Yamaha M-430 review

This Yamaha system doesn't quite scale the sonic heights of rivals, but find it at a knockdown price and it's a tempting proposition Tested at £350.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This Yamaha system doesn't quite scale the sonic heights of rivals, but find it at a knockdown price and it's a tempting proposition


  • +

    Integrated, fully functional iPod dock

  • +

    smart design

  • +

    smooth midrange

  • +

    big sound.


  • -

    Lacks detail and cohesion of best systems

  • -

    bass a little flabby

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It's been a while since we've seen a micro system from Yamaha, so it's perhaps no surprise to see the company storm back on to the scene with a product that's packed with features and boasts a competitive price tag – in fact, this M-430 will be on sale for a special price of £300 for a limited time after launch (we'll stick with the £350 price tag for the long-term).

As a micro system, the M-430 is in a product category that more than most has quickly demanded a host of extra functionality as standard. So while you can of course play your favourite CDs, you can also listen to DAB radio, as well as FM/AM, and take advantage of the integrated iPod dock.

This dock is a real eye-catcher. Sat atop the main unit it gives you full iPod functionality – charging your iPod and allowing you fully to browse the iPod's menus on the Yamaha's display using the remote control.

Strangely, the remote is in two colours – white and silver – which sits slightly at odds with the black design of the micro system. The rest of the system, including the gloss black speakers, is neatly finished, complete with an aluminium front panel.

The system claims 25W of power per channel, can play back MP3 and WMA CDs and has a headphon e output on the front. Round the back you'll find a phono output and an input, plus subwoofer and digital optical outputs.

Silky sounds in the midrange
Listening to Cat Stevens' Wild World, the Yamaha system has a pleasant way with voices, the midrange delivering a smooth, warm sound. We'd like a little more detail on display, and it doesn't quite have the rhythm and swagger of the best micros we've heard, but it remains a pleasant, balanced listen.

We switch to Kanye West's Heartless, and it's clear the system has plenty about it, too, with a decent amount of bass, albeit a touch on the flabby side and lacking absolute articulacy, helping to deliver a sound with scale and substance.

Flick to the system's solid, reliable tuners and its warm texture makes for detailed, authoritative dialogue, though music is still a little flabby.

All told this is a decent stab from Yamaha, and if you're after an iPod dock and find this system at £300, we'd do nothing to dissuade you, but on pure sonic terms the Denon D-M37DAB remains a step ahead.

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