The Yamaha mixes form and function well, but we can’t help but hanker after a bit more control
Well specified and designed
surprisingly hefty sound
Overconfident low frequencies can dominate proceedings
If you want a bedside system to lull you off or wake you up, a Denon D-M37DAB (or similar) with its separate speakers isn't the most convenient solution.
Something like this Yamaha TSX-130, with its long, flat top almost inviting you to leave your glasses/wristwatch/false teeth on it overnight, is much more the thing.
And in spec-terms, the TSX-130 includes most of what folk might reasonably demand from what is, fundamentally, a clock/radio with pretensions.
DAB and FM radio are on board, as are a CD player, a ‘works with iPhone' iPod dock, a USB port, remote control and a whole raft of alarm and snooze functions for the Rip van Winkles among us.
Playing either a CD or uncompressed iPod-borne file of The Dead Weather's I Cut Like a Buffalo, the 130 initially sounds gratifyingly rich and full-bodied.
More after the break
Plenty of punch and scaleWith the five-position EQ set to ‘normal', which is where it's happiest, there's punch and scale beyond what a plastic breezeblock equipped with two 8cm drivers ought reasonably be capable of.
The top of the frequency range is well judged, with none of the clamour fashionable among less capable desktop systems.
But, and this is equally apparent with any source, that low-frequency generosity is to the detriment of the midrange, where voices can be cowed by the kerfuffle going on below.
There's a slight lack of dynamic ability too, as the bass follows its own agenda.
The convenience of the Yamaha TSX-130 can't be denied, though, and its flaws are far from fatal. Consider it a strong contender.