Panasonic SC-HC30DB

Tested at £185

This all-in-one has funky enough styling, but the basics need more attention


I bought the previous version of this model about 2 yrs ago, mainly for its compact size (to fit on the top of a low bookcase) and stylish looks. The sound quality is pretty decent for the price and there is a button on the remote that allows you to 'restore' compressed MP3 sound from an iPod, by expanding the frequency range, and I leave that switched on permanently. I have had a couple of problems with the unit: FM reception is very poor, and although DAB is good on most stations once you have bought and connected a small powered antenna, Classic FM is not stable and often warbles. Secondly, as soon as you insert an iPod, a hum starts up inside the unit, which a workshop investigated under guarantee and found the origin in the presence of two (unnecessary) fans inside which cannot be disabled. Very strange. Finally, it has recently developed the habit of automatically closing the CD door about 4 seconds after you've opened it, which gives you hardly any time to mount a CD on the vertical spindle. 


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