Panasonic HC-30 

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Having looked at a smaller model the HC-20 around six weeks ago what has the bigger HC-30 got to offer that the HC-20 does not have? From the outside if you just think slighter bigger with all the fitments then you have it.

Panasonic HC 30 ipod doc hifi music system
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The Panasonic HC-30 measures 48x19x9cm and just like the previously reviewed HC20 the last figure the width is less at the top of the unit. The 9cm only applies near the base where the aerial lead and mains power enter the unit on a protrusion at the rear of the unit.

There are other differences the first is that it is wall mountable and quite a substantial bracket is provided to facilitate this. The second is that the iPod/iPhone dock is internal with the CD door going both ways to the left to insert CD’s and to the right to allow insertion and removal of whatever iPod/iPhone you might decide to insert.

There are other differences the main one is that the main speaker is made of bamboo, yes I did say bamboo but unless you dissected the unit you would never know as it looks ‘normal’ with only the sound quality being noticeable.

As it is wall mountable it makes more sense to have a remote control than with the smaller model. The remote here is a 47 key offering that can do everything apart from open the CD and iPod doors on the main unit.

There is a 20 page Operating Instruction booklet and joy of joys its all in English only the addendum sheet is multi language. While I know instructions for wall mounting are important I am not sure that it needs the first seven pages to cover it. However the rest of the instructions are clear and easy to follow and there are plenty of illustrations.

So once your unit is in place with the supplied wire aerial attached you connect the mains lead and switch on. This is the leftmost of the 14 buttons along the top. Perhaps the best place to start is with DAB radio as you need to do a scan to find the available channels in your area, it will also set the clock for you to save you having to do the job manually.

This unit not surprisingly have the same problem with the display in that letters are too big to allow the full name to display without scrolling so for instance BBC Radi tells you nothing when searching for one of the many BBC radio channels so the 20 presets available on DAB might get more use than with a normal DAB radio.

FM radio allows 30 presets and these make sense with any unit as you can only tune from the top or the bottom of the FM band. It also means you do not have to remember the frequency of the station you want to listen to.

CD next it can be used in the normal insert and play method, you can of course move a track forward etc or should you wish you can program up to 24 tracks in any order you wish. Most features apply to your iPod/iPhone and of course you can setup playlists of much larger quantities on your iPod/iPhone should you wish.

The clock will retain the time even when the unit is switched off (although the clock does not display when off) there is a sleep timer mode (30-60-90-120minutes) and an alarm called Play Timer. The EQ mode works quite well and unlike the HC-20 displays the same options in the manual and on the unit. There are also bass and treble settings -4 to +4 for both to help you get the exact sound you want from your unit. There is of course an Auxilery socket to enable those without an iPod/iPhone to enjoy almost the same features with an MP3 player.

One niggle for me was that the volume levels on radio were a lot higher than CD and iPod.

The Panasonic SC-HC30DB Compact Stereo System is available at a best price of £175.79 including free delivery from the first link below.

The Panasonic SC-HC30DB Compact Stereo System is available from Amazon for $131.36 including free delivery from the first link below.

The Panasonic SC-HC30DB Compact Stereo System is available from Amazon for €158,05 including free delivery from the first link below.

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OverallPanasonic HC-30 rated 68 out of 100

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