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Sony XDR-S10 review

If retro looks are your thing you'll like this Sony's styling, but we couldn't get on with its congested sound Tested at £65.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It might look intriguing, but this retro Sony has a sound that just doesn't appeal


  • +

    Wide soundstage

  • +

    retro looks


  • -

    Congested sound

  • -

    small display

  • -

    sluggish controls

The Sony looks tragically dated or thrillingly retro, depending on your taste – what's less debatable is the quality of the sound it makes.

The relatively large cabinet size allows the Sony to present a decently wide, and consequently quite spacious, soundstage – but the sound itself is nasal and congested, with ill-advisedly confident low frequencies rather trampling over the midrange.

The XDR-S10's ability to play fairly loud without losing composure is, as a result, something of a double-edged sword.

And unusually for a Sony product, the S10 is a bit hamfisted ergonomically. It needs a bigger display, a bigger ‘enter' button for retuning and a more positive action from the controls.

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What Hi-Fi?
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 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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