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TEAC DR-H300DAB review

Unlike most micro systems we encounter, this TEAC is DVD-ready, but even with video piped via its HDMI it lacks something in picture quality terms Tested at £330.00

Our Verdict

Very decent for sound and vision, without being spectacular at either

For

  • Involving, weighty and detailed sound with CDs and radio
  • comprehensive specification

Against

  • Picture is a little on the bland side

When you compare this system's name with its TEAC micro system siblings, you might notice it has a DR in its name, not the usual CR. What this signifies is that this system is DVD-capable.

Don't start thinking this is a consummate home-cinema solution in a 22cm-wide box; rather, it's a good stereo micro system that also plays DVDs – indeed, with video upscaling to 720p/1080i. On pure home cinema performance terms it loses out to a combination such as Toshiba's £80 SD-360E DVD player and the £250 Denon AVR-1507 receiver, but the TEAC still crams lots into its little frame.

It includes a DAB/FM tuner, 36w per channel amplifier, DVD/CD drive, 3.5mm line-in and USB sockets. Video outputs range from composite video to HDMI, and a line-level input, optical/coaxial digital outs and subwoofer preout complete the story.

No start-up pains
The system is pleasingly simple to set up and use – just add loudspeakers and ignore the hopeless sound-processing options. First impressions with DVD aren't great: you're greeted by an overwhelming picture, featuring lurid colours and scant shadow detail. A little tuning improves things a bit, though the overall impression still lacks balance.

With music, however, the system shines. Sound quality is impressive, whether from the CD player or the tuner. We listened to a range of music and speech via Tannoy's excellent £110 Mercury F1 Custom speakers, and enjoyed the smooth, involving sound that's easy to live with.

No, this system isn't going to fill a large room with sufficient volume to rattle the neighbours' windows, or pump out rock concert levels of bass, but it will work a treat in smaller rooms. And the dual tuners mean you can switch to FM broadcasts if the DAB signal in your area proves less than reliable.

Broad specification
Overall, we reckon the TEAC does enough when playing music to render its merely adequate video performance forgivable. Add to that its impressive specification - especially that handy USB socket on the fascia and a 3.5mm line-in for hooking up an MP3 player - and you have a highly competitive package.

If you want a stylish micro that also happens to play video passably, give it a whirl. Just make sure you choose your partnering speakers carefully.

What Hi-Fi?

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