Feeds

Ten... mini hi-fi systems

Good things in small packages

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Product Round-up Compact enough for a bookshelf but punching above their weight compared to a portable radio, mini hi-fis are an audio staple. These items can become the sole sound system for anyone pushed for space in bijou flats, bedsits and student digs or serve as a back-up in bedrooms, kitchens and other places around the home.

This part of the market is still fairly conservative. CD playback remains key, while ‘special’ features such as an iPod dock or DAB radio tuner wouldn’t have looked unusual almost a decade ago. USB sockets are increasingly common in these systems but often restricted to playing MP3 files rather than higher quality lossless formats like FLAC. Also, wired or wireless network connections, now essential in a lot of consumer electronics devices, are only slowly making their way into mini systems. With a varied price range, it's not simply you get what you pay as this round-up uncovered some sound offerings at a reasonable sum.

Arcam Solo Mini-Muso

RH Numbers

This system from the British luxury brand is a modern classic. You can partner the Mini with any suitable speakers or with the Muso pair, which use sturdy metal enclosures. The main unit is equally robust and adorned with a vast array of sockets. There are combined binding post/screw terminals for the speaker outputs (and on the speakers themselves), while a USB port is for MP3/WMA playback, as usual. It lacks a built-in iPod dock but the optional irDock is top-notch and offers control through the system’s user friendly remote. Power output is 2 x 25W. CD playback is where it excels, delivering clean and precise audio quality, although it’s less forgiving with MP3s. The radio (including DAB) features both F-type and Belling-Lee connections and fares well too.

Arcam Solo Mini-Muso
 hi-fi system

Reg Rating 75%
Price £999
More info Arcam

Cambridge Audio Sonata DR30 and S30 speakers

RH Numbers

As with the Arcam, this is a classy offering built around the slim metal-cased DR30 receiver. A separate £149 unit (CD30v2) provides disc playback or another option is the £400 NP30 network media player. The separate DD30 iPod dock is supplied in the box. The receiver’s wealth of sockets includes screw/binding post speaker terminals. Power output is 2 x 40W. It lacks a USB port but there is a mini-jack for MP3 players. DAB tuning was problematic at first but fine after recanning. Vocals are powerful and forthright but higher notes could do with more sparkle and the speakers sound boxy at times. Compressed iPod tracks are also somewhat woolly. All in all, it’s a chic but slightly disappointing system.

Cambridge Audio Sonata DR30 and S30 speakers

Reg Rating 65%
Price £430
More info Cambridge Audio

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Next page: Denon CEOL Noir

More from The Register

next story
Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
More USB ports than your laptop? You'd better believe it...
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.