Yamaha TSX-130 review

The clock radio grows up in the form of Yamaha's new Desktop Audio system Tested at £350.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Yamaha mixes form and function well, but we can’t help but hanker after a bit more control


  • +

    Well specified and designed

  • +

    surprisingly hefty sound


  • -

    Overconfident low frequencies can dominate proceedings

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.

If you want a bedside system to lull you off or wake you up, a Denon D-M37DAB (or similar) with its separate speakers isn't the most convenient solution.

Something like this Yamaha TSX-130, with its long, flat top almost inviting you to leave your glasses/wristwatch/false teeth on it overnight, is much more the thing.

And in spec-terms, the TSX-130 includes most of what folk might reasonably demand from what is, fundamentally, a clock/radio with pretensions.

DAB and FM radio are on board, as are a CD player, a ‘works with iPhone' iPod dock, a USB port, remote control and a whole raft of alarm and snooze functions for the Rip van Winkles among us.

Playing either a CD or uncompressed iPod-borne file of The Dead Weather's I Cut Like a Buffalo, the 130 initially sounds gratifyingly rich and full-bodied.

Plenty of punch and scale
With the five-position EQ set to ‘normal', which is where it's happiest, there's punch and scale beyond what a plastic breezeblock equipped with two 8cm drivers ought reasonably be capable of.

The top of the frequency range is well judged, with none of the clamour fashionable among less capable desktop systems.

But, and this is equally apparent with any source, that low-frequency generosity is to the detriment of the midrange, where voices can be cowed by the kerfuffle going on below.

There's a slight lack of dynamic ability too, as the bass follows its own agenda.

The convenience of the Yamaha TSX-130 can't be denied, though, and its flaws are far from fatal. Consider it a strong contender.

See all our five-star micro and style system reviews

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