Sony still impresses
My wife and I are really pleased with this Sony system it has clean lines that matches our decor and blends well with the other components. You really don't have to spend a lot to get a good sounding system that's packed with great features. Being able to play our ipod and our old cd's is great too.
Overall sound is good the bass is clean and full bodied considering the size of the speakers and the over sized tweeters are clear and crisp.
The two cons I have aren't serious but raise my eyebrow one is that the receiver is large to be considered a shelf unit and the second is the short speaker wires which is ok for setting up the system in a shelf. If you want to add wire you'll have to splice the wires because they are fixed to the speaker cabinet and Sony has their own plug at the other end.
May 7, 2013
Not worth the money!
This is the second time I have had issues with Sony audio equipment shortly after it was purchased this year. I have bought a great many Sony products over the years and the name used to be synonymous with solid products, but the last few things I have bought have left me questioning whether I will ever purchase Sony again.
Right out of the box, this system worked well. It was a Christmas gift, purchased for the kitchen and it was perfect for that area. We listened to it one evening and then went on vacation. When we returned a week later and turned it on, the sound was no longer operable.
It is now going back to Sony for warranty work. If I had the original box, I would return it and purchase something else from a different manufacturer. This is the second shipment we have made to Sony this year, having to send in a Home Theater unit that inexplicably quit working as well. It costs about $20 package and send in a piece of equipment, a cost that is not reimbursed by Sony. That's an additional 20% over the cost of this unit, just to have it fixed.
It seems that the Sony name just isn't the guarantee of craftsmanship and reliability that it used to be. I will have to consider long and hard before I purchase another Sony audio item.
January 8, 2013
Excellent job Sony..
Pink Floyd is an excellent test for this unit. Plows through scratched cd's.. I forgot my charger plug for my dead i-phone at work... And then it dawned on me, "this will charge my i-phone so I can test it" And so it did. The sound is excellent. Initially, I was dissapointed, it does not have your typical slew of connections on the back to hook-up various devices. In fact, there's none. But it's not needed with this system . It has a very sensitive mini mic jack in the front if you want to tie something in. The speakers, and the system itself are very light weight, which did cause a little uncertainty.. But after listening, "this is a near-perfect sounding audio device" just the way it is..Very-well thought through features. Not a heavy metal player...However, this is a clean, lean, hi-fidelity machine. A great job to Sony's design and engineering team!
September 2, 2012
Decent hi-fi on a budget
I'm an audiophile, of the high-end variety. My main setup includes the like of Musical Fidelity, Krell, Herron Audio, and so on. I have very high standards when it comes to musical performance, but this does not preclude budget conscious units. Indeed, there are more than a few "giant killers" out there that can be had for little more than the cost of a decent diner at a nice restaurant. The Sony CMT-MX500i is one of those units.
The notion of a "shelf" system or all-in-one unit repulses many audiophiles, but, darn it, it's pretty convenient sometimes. If it sounds, good, all the better. The Sony combines in a single chassis an iPod dock, CD player, line-level/AUX input, FM Stereo tuner, pre and power amp, and, if you're in Europe, a USB input and DAB tuner as well.
The power amp is a Class D or switching power amp rated for 30-watts per channel (at a stupidly high 10% THD+N), but is likely good for at least 20 "real" watts per channel, RMS. Being Class D, the amplifier is very efficient meaning it can get all the power it needs from a modest 35-watt SMPS (switch-mode power supply). Incidentally, Sony was one of the first mass-market electronics companies to embrace the use of switching power supplies and digital amps starting in the 1970's- they have the experience to make it work right.
The supplied speakers are a simple two-way affair with a 4-inch woofer and 1.5-inch cone tweeter in a ported enclosure; pretty standard stuff, but it works quite well. Indeed, the performance of the speakers is much better than one would think from something so humble.
The system as a whole provides much better performance than the modest build quality and specs would indicate. Indeed, while it's laughable that it could compete with even a mediocre "real" hi-fi setup of even a few hundred dollars, you would be very hard pressed indeed to get better performance for for the $150 you will pay from any new system, and such a system would be hard-pressed to deliver all the options the CMT-MX500i brings to the table.
The iPod integration is perhaps the best I've encountered, with the remote and front panel controls providing access to all essential iPod playback options, well beyond the standard play/pause, track skip, or repeat/shuffle modes, allowing you to select play lists, navigate menus, and so on. Well done!
There are a couple of things I do find wanting, however. First, the clock seems to have been included as an afterthought; It's only available if the unit is turned on, or for a brief time by pushing a button on the remote- a feature to display the time, perhaps with a dimmed display while in standby mode would have been welcome. This is particularly idiosyncratic, given that the unit will happily display the "Demo Mode" all day.... Additionally, a headphone jack would have been a welcome addition.
Finally, don't loose or break the remote- certain features (tuner presetting, the clock display, sleep timer, etc), are available only by remote.
April 30, 2011