What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 24 Sep 2008, 9:00am

JVC NX-F7

Tested at £550
60100
3

The JVC performs well for a 2.1 system, but to justify its price tag we expect greater all-round ability

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For

  • Relatively smooth, inoffensive sound

Against

  • A touch pricey
  • image quality could be clearer
  • subwoofer occasionally loses control

A common problem that crops up when reviewing one-box systems relates to sound quality. The poorer systems tend to have a tinny, brash sound that can be uncomfortable to listen to.

Not so the JVC NX-F7. To help boost speaker performance, this system incorporates wooden speaker cones. JVC claims that using wood creates a more natural, realistic sound. Well, the NX-F7 is certainly an easy listen. There's decent warmth to dialogue and you never find yourself wincing thanks to the smooth treble.

However, the accompanying subwoofer is an erratic fellow with a tendency to lose its composure; during the heated fisticuffs of Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem, it gets in a flap all too easily.

As you'd expect from a system such as this, CD playback doesn't come close to a dedicated set-up. However, enable the JVC's K2 sound processing technology (designed to boost the quality of compressed recordings) and you get more depth. This, combined with the wood-cone speakers, means the sound quality isn't at all bad for a system of this type.

Motion is handled smoothly
The JVC's DVD receiver can upscale standard DVDs to 1080p over HDMI and picture quality is decent. Motion is quite smooth, while the system picks up a fair amount of detail.

The action of Aliens Versus Predator throws up the odd jagged edge, but nothing too disturbing. What we would like is more detail in darker scenes – the JVC can't muster the detail of the best systems, some of which are cheaper.

If the NX-F7 were half the price, we'd heartily recommend it. As it is, to get a real thumbs-up, this system would need far better performance to justify the cost.

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