Magicbox Parabola review

The Magicbox Parabola offers something different in terms of design Tested at £40.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It may look a bit different from the norm, but suffers from a bright, thin sound


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    Unusual design

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    Bright, thin sound

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    weak FM tuner

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Ah the Meridian F80, £1500 worth of micro system… wait a minute, £40?! Yes, the Magicbox Parabola bears a striking resemblance to Meridian's famous system, though this radio is yours for a fraction of the price.

Unsurprisingly, the build isn't in the same class as the F80, the whole thing being rather flimsy on its feet, and the buttons being a little unresponsive at times.

Still, the display is clear and you'll find DAB and FM radio, a headphone socket, and a choice of mains or battery power.

We have fairly low expectations for such an affordable radio, but it's still hard not to make something of a face at the bright, thin sound that emanates from the Parabola.

Weak signal reception
Listening to BBC Radio 1Xtra there's little sign of much bass weight, punch or power, while Absolute shows pop and rock sounds thin and struggles with clarity and overall detail.

The FM tuner isn't particularly strong, so should you be in a weak signal area you might not uncover your full complement of stations.

It does offer something different in terms of design if you're on a tight budget, but sonically it's no great shakes and far from ‘balanced' as the name might suggest.

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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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