see that on the box Philips use it as a selling point. DAB radio should be standard in a hifi that wants to compete in this category. Most of the features this machine has will be found as standard on many other models on the market. There is nothing to set this machine out from the crowd and make it stand out. The best feature is the sound quality and I like the bass boost facility. It works really well and it definitely perks up my music.
I can only rate this three stars though; I think it is overpriced and slightly dated despite it being a 2011 model.