Sony MHC-V44D home audio system: The one-piece party machine
The whole idea is that it’s sort of portable — not because it’s light (it isn’t) — but because it’s a one piece unit and has a set of grab handles on the side.
Price: Rs 29,990
Tower speakers normally come in pairs — not so with Sony’s latest home audio system. It looks like a tower speaker but it’s a complete audio and video system in one — something that will play your music CDs, DVD movies, MP3 CDs, FM stations, files from a USB drive and finally music over an aux cable or over Bluetooth.
On top of that it has many built in effects to satisfy the budding DJ — things like a large spin pad, flanger, isolator and a Karaoke function with two microphone inputs.
Having an AUX input means that you can hook it up to almost any source — like to your TV, DVD player, portable music player (if it doesn’t have Bluetooth), set top box or game console. Looking at the design, it’s clear that there are two parts to it — a lower section with speakers and the top section that houses the electronics (including the controls, DVD/CD player, amplifier and so on).
The lower section is an MDF enclosure with 3-way speakers. There is an 8-inch woofer, dual 3-inch mid unit and dual 1.5-inch tweeters. Most of the inputs/outputs are behind the device, on the top section.
A few neat features you won’t find in the specs: the slot on top of the unit neatly props up a pair of phones or a tablet (while you play music from them). One can be connected wired while the other connects via Bluetooth. If you’re not plugging in a USB drive, you can use the USB port to charge one of the phones. Finally, it also has a ‘record to USB’ function — converting an audio CD into digital tracks stored on USB.
The lighting effects can be either cool or cheesy, depending on how you look at it. When switched on, a pair of LEDs aimed at the woofer cycle through different colours. Another pair of LEDs behind the unit flash different colours to create zany patterns on the wall.
The light effect is not configurable (rate of flash, colour) but you can switch it off completely if you don’t want it.
Coming to sound quality — this is not an audiophile grade system and it doesn’t pretend to be. It tends to have sharper sound that muddles up a bit when pushed hard. The Rs 30k Bose SoundTouch 20 will offer better audio quality and is more portable. A Rs 40k Marshall Woburn offers way better quality of sound and a more classy, retro design. But they don’t have the kind of features this Sony has.
The whole idea is that it’s sort of portable — not because it’s light (it isn’t) — but because it’s a one piece unit and has a set of grab handles on the side. It could be ideal for high school kid, who would like to play music in his/her room, hook it up to a TV, play music from phones/tablets and drag it out to the living room or a hall if there’s a party.
It’s not the best quality sound you can get for the price but it does get loud enough for a 50 person party.
Specifications: 660 Watt output power, 3-way, 5-speaker design (one bass, two mids, two tweeters), built in DVD/CD player, OLED display, USB playback, AUX input, Bluetooth, NFC, Karaoke system, dual MIC input, HDMI out, 14 kg
Pros: One system for many uses, singlepiece convenient design, DJ-like controls (flanger, isolator), smartphone controls (using app), LED illumination, built in DVD/CD player
Cons: Not the best quality sound for the price