Too much choice, people, I need some help.
Last Christmas, DsMam & I committed the sin most present-givers hate most: we asked for money in lieu of anything our friends and family would otherwise have given us. It could have backfired horribly, but our explanation ahead of the game – namely that we wanted to treat ourselves to a decent telly before the old one packed up on us, and didn’t have the disposable income to do it ourselves – seemed to head off any grumbles, and we ended up with a nice fund with which to attack the January sales.
Well, guess what? We’re pushing our luck and trying to pull off the same trick twice. For various reasons we simply don’t have a music system of any sort on the ‘ground’ floor of our home, and we intend to remedy that. But there are some limiting factors and parameters:
(i) Space. Whatever we buy is going to have to be SERIOUSLY compact, both for the player and speakers.
(ii) Finance. Whilst we can’t be certain, it is highly unlikely the budget will break the £500 barrier.
(iii) Accessibility. The unit is going in the dining room, and must be controllable without leaving the table.
(iv) Capacity. There is no storage space for piles of CDs in that room, so digital storage is vital.
(v) Functionality. Our music is in just about every format you can think of, and I want DAB radio for my sports commentaries.
(vi) Quality. Old-fashioned CD ghetto blasters don’t cut it; too indistinct at low volume, too rough at high volume.
(vii) Programmability. The ability to create child- or visitor-friendly playlists is essential, as is the ability to find any given song on demand.
My research to-date has narrowed the likely candidates to the following shortlist -
Cocktail Audio X10 (1TB HDD);
Roberts MP53 Sound 53;
or, the wildcard,
iPod 160GB Classic and Bose Sounddock speaker.
Things like PURE’s Avanti Flow, which stream wirelessly from the audio files on the house PC, are NOT being considered. The computer would have to be on to make those work, and isn’t on the same floor as the dining room. Besides, there are WAY too many songs in my iTunes that would not be suitable for the family teatable.
Normally, I’m an open-minded but eventually decisive consumer, but I have to admit that the reviews of all the above are making my head spin. There is no clear leader, pros and cons to all of the options, and no-one we know has any of these systems themselves from which to glean dependable feedback. So, my friends, help us out here. Any views, pointers, opinions or even further things to consider we may have missed, will be gratefully received.
Over to you … I’m off to bed, but will check in as much as possible over the next couple of days.