Sony CMTMX700NI Music System
Though when I first started hifi-reviews.com my intention was to generally review mid range consumer hifi and av gear over time its become obvious to me that a lot of our readership is actually looking at the lower priced end of the home consumer spectrum. With this in mind I unpacked our latest delivery to the lab (IE: My dining room) a freshly delivered Sony CMTMX700NI. The CMTMX700NI is marketed squarely as a basic home use Music System with the added bonus of Wi-Fi Internet Radio and so I wasn’t expecting it to be anything too amazing in terms of sonic clarity or feature set. As you’ll read I was in fact happily surprised with the CMTMX700NIs performance, with a few minor oddities.
On unpacking the Sony CMTMX700NI the first thing I noted was its surprisingly retro looks with a fairly simple front panel combining a black clear plastic upper LCD display and a brushed aluminium look lower half. Its a not unattractive unit at all though one of the CMTMX700NIs main selling points is the built in iPod dock which is hidden away in a fold down hatch on the left hand side. The iPod dock is fairly solid in feel and seems to fit snugly with the 2 devices I tried it with (an iPod nano & iPhone 3gs) though the drop down nature of the dock does mess with the look of the CMTMX700NI in my humble opinion.
Initial setup is a pretty simple affair with the internet radio facility being a simple matter of scanning for local wifi signals selecting your network and entering your wifi security details. You can similarly use the supplied rj45 port on the rear if you don’t have a wifi router available. The Sony CMTMX700NI is also DLNA compliant and so its an easy enough job to configure streaming from your PC or other DLNA compliant network devices. Setup of FM radio is similarly easy with the usual auto scan feature finding and storing all sufficiently powerful signals with ease DAB was left untouched during my testing and so Ill leave that up to others to look at.
So features and ease of use wise the CMTMX700NI is a winner, but how does it perform? Well I have to say I was positively surprise with the general sonic characteristics of the CMTMX700NI. Its actually shockingly good for such a low end and compact model. Considering the compactness and simplicity of the 2 cone speakers sullied with the unit I wasn’t expecting to be too impressed by the CMTMX700NI, but it would appear that sonys engineers have worked hard on the quality of these and as a result have managed to keep the overall sound very controlled and well moderated. The mid range is extremely flat in response and gives nice articulation to pretty much all the audio sources I tried the top end is similarly nicely controlled and lacking in nasty colouration, to my mind everything from acoustic guitar music to classic rock was well handled by the CMTMX700NI on its normal settings. Some may find the CMTMX700NI a little too bass light for certain types of bass heavy music (the CMTMX700NI might not be ideal for the Skrillex & Deadmou5 fans amongst you) but for most “small room” purposes the CMTMX700NI is an audio treat and punches way above its weight.
So are there any downsides? Being a SONY product the streaming services available are perhaps not a wide as some other manufacturers (Sony seem hell bent on pushing their subscription service right now) though the vTuner service has a lot of stations available from all around the world. As previously mentioned the CMTMX700NI is by no means a bass beast though the 50w RMS you do get is going to be fine for most users. Finally if you are the kind of person who likes to listen with headphones you will be a little disappointed as for some bizarre reason SONY neglected to fit one on the CMTMX700NI. All in all though if you are in the market for a compact hifi system suitable for a kitchen, bed or dorm room the CMTMX700NI is well worth having a look at. Its a quality product at a very decent price.
- Internet radio music services from Slacker and vTuner
- Stream songs stored on your computer, wirelessly
- Compatible with iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch® 1st & 2nd generations, iPod nano® 1st-5th generation, iPod classic®, iPod® 4th & 5th generation, iPod mini®.
- Single Disc CD Player; CD, CD-R/RW, and MP3 Playback
- 50 Watts (@6ohms) per channel with 2-way Bass reflex speaker system
- RRP: $299.99 (Check Amazon For Current Pricing)