Product Type: Sony hifi systems
Newest Review: ... areas. That aside, this is a system that I found very easy to get a hang of, it took no time at all learning how to use all features,... more
The Very DAB
Sony CMT-EH45 DAB
Member Name: rosebud2001
Sony CMT-EH45 DAB
Date: 02/12/09, updated on 03/12/09 (351 review reads)
Advantages: Inexpensive, decent output for a bedroom or smaller room, mp3 capability
Disadvantages: No good for a larger room due to the 5 watt output per speaker
She usually listens to music through her laptop or on her mp3 player, but just recently she has got into listening to the radio, so her little Philips boombox which I bought a few years ago, has been the favoured way of picking up her favourite station. Unfortunately she struggles to tune in different radio stations on an FM radio because she has quite poor fine motor skills - and her autism means she isn't the most patient of children either.
I had tried suggesting she listened to the radio through her TV, which has Freeview built in, but once again the autism kicked in and she refused to use the TV as a radio, declaring this to be "stupid". I got a similar response when I suggested she listen via the internet on her laptop.
I decided therefore that I would buy her a DAB radio, hopefully with a CD player built in, and once again the internet was my friend as I did a little research on the subject.
I discovered that I was going to struggle to find a decent boombox style DAB with CD player, and quickly realised that given the price and output level of some of the smaller DAB radios with CD players that I would actually get more bang for my buck if I bought a micro system.
Eventually I decided to go with Sony's CMT-EH45DAB system - being attracted by the fact it was on offer in Comet and therefore available for the not too bad at all price of £79.99. The price has at time of writing now reverted back to £99.99.
This is a nicely compact little system and it has a DAB radio tuner, FM radio tuner, CD player and cassette player. You can also play your mp3 player through this with the correct jack lead which is not included.
~~What's In the Box~~
The box is quite large and I was actually surprised at the weight which was 7 kilos. The box was fine for me to carry to and from the car but I wouldn't have wanted to be carrying it about for any longer really.
The box contains two speakers, the micro system, a DAB/FM wire antenna and a remote control. There is also a user manual included.
Set up was incredibly straightforward. The speaker cords need to be connected to the main micro system but this is easy - you just insert the stripped part of the speaker cord into the correct speaker socket - either L or R for each speaker.
The antenna also needs to be attached to ensure the radio can pick up signals clearly. You then just plug it in and switch it on and you are almost ready to go.
The micro system remote control does not come with batteries supplied however, so you will need to find 2 AA batteries to power it.
~~Using the Micro System~~
What I liked immediately about this micro system was its simplicity. It is perfect for a child or perhaps an older person who struggles to get to grips with technology.
The function button is easy to use and the screen on the front of the micro system tells you which function you have chosen to use - whether that be FM radio, DAB radio, cassette or CD.
The first thing I did once I had set the system up was tune in the DAB radio stations - as I was fully aware of the fact that this was probably what the micro system would be used the most for. Tuning was very easy and relatively quick with all stations tuned in within a minute or so.
I was very impressed with the signal received on all stations using the DAB tuner - I have a DAB radio in the kitchen and sometimes the signal goes a little but there was no sign of this on any of the stations.
I then tuned in some FM stations - and had my first opportunity to compare an FM signal directly to a DAB one and was quite staggered at the difference in quality. These days I only listen to analogue radio in the car, so to do a direct comparison was interesting. The FM signal was reasonably good, but some channels had interference and only a handful of stations had their name show up on the screen once tuned in - unlike when I tuned in using the DAB tuner - all names clearly showed up along with information on what was being played on the station at the time.
I then decided to play a CD and was impressed with the speed with which the CD was read.
The CD player is located at the top of the player, and you merely press at the bottom right hand corner for the lid to lift and then insert your CD. You can navigate forward and backward easily using the back and forward buttons underneath the screen. These are the same buttons you use when tuning the radio.
You can also play mp3 CDs on this micro system and I have been very impressed with this feature - it means my daughter can make up a CD with a huge number of songs and play them jukebox style on her CD player.
Unlike when you play normal CDs, the micro system can show on the small screen what song is playing from an mp3 CD which is a useful touch and it's a nice way for her to listen to lots of different songs on just the one CD.
The cassette feature hasn't been tested on this micro system for the simple reason that we do not actually own any cassettes any more! What I do like about the design of this micro system however is the way the cassette player has been concealed - even the piano keys are hidden under a plastic cover at the bottom of the system and the main cassette section is just a plain silver section with no cassette window. So if, like my daughter, you don't plan on using the cassette, it is quite literally out of sight, out of mind.
The remote control is easy to use and we have had no problems with it not being picked up by the micro system.
Lastly, my daughter can play her mp3 player through the system using a jack which attaches to the mp3 player headphone socket and a similar sized audio output socket on the micro system. This is located beside the headphone socket on the front of the micro system.
~~Opinion and Thoughts~~
For the money I paid, I am very impressed with this micro system, and my daughter loves it too.
As I had expected, she is delighted to have a radio she can change channels on as simply as on TV - by using a remote control. She is also delighted at the increase in radio stations available to her via the DAB tuner.
However it must be pointed out that this isn't a particularly powerful audio player - speaker power is 10 watts in total, so don't expect this to pack a punch in a large room - however for a bedroom or smaller living room it is perfect.
There's no graphic equaliser and no bass button - just one volume button and the option to use the Dynamic Sound Generator X-tra for an, ahem, more dynamic sound. I am quite possibly a philistine, however as I failed to notice any difference in sound whether this was on or off.
Playing music from my daughter's mp3 player yielded variable results - and the volume control when playing music this way passes back to the mp3 player which was a little confusing at first. So if you think there is a fault when nothing comes through the speakers from your mp3 player, think again and increase the player's volume as opposed to the volume control on the micro system!
You are limited by the length of wire you have to connect the mp3 player to the jack on the micro system - my daughter's bedroom is quite large and 3 metres was just about enough for her to sit on her bed and play music this way. So bear this in mind when you nip into Maplins for the cord!
Size wise this fits nicely on my daughter's mantelpiece, with the micro system measuring 24 cm (height) x 15 cm (width) x 22 cm (depth). The speakers are slightly smaller, measuring 24cm x 15cm x 13 cm.
The silver and black colouring is sleek and the system overall looks quite minimalist in style.
I would recommend this micro system particularly for use in a bedroom - the sound quality is perfect for a small room and the system packs a fair punch for its size overall. If you want something where you can fiddle about with bass and really blast out your music however, this will not be for you.
If you can pick this up for the price I paid you will, I feel, be getting a great deal - but even at the current retail price of £99.99 at Comet, it's worth the money.
***This review has previously been published by me on Ciao under the same user name***
Summary: Simple to use DAB micro system from Sony
|Ease of use:|