Sony CMT-G1BiP review

Capable and fun to listen to, but not the best Tested at £400

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A different flavour to our favourites, the Sony is still capable and fun to listen to


  • +

    Solid build for the money

  • +

    full-bodied, dynamic and authoritative delivery


  • -

    Lacks the transparency of the best

  • -

    CD mechanism noisy

  • -

    no choice of speakers

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Sony still produces many micro systems, but this one’s a bit special. Most are lifestyle products that try to balance affordability and desirability; the CMT-G1BiP has been designed with sound quality as the priority.

It will play more than just CDs: there’s a DAB, FM and AM tuner and a USB input with support for Apple devices.

Start with a CD and it’s an enjoyable listen, with the body and weight to bring the bass of Flobots’ political hip-hop to the fore, and enough punch and clarity in
the vocal to make every rap ring true.

There’s only a minor quality loss with a switch to uncompressed iPod files. And the Sony majors on fluidity and scale rather than transparency, so it won’t overly expose lower bit-rate rips and downloads.

Lacks pace and attack
The problem is that next to Denon’s D-M38DAB, the Sony sounds a touch ponderous, lacking that extra degree of pace and attack.

An experiment with a pair of Dali Zensor 1s proves that that is at least partly a fault of the speakers, but even were it available as a solo unit – which it’s not – the G1BiP would still fall a little behind.

If you do prefer the muscular but easy-going Sony, though, don’t back the speakers against a wall, as they will boom. Bear that in mind and you’re in for a fun audio jaunt.

See all our micro system Best Buys

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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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