Product Type: Sony hifi systems
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Sony CMTBX77DBI Mini Hi-Fi with iPod Dock
Member Name: MarkyM81
Sony CMTBX77DBI Mini Hi-Fi with iPod Dock
Date: 10/08/11, updated on 10/08/11 (119 review reads)
Advantages: Small and Loud
Disadvantages: Tacky buttons on top
I was looking for a small stylish system that could play CD's and would also be mp3 device friendly. Digital radio was a must, as was an iPod dock and finally it all had to sound good, knowing Sony's track record I didn't think this last part would be a problem.
I notice now that this has been on offer at £99.99 in the Amazon sale, and if you manage to pick it up for that price you should be very pleased with yourself. At the moment it is priced on Amazon at £113 new which is still a reduction on the £135 I got it for, however I am still more than happy with the price I paid.
Out of the box
The system its self was neatly packed up in its box meaning there were no issues with damage during transit. After taking it out you were confronted by three main sections and the wires to link them all together. This proved to be very easy with the usual little red and black clippy peg thingumies (official technological terminology). In the box there is also the main power cord, Digital, FM and AM aerial and a remote with batteries. There is a black square shaped aerial for FM radio and two white wires with socket attachments for the AM and Digital radio. These Aerials fit into the corresponding holes, however it is worth mentioning that the positioning of these, up the walls, around the room, strapped to the cat etc will have an influence on which stations you can actually receive. After a bit of trigonometry I managed to get these all in the correct position, later deciding that all I really use is the digital radio channels.
It's got the look
The sleek looking unit comes with some very nice matching black speakers that will give and air of minimal sophistication (my quote not Sony's, maybe I should go for a PR job?) to your chosen room without dominating an area. There is a large display on the front which is easy to see from a distance (tested on my short sighted mother), and below this is a well designed silver bar that houses the power and eject buttons. Further down and unnoticed is the CD draw which moves in a satisfyingly smooth action. Lower down there is the headphone and audio input sockets.
The top of the main unit contains the iPod dock and the operation buttons. Although the buttons look good they are a bit clunky and did not give a great feedback to your fingers (a minor quibble). They consist on the usual function, tuner, tuner play mode, repeat, scan, CD and iPod controls. The remote can be used for all these functions as well as a few more such as bass and treble, sleep modes and display options. The iPod dock works very well allowing scrolling through the menus with the unit, remote and iPod buttons, although using the iPod buttons may put stress on its attachment to the main unit. A further option is available for other digital audio devices via the audio input socket; this means you can attach devices that have an audio output that can be routed through a 3.5mm jack. I have been using a 3.5 to 3.5mm jack from my HTC phone with no problems. The difference between this and the iPod dock is that it does not charge through this socket and you can only access the menus though the external device.
The sound quality is clear and crisp through all functions depending on where you have those aerials. It does not distort even at higher levels which can get higher than is needed for an average living room with average neighbours. There are no over the top sound adjustment options, it can be altered slightly through the simple operation of bass and treble but is not really needed due to the great basic setting. The menus and remote do take a bit of getting used to but this is to be expected with any new technology, it is a fast learning process and quite simple once you have used it a few times. It is small and will fit into any corner and does not look like the big ugly tower block stereos of old, small is the new big.
Summary: Well priced, this is a stereo to keep most people more than happy.
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