Sony DAB/FM/CD Portable XDR-S100CD 

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I have reviewed many DAB/FM units and a few DAB/FM/CD but so far none from Sony. As you would expect it is a quality unit and as you should also expect it is by no means cheap, but then quality never is.

A unit over 3kilos in weight being called portable is perhaps unusual but it can be run of batteries (that weight does not include the six ‘C’ cell required) for this. However my main reason for this statement is the carry handle that goes along above the top of it.

Below the handle is on the top is the slot loader CD with eject button on its right side and in front of this a circular silvered volume control and on the left of the CD a silvered push button for on/off. The sides and base have no controls. The back has the entry point for the optional six ‘C’ cell batteries as well as four sockets for Audio In, Line Out, Earbuds and Power Input.

The front has the rest of the controls in a 23x6cm area near the top. This consists of a circular area divided into three DAB/FM, CD and Audio In. Next a column of three small push buttons Display, Sleep and Memory. To the right of this the 7x3cm black on white five line display. To the right of this another column of three small push buttons Mode, Menu and Guide. To the right of this a circular button (matching the one on the left) but this time it rotates to change the radio station. Just under and slightly to the left a small Enter push button. Under the display are four rod push buttons that not only control the CD Play/Pause, Stop, Skip Back and Skip Forward but the Play/Pause button allows you to pause the radio while you answer the phone/door or go to the loo etc for a total of around 20 minutes according to the quality of the stream.

The above feature can also allow you to rewind providing you have been listening to that channel for the amount of time you need to rewind for. It would have been nice to record either to SD, MS or even a flash/pen drive as few units offer this useful feature.

Part of the reason for the weight is the light teak wood that makes the top and the sides of the unit. It is 33x13.5x19cm with the handle down this increases by 6.5cm with the handle up.

As with most items today it comes with a remote control (2x‘AA’ batteries required, not supplied). It has 25 buttons but joy of joys everything it does can be done by controls on the unit. A fold out sheet (eight sides) comprise the operating instructions, however the controls are all well labelled and you are unlikely to need much assistance. Even the menu button details the action on the screen.

On first switch on make sure the 68cm four rod button is fully extended and the DAB channels are scanned and placed in alphabetical order. For FM tuning rotate the right knob and you can quickly go up or down the MHz band. The quality of sound is good (providing you have good reception) from the 7.7cm speaker. There are separate treble and bass controls (available from the menu button).

There are up to twenty presets available for both DAB and FM bands. For those who like to drop off to the radio or CD there is a sleep timer, settings available up to 90 minutes to as little as 10 minutes. Of course there is also an alarm and this can be set up for a buzzer, radio or CD. My own thoughts would not to use this on batteries as the stated time seem to state a maximum of ten hours. I would certainly have liked the unit to have a solid rechargeable battery as extra control from a power cut.

Being able to store an EPG on a radio is something rare.

The CD allows all the normal features and includes the ability to play up to twenty tracks in your order of choice.

A quality unit and given that an equivalent DAB/FM unit would not be much under £100 this quality unit with added CD at £150 is not that over the top. If it had the rechargeable battery and ability to record it would then have been perfect.

Doing my Internet searches found the Sony XDR-S100CD at a best price of £149.99 including free delivery from the link below.

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OverallSony DAB/FM/CD Portable XDR-S100CD rated 80 out of 100

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