Denon's D-M38DAB has dominated the micro system market over the past few years, picking up quite a few Awards along the way.
First impressions of the Panasonic SC-PMX5 are favourable. Panasonic has redesigned the main unit, arranging the buttons, disc tray and large display screen into a more compact structure.
It’s not too flashy, but the simple aluminium finish looks good. The speakers are unchanged.
The cabinets are petite and light, with a reflex port at the back. They house a 14cm mid/bass driver, a 20mm soft-dome tweeter, and a 15mm super-tweeter.
More after the break
Panasonic SC-PMX5: new iPod dockThe integrated iPod dock that sits atop the main unit is new, though. It’s a welcome addition alongside the CD and radio options, and you can also connect other smartphones and MP3 players via the USB port.
The iPod option is nice and easy to use: you can flick between playlists and menus on the iPod with just one button on the standard remote.
You might have to remember the order of songs, though, as it’s tricky to read the screen from a distance when you’re scrolling through a playlist.
Panasonic SC-PMX5: Sound qualitryThe Panasonic SC-PMX5 is capable of filling a small room, but things get unwieldy at higher volumes.
The SC-PMX5 sounds strained as it works hard to marshall different parts. Regardless of volume, though, its main issue is an overly bright and sharp sound.
More importantly, it feels as if there’s a weight hanging off even the most upbeat songs.
The ability to start and stop with precision is essential for a big swing number like Mr Pinstripe Suit by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, but the Panasonic SC-PMX5 just isn’t as agile next to similarly priced rivals.
There’s a lack of energy here, which it doesn’t make it the most engaging listen.
Despite the issues with the treble, though, vocals sound clear and detailed. Kept at a neighbour-friendly volume, it’s pleasant enough to listen to.
Panasonic SC-PMX5: VerdictThe SC-PMX5 started off on the right foot, but its bright treble lets it down.
It has its perks with the iPod dock, but if you’re looking for outright fun, you won’t have to look far for rivals that do it better.