Sony CMT-HX90BTR review

The Sony CMT-HX90BTR may look pretty but it just doesn't cut it sonically Tested at £240.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This pretty Sony’s looks flatter to deceive – it just doesn’t cut it sonically


  • +

    Deep bass and well behaved treble

  • +

    good looks and techy features

  • +

    reasonable DAB tuner


  • -

    Flat, cluttered and detail-lacking delivery

  • -

    feels cheap

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Except for the Gigajuke range of systems, this is currently Sony's most expensive micro. At £240 it's still very affordable, especially considering it's got trendy features like Bluetooth.

It's a good-looking system, but as soon as you touch it, the cheap materials reveal its budget credentials.

Of course, when you're buying a micro with speakers, an iPod dock, USB connection, DAB tuner, and the aforementioned Bluetooth at such a reasonable price, how it feels may be way down your list of priorities.

What you should care about, though, is how it sounds; and here the Sony lets itself down.

Play Bat for Lashes' Daniel and the sound produced is terribly flat. The richness and variation in the track is lost, the Sony struggling to find the detail and dynamics of the recording.

A messy cacophany of sound
The system gets confused by the bigger sections of the song, producing a messy cacophony of noise.

The speakers are largely to blame, but as is generally the case with Sony, changing them is made pointlessly difficult by the proprietary connections.

On the plus side there's decent bass weight, the treble avoids harshness, and the DAB and FM tuners are reasonably clear.

And Bluetooth? Well it's always sounded pretty ropey in the past, and here it's no different so that's not a reason to buy it, either.

If you're in the market for a micro, do yourself a favour and save an extra £90 and get the brilliant Denon D-M37DAB.

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.

Read more about how we test