Product Type: Sony hifi systems
Newest Review: ... systems. Having said that, the sound controls are pretty limited and confined to either louder or softer plus what Sony refer to as Dyna... more
A sound system for the past and the future
Sony CMT EH15
Member Name: ladybracknell
Sony CMT EH15
Date: 04/11/12, updated on 04/11/12 (203 review reads)
Advantages: Plays cassettes, CDs and MP3 files. Also has a radio. Good sound quality
Disadvantages: Radio may pick up external interference. No record facility.
As I trawled through various websites it became obvious that if I wanted a space saving hi-fi system, I'd have to forego a turntable but there were plenty of micro systems to choose from and eventually I plumped for the Sony All-in-One Audio System which currently retails at £64.24 on Amazon and has garnered 4½ out of 5 stars from previous buyers. It isn't high end and doesn't profess to be so but reviewers of the product mostly gave it a big thumbs up. I duly paid over my money and within a couple of days was the proud owner of a sweet little micro system.
What did I get for my money?
Although the turntable isn't part of this system, it incorporates a single CD player, single cassette player and AM/FM radio as well as the facility to connect MP3 players for playback through a jack-to-jack connector (which isn't included with this system). This is all wrapped up into a very neat little black and silver package which stands 9½" high x 6" wide and 8" deep, with the two matching speakers being a roughly similar size making it compact enough to fit on most shelves. It just about covers all modern musical options making it ideal for technological Luddites such as myself.
Putting it all together
Setting up the system is simplicity itself. It was merely a case of connecting the speakers into their corresponding colour coded sockets on the back of the unit and similarly connecting the radio aerial. This comes with a comprehensive instruction book but it isn't really necessary for setting up the system as it's all pretty self-evident. Like most boxed electronics these days, this is a plug and play device.
The system can be operated either manually using the buttons on the unit or by using the remote control, which takes a couple of AA batteries, not supplied. As well as operating buttons, the front has a digital readout window and there are sockets for attaching MP3 players and headphones.
There is a clock which is set in a similar way to most digital clocks but as the time setting is lost whenever the power is disconnected, I haven't bothered to do this, as I'm one of those sad people who go round unplugging everything rather than leave equipment on standby.
The sound of music
For such a little piece of kit, the sound quality isn't bad at all. OK, this isn't anywhere near the sound quality of a Bang & Olufsen but neither does it have the tinny sound which generally comes from small, cheap systems. Having said that, the sound controls are pretty limited and confined to either louder or softer plus what Sony refer to as Dynamic Sound Generator X-tra which is supposed to give the sound a bit of extra oomph but quite frankly I can't hear any difference when using this.
Radio Ga Ga
I'm not a huge radio listener these days other than early morning listening and occasionally tuning in to woman's Hour and have a portable radio to do this but nevertheless I've set up the radio. Once again, this is a very simple operation as tuning is automatic and scans for stations, stopping each time one is found. Reception, at least here in East Berkshire, is pretty good on most of the main radio stations although the antenna does seem to occasionally pick up some external noise such as that annoying mobile phone interference.
I've got it taped
I know cassettes are a thing of the past but I have quite a lot of my music in this format, some of which aren't available in any other format so personally I think this is a great additional facility to this micro system. The tape deck is hidden away behind the front panel but is easy enough to access and means that the sleek appearance of the front isn't compromised. The system only has a playback facility, however, and doesn't record onto tape but that shouldn't prove too much of a problem to anyone these days.
As well as playing commercial CDs, this system will playback discs containing MP3 files and it's possible to select straight play of these files or select a shuffle option. The CD player is set on the top of the unit and opens with a simple push down motion
And so into the 21st century
Being able to connect my MP3 player into this hi-fi is a great facility. Many of these micro systems only have input sockets for iPods with anything else requiring plugging into the back of the system which can be fiddly. This MP3 facility operates in the same way as a car MP3 system, by way of a 3.5mm jack-to-jack cable. This isn't supplied with the system but they can be bought for around £1 from most electrical suppliers.
The final analysis
I'm very pleased with this micro hi-fi system which, as one would expect from a company such as Sony, is an excellent piece of budget equipment. The sound quality is plenty good enough for general listening to both music and radio. To my mind this little sound system deserves 5 stars as its pros far outweigh the cons.
It looks good with a sleek frontage with tape controls hidden behind a panel
It's compact enough to fit into a very small space
It's easy to operate and has good sound quality
It has a tape cassette player which means it can cope with some older recorded media
The radio auto tunes to all the main UK radio stations as well as local radio
The system can be operated manually or remotely
The radio may pick up external interference
No record facilities
Summary: The ideal micro hi-fi for those with slight Luddite tendencies
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