Panasonic SC-HC55DB review

Comprehensive spec sheet and impressive sound, though lacks a little oomph Tested at £240

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

You can’t argue with the spec sheet and we’re suitably impressed with the sound


  • +

    Form and function

  • +

    wireless Bluetooth

  • +

    decent sound

  • +

    clever controls


  • -

    Lacks a little oomph and refinement, especially with deep bass notes

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The ‘compact stereo system’, for that is how Panasonic refers to the SC-HC55DB, has come a long way.

Ambling in to view blessed merely with the tools to play a CD, receive FM radio or dock an iPod, just doesn’t cut it any more. So this system packs in a CD player, an iPhone/iPod dock, FM and DAB tuners, Bluetooth support, USB and auxiliary inputs, and even a headphone connection. Not bad for £240.

If you remember being left agog by a Bang & Olufsen system that could be opened with a Jedi-like motion of the hand, you’ll be pleased to hear the two sliding doors – covering the dock and CD transport – can be opened and closed in similar fashion.

CDs are pushed in to place, while the iPod dock leans forward to welcome your iPod before being nudged back in to a ‘locked’ playback position.

Full control with the remote
An arguably unnecessarily chunky remote control affords you full control from selecting your source of choice to skipping tracks and adjusting the volume. A selection of EQ settings are programmed in – we favoured ‘clear’ or ‘flat’.

We’re pleasantly surprised by the sound. There’s decent scale, it will go pretty loud without setting your teeth on edge, and vocals have weight and authority.

It’s a bit lacking in the bass department, the depth offered by Drake’s Over barely registering, but that’s no surprise for a device this size.

If you’re after an all-in-one for not-a-lot of cash, this is a decent solution.

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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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