I've compared this with the Sony 550 and the Pioneer DV88sw. The Panasonic's sound is far superior but sadly the fan noise is whining and intrusive at low sound levels. The mirror finish and display are excellent but the remote is very tacky, small with a lot of tiny buttons. The speakers are in a discrete black finish but the sound balance between the sub woofer and the satellites is seamless and very detailed. The Sony and the Pioneer are hopeless in this respect offering a disjointed thumpy and intrusive base level with a tinny treble and nothing in between. I would only recommend the Panasonic to those who always like high volume listening otherwise the fan noise is going to drive you potty.