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Dock 'n' roll

Sony's lightweight hi-fi system packs an impressive sonic punch

Sony's CMT-V50iP is a versatile micro hi-fi system that will dock your iPad, iPhone or iPod and deliver pleasing sound quality.

The V50ip also serves as a CD player, FM stereo tuner and an MP3 player, playing MP3 files stored on a USB flash drive.

The docking system comes in a sleek and compact design available in either black or white. The white model we tested looked very elegant. The V50iP measures 449 by 212 by 137mm and weighs only 2.8 grams. Apart from sitting elegantly in your living room, its compact size and light weight allows you to move it around. However, it lacks battery power so needs an AC outlet.

The V50iP's dock for iPods, iPhones and iPads slides into position in front of the speaker. A simple but elegant illuminated power display is tucked under the dock.

The CD slot and USB port are located just above, along with play-control and volume-control touch-sensitive buttons. It has a port for connecting an FM and AM antenna at the back, plus a 3.5mm stereo input for an MP3 player, and a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack.

Also on the top is a one-line LCD display, showing play time, track number and MP3 title.

The V50iP boasts impressive volume and quality for a docking system. The S-Master digital amplifier with two channels of 20 watts for a total 40W output was powerful enough to fill my large living room with sound. When I moved the system to my small bedroom, it sounded even more impressive.

The system produced good-quality clear sounds with powerful bass from two full-range speakers with passive radiators.

It has a good pre-amplifier section, with a bass boost function that injected more "rock" into rock 'n' roll. The six equaliser settings - Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classic, Vocal, and Hip Hop - add extra spice to the sound quality. Music purists, meanwhile, may prefer the "uncooked" sound of the Flat equaliser setting.

During the test, I made full use of the Vocal setting's ability to add flavour to the sweet voices of female singers. I also enjoyed the edge that "Rock" with the Bass Boost gave to hard-rock tracks.

The remote control included in the package gives you power over your docked iPod or iPhone. Your docked iPhone will show the now-playing screen with album and track title. To select another, you press "next track" or "previous track".

When I docked my iPad, its screen would not show information on the now-playing screen. Instead, I used the iPad's music-library screen and selected songs from the library list via the remote.

Working as a CD system, the V50iP supports MP3 CD and will display file names or track names, as well as artist and album titles. However, it does not support Thai-language fonts.

The V50iP also has timer that enables you to set a switch-off time. The fun part is that you can then use the timer to wake you up with music from a CD, FM tuner, iPod/iPhone/iPad or a USB drive.

The Sony CMT-V50iP is in shops for Bt6,990.



Key specs:

_ Continuous RMS power output (reference): 20 watts + 20 watts (8 ohms at 1 kHz, 10% THD)

_ Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

_ Signal-to-noise ratio: More than 90 dB

_ Dynamic range: More than 90 dB

_ Compatible iPod/iPhone/iPad models: iPod touch 4th generation, iPod touch 3rd gen, iPod touch 2nd gen, iPod nano 6th gen, iPod nano 5th gen, iPod nano 4th gen, iPod nano 3rd gen, iPod classic 160 GB (2009), iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPad2, iPad

_ Tuner Preset Channel: FM: 20; AM:10

_ Tuning Range: FM: 87.5-108.0 MHz [STEP 100K]; AM 530-1710KHz/10KHz

_ Full-range speaker: 65mm, cone type 8 ohms rated impedance

_ Passive radiator: 67mm-108mm

_ Power consumption: 32 watts

_ Dimensions (W/H/D): 449mm by 212mm by 137 (95) mm

_ Weight: 2.8 kg

_ Power requirements: AC adapter: Input: 100V-240V AC, 50/60 Hz


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