Geneva Sound Model XS review

Retro style meets modern technology in this compact Bluetooth speaker Tested at £180

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A must-consider if you like decent sound as well as a dash of style on your travels


  • +

    Great design

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    a cinch to set up and use

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    brilliant sound for its size

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    solid-sounding FM tuner

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    It’s a little on the pricey side

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Not so long ago, travelling had a certain comforting style. Faux-leather suitcases, Pan-Am tickets, being able to smoke on the plane as you drank your scotch from a real glass…

These days, of course, the booze comes with a plastic cup and a scowl – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still keep a touch of that retro chic with you when you ship out, courtesy of the Geneva Sound Model XS.

FM radio and Bluetooth
This FM-radio and Bluetooth-enabled speaker’s case doubles as its stand, like one of those old travel clocks, and certainly looks the part thanks to its robust (textured, naturally) plastic construction.

On the top is a row of touch-sensitive buttons for power, source select, volume, tuning and alarm/clock functions, while round the back are power and 3.5mm inputs.

The old-style LED display is clear (a bonus when you awaken, bleary-eyed in a hotel), and the hidden aerial slides out from the side.

Surprisingly musical sound
All very well put together, then – and high-tech with it. But does the nostalgic design carry through to the kind of sound we’d all rather forget from days of yore?

Thankfully not. While it’s a given that the XS won’t deliver towering slabs of bass, you do get a proportionately weighty performance.

Read more news and reviews on Geneva Sound docks

But the real star here is the sheer musicality on offer. Clear-sounding and with the kind of rounded character that lets you listen all day, the dock doesn’t flinch from complex recordings – or equally testing sparse solo voices.

Handles internet radio too
Its Bluetooth performance is extremely capable (though wired sounds better), and the FM tuner keeps a steady grip on signals, again letting voices, spoken or sung, chime through without ever grating – even when the volume is maxed out.

In terms of entertainment, the XS even outshines some dedicated docks.

If you’re a globetrotter who craves entertainment on the go (and don’t forget that this can include internet radio from your mobile device), or even just want a swish clock-radio, the XS chould be just the ticket.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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