The Sony looks tragically dated or thrillingly retro, depending on your taste – what's less debatable is the quality of the sound it makes.
The relatively large cabinet size allows the Sony to present a decently wide, and consequently quite spacious, soundstage – but the sound itself is nasal and congested, with ill-advisedly confident low frequencies rather trampling over the midrange.
The XDR-S10's ability to play fairly loud without losing composure is, as a result, something of a double-edged sword.
And unusually for a Sony product, the S10 is a bit hamfisted ergonomically. It needs a bigger display, a bigger ‘enter' button for retuning and a more positive action from the controls.
More after the break