I was given this rather chic mini hi-fi system for Christmas 4 years ago and am still to find faults with it. To my knowledge, it was purchased in Asda for £75 which (at the time of new(ish) release) was entirely reasonable. Now I believe you can get it for as little as £50 from Ebay or Amazon and retailers (such as Tesco Direct and Argos) are still selling the product for around £60-70. For that price, it's a great gadget with plenty of modes and functions that work reliably and it has a booming sound system.
In the box is everything you require to set the system up: the aerial wiring is a little fiddly if you take off the plastic tie so I recommend only untangling a short length which keeps the wiring neat at the back. It runs off mains power and the lead is a standard length, however, if you wish to mount the station on the wall, you may need an extension lead as it isn't particularly long. It comes in 3 sections, 2 speakers and the main control panel which holds the CD player in the centre with the controls at the bottom and small circular screen at the top. The 3 panels slot together very easily and the only trouble I've had is when lifting the system as holding it by the ends causes the middle to collapse! So just a tip: always carry it either in three separate parts or by the central panel.
In terms of design, from a personal taste, it's stylish, modern and has a really unique look that fits perfectly in a minimalist environment. It's grey-blue in colour and the metallic central section reflects the light which draws attention to it. The CD playing function is my favourite as when inserting (or removing) a disc, the covering slides up to reveal the CD holder and then covers it up once the disc is in place. There aren't loads of buttons on the actual machine which keeps it looking neat and classy but it does come with a very swanky remote control which is about 5mm in depth and enables you to set the programmes and alarm mood. The system can be either free standing where it tilts backwards slightly or mounted on the wall which gives it a sophisticated appeal. Mine is currently positioned on the bedroom wall and to hide the wiring, I simply stuck masking tape over the visible threads and then painted over it in the same colour as my walls. This obviously isn't essential but as I was painting the room anyway I thought it would make the whole thing look more in place.
The actual functioning of the system is brilliant for such a compact product. It has both radio and CD modes which can both be used as alarms and are easy to switch between. You can pre-programme radio stations and then simply press the corresponding number on the remote which makes finding certain channels very quick and easy. The sound quality is better than expected considering how small and fragile the system looks and it has a great base. The only issue I have with sound is that the minimum volume is a little loud to fall asleep too, but then again, I'd rather it were too loud than too quite in the long run! Having only tried it in a reasonably small room, I can't be sure that in a larger environment it would project as much but I still believe it would function well. The alarm which I've mentioned is very easy to set and lets you wake up to music rather than the dull beeping of a standard clock. You can use the snooze function (which is always dangerous!) and there is also a sleep mode which is useful when you have the radio on at night and want to save power when you fall asleep!
I personally love this machine and don't plan on changing it for a long time. It looks the part and sounds the part so put simply: it's ideal.
We bought one of these a few years ago as a cheap second stereo to use in the kitchen - how much we paid for it I cannot remember but a search on Amazon shows youy can buy them new now for £55 + P&P, which for this product is a bargain.
The meain reason we bought this is that it is an all in one unit, which takes up very little space and can be wall mounted, as ours is. With it fixed this way it takes up no space at all, saving valuable worktop space, and is hardly noticeable.
The machine overall is extremely well designed - it is probably about 40cm long, 15cm wide and 5cm deep, including the speakers. It also comes with what I would call a "Credit Card" style remote control, which does everything you need it to and works absolutely fine across small distances, as is how we use it. The remote controls most aspects of the stereo.
Continuing the well designed theme, the CD unit is face mounted - the screen which holds the CD in place slides up and down accordingly.
Onto sound quality, for such a small unit the sound quality is very good - it probably wouldn't be any good for all night raves, but when you use it in a small room it is absolutely fine. The stereo also comes with an in-built radio, which works well although we rarely use it.
Overall, if you're into all night parties, this is probably not the stereo for you but for use in a single room as a second stereo, it is absolutely fine.
I have had this hi-fi system for around 5 years after it's release in 2004. It is a great little hi-fi system, despite being a bit dated at the moment. The speaker quality is therefore lacking but it works very well and also looks great. Philips is a very reliable brand for hi-fi systems and this mini hi-fi was excellent upon release compared to the rest of the market.
It comes originally in a small white box with an image of the micro hi-fi system on the outside along with some technical specifications. It was easy to unpack but seemingly more difficult to put together. You must connect the speakers to the main part where the CDs fit in, which must be done with wires included in the kit. The wires have to be stripped at the ends and it can be quite fiddly getting them to fit in.
Once set up, you can fit the speakers to a wall separate from the system depending on wire length, or lie them on a table next to the main part or even hook them onto the main part so they lie adjacent, which can conserve room if you are tight for it.
The hi-fi system comes with a small, elongated cylindrical remote control, which looks modern. It has small buttons that are used to control the CDs and the radio built in too. You can switch the system on and off from the remote and even open and close the disc tray, but you still need to get up to go change the CD. The system can hold just one CD at a time and has two speakers. The speakers don't have a great base - their design is quite misleading as it looks like there is a bit for base however I think they are just for show. The sound quality isn't bad in terms of treble.
The machine has a brilliant design as the glass CD cover slides upwards to expose the CD holder. It can be a problem against a wall as the hi-fi is designed in such a way that the main front face tilts backwards so you need a little room behind it to fully open the CD tray. Just above the CD holder is a circular blue screen, which displays track number and other information such as volume or radio frequency. It's not very high-tech so will not display song names. There are also some controls just below on the bottom metal part, which enable you to control music with volume controls on the right-hand side.
The system is very easy to use but it did take some getting used to. The remote is handy and works well if you aim it in the direction of the hi-fi and it's run on a small battery that is activated once you pull the plastic strip out. If it needs replacing, I wouldn't know where to look instantly as it's not a common battery. The hi-fi itself comes with a decent length wire that plugs into the mains, but you may need to buy an extension lead depending on your desired positioning of the hi-fi. It has decent volume and can provide a lovely boost of sound to a quite and large room.
The design is very elegant and even though it's about 6 years old now, it's looks still compete with modern-day machines. I love the way the CD tray slides up and you can be engrossed in a trance as you watch the CD spinning through the glass. The blue screen adds a very smooth feel to the hi-fi and it looks very cute too. This is due to it's small size as a micro hi-fi system. It's small size saves space and makes it ideal for small areas or tables. You can find this machine second hand today for under £50, which isn't bad but you may be able to find a good newer one for a similar price. However, I have had no problems with this one and I'd still recommend it if you could get your hands on a bargain!
Thanks for reading