We’ll admit to a mild double-take when we first lifted TEAC’s SR-80iDAB out of its packaging.
Compact, curvy and finished in a nice combination of shiny silver and What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision red (other, less auspicious finishes are available), this is a desktop dock/radio combo that looks a fair bit more expensive than it is.
Build and finish are first-class, specification is on the money and even the hopeless remote control – shaped to feel uncertain in your hand and with the volume control in the least convenient area – can’t detract from the overall impression of quality.
Ideal for kitchen or bedroom
Given a lengthy running in (it was a good three days before our SR-80iDAB partially sheathed its high-frequency claws) the TEAC offers an open, punchy sound and the sort of scale that should fill a reasonably sized kitchen or bedroom with ease.
A lossless file of Micah P Hinson’s Tell Me It Ain’t So motors along confidently, with good low-end weight and plenty of detail and texture in the midrange.
Separation and integration are good for a product of this type, and the spaciousness of the presentation belies the size of the device itself.
Uncouth treble jars
And happily, the radio tuners are accomplished enough to make the qualitative differences between DAB broadcasts and a decent FM signal obvious.
The TEAC’s only significant shortcoming is the way it handles treble. From new, it sounds thin and abrasive, a trait that’s only slightly tempered by an extensive running-in.
Splashy and over-confident where the rest of the frequency range is robust and balanced, high-frequencies stick out shamelessly, scuppering any chances of a fifth star and making the TEAC sound much more like £150-worth than it looks.
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