CD Micro System
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Nowadays in-home entertainment has a strong bias towards the iPod in its various guises. Memorex is not one to buck the trend. Forming part of the Memorex latest portfolio of products providing iPod support is the CD Micro System.
Consisting of a single unit combining CD, radio, timer and iPod features, the CD Micro System is almost ovoid in shape, with both ends flattened out, and has dimensions of 340 x 222 x 152mm (W x D x H). Following the Henry Ford school of thought, you can have any colour you like as long as it is black. In this case you do get a black lacquered effect that should ensure regular cleaning is carried out to remove the collection of fingerprints that can easily take up residence. Even if you tend to use the supplied remote control for activating the various features, some handling of the unit will be required when placing the iPod in its cradle and changing CDs.
Taking a central position on the top of the unit is the CD player element. Opening the CD player does require that you apply some pressure to its lid. I was a little surprised by the amount of pressure needed to open the lid. Closing the lid required less pressure. To the right of the CD player is a control pad made up of play, tune and volume adjustment features. Placed on the left side are buttons for more general management features such as switching between modes (CD, iPod, Radio and Aux), timer issues and programming memory. These top-mounted controls are duplicated on the remote control unit.
As well as standard commercial CDs, this player can also handle MP3 tracks burned to home produced media. The MP3 tracks can be stored in folders and the player will still be able to access them whether they were burned in a single or multi-session operation. When the unit is set to play CDs you have access to various features not found in the other mode. You can opt for tracks to be played randomly; in a user-defined order with the ability to include up to 64 tracks; and use an Intro feature whereby just the first 10 seconds of each track is played.
Positioned between the wire mesh fronted left and right speakers with an integrated subwoofer, is the iPod docking station. A Universal Dock is supplied but I still found that it was rather fiddly to mount my iPod Classic. You can control the iPod from the top mounted buttons, remote control or its own controls. While the iPod is docked and the CD Micro System is turned on, it will be recharged. Among the supported iPod types are the Touch, Classic, Nano, Mini and Video.
As mentioned earlier, this unit also has a Radio mode covering AM (520-1710 KHz) and FM (87.5-108MHz) channels. There is an option for the unit to scan the airways to locate stations. A wired antenna is provided to help get the best reception and this works reasonable well. You can set up 30 presets for FM and 10 presets for AM stations.
Various basic programming options are available with the CD Micro System. Using the Timer feature you can set a time when the unit will kick into life and when it will shut down. As well as the timings, you can specific the audio source and set the volume level. An adjustable sleep feature is available that, by default is set at 90 minutes but can be decreased in 10 minute increments.
Located just below the iPod docking station is an LCD display panel. This will provide feedback when setting up various features. When is use, this panel will display the current mode and show the time when the unit is turned off.
The CD Micro System’s speakers deliver 5W x 2 +15W (subwoofer) of audio output. The audio quality is generally crisp and there are options to adjust treble and bass. Sockets on the back of the unit allow you to connect a headphones and an MP3 player but you will need to provide a suitable lead. Currently the only pricing information I have is $99.99 for an online purchase.
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