Mini hi-fi system reviews

These combination MP3 and legacy music players pack greater punch and more features than speaker docks.
 
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02.Results

The following models scored the best results in our test.

What to buy
Brand Price
LG FB163 $260
SHARP XL-DK227NH (A) $329
(A) Discontinued, but may be available in some stores.
 

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Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

Performance
Brand / model (in rank order)Overall score (%)Sound quality score (%)Ease of use score (%)Standby energy consumption score (%)Price ($)
81 88 66 60 260
Sharp XL-DK227NH (A)
www.sharp.net.au
81 81 70 100 329
Sharp XL-DK257NH (A)
www.sharp.net.au
77 75 70 100 369
Sony HCD-BX20i (A)
www.sony.com.au
75 73 68 100 399
Panasonic SA-PM38 (A)
www.panasonic.com.au
74 75 78 60 299
Grundig DMS601/SAA (A)
www.grundig.net.au
70 82 61 0 499
JVC CA-UXGP5 (A)
www.jvc-australia.com
70 80 71 0 329
Philips DC146/79
www.philips.com
64 69 66 20 180
DGTEC DG-KW1005IR (A)
www.dgtec.com.au
63 74 56 0 499
Thomson AF3iP
www.dse.com.au
62 72 56 0 99
 


 
Features
Specifications
Brand / model (in rank order)Plays DVDsRadio tuneriPod dockLine in socketUSB portSD/MMC slotDimensions (cm, H x W x D) *Weight (kg) **
AM / FM 30 x 30 x 28 11.9
Sharp XL-DK227NH (A)
www.sharp.net.au
AM / FM 26 x 31 x 38 8.0
Sharp XL-DK257NH (A)
www.sharp.net.au
AM / FM 28 x 18 x 38 9.3
Sony HCD-BX20i (A)
www.sony.com.au
AM / FM 25 x 36 x 30 7.3
Panasonic SA-PM38 (A)
www.panasonic.com.au
AM / FM 25 x 30 x 29 6.3
Grundig DMS601/SAA (A)
www.grundig.net.au
AM / FM 27 x 35 x 34 10.1
JVC CA-UXGP5 (A)
www.jvc-australia.com
AM / FM 26 x 33 x 31 5.6
Philips DC146/79
www.philips.com
AM / FM 24 x 29 x 27 21.2
DGTEC DG-KW1005IR
(A) www.dgtec.com.au
FM 22 x 32 x 27 5.6
Thomson AF3iP
www.dse.com.au
AM / FM 21 x 32 x 21 4.4
 

Using the table

Scores The overall score is made up of:

  • Sound quality: 70%
  • Ease of use: 20%
  • Standby energy consumption: 10%

Price Recommended retail, as of September 2010.

(A) Discontinued, but may still be available in some shops.

* Dimensions include both centre unit and speakers side by side without gaps.

** Weight includes both centre unit and speakers.

How we tested

  • Sound quality Our expert panellists listen to a selection of six different types of music. They score each model for bass, mid-tone and treble response, ease of listening and clarity.
  • Ease of use Our testers score each system’s instruction manual, ease of setting up, remote control, on-board controls and display.
  • Standby energy consumption They use a power meter to measure the energy consumed by the stereo when in standby.
 
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