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Sony CMT-FX350i

RH Numbers

This Sony sits squarely at the budget end the market but still incorporates an iPod dock and reasonably sensitive DAB tuner. It has an analogue mini-jack input but no USB for memory sticks. Speaker terminals are merely spring clips and the supplied speakers have MDF cabinets with wood-effect covering. Audio quality is uninspiring, being particularly raspy for music radio. FM comes over better than DAB here and talk stations don’t seem too bad. CDs are relatively clear and bassy but lack the punchiness of the better products in this group. Four preset EQ settings do little to improve things, though swapping to higher quality speakers helps, within the limitations of its meagre 2 x 4W power output.

Sony CMT-FX350i mini hi-fi system

Reg Rating 50%
Price £120
More info Sony

Yamaha MCR-555

RH Numbers

This system combines a beefy CRX-550 main unit and generously proportioned NSP-B300 speakers. The CD/receiver has a top-mounted USB for MP3 and iPod dock. Rear sockets include an F-type FM/DAB aerial connector and two aux inputs (one as a mini-jack), while all speaker connections accept binding posts or work as screw terminals. Power output is 2 x 32W. Its FM and CD performance are particularly good in the lower mid-range, with deeper vocals and piano conveyed especially well. It tends to expose the limitations of compressed MP3s and DAB. I also expected the overall sound to be a stronger given the speakers’ build quality but generally it’s a desirable package. ®

Yamaha MCR-550 mini hi-fi system

Reg Rating 70%
Price £329
More info Yamaha

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