• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

All in one recommendations?

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
Wasn't sure where to post this one - could be filed under computer-based music, wifi, or whatever. Anyway here goes.

My wife would like a set of speakers for listening to the iTunes library on her Mac. She'd also like to replace her deceased "ghetto blaster", or in other words have an all-in-one self contained unit (this is for her home office where space is at a premium) with its own CD player and radio - something that would work without the computer being switched on.

I know CDs seem like something from the past these days, but although she has an iTunes library she also has a lot of CDs and I suspect prefers to use the physical CDs sometimes.

Sound quality is important - but convenience, versatility and compactness are as important.

Rather than buying separate computer speakers (was looking at either the £300 Bose ones or the £400 B&Ws) it seemed to make more sense to look for a decent all in one system that could be used as wireless computer speakers, eg by connecting its AUX input to an AirPort Express.

Have looked at the BeoSound 1, which is a really nice quality product and the sound isn't terrible, but doesn't have a DAB radio so will presumably be useless in a couple of years when they switch off normal radio??

There's also the Bose Wave - but although the B&O justifies its price to some extent with build quality (and to a lesser degree, sound quality) the Bose seems ridiculously expensive for a shoddy plastic box. Plus you have to add DAB with a separate external lump, ditto wireless.

The Meridian M80 seems like an obvious choice, but it looks like a toaster(!), and at £1,500 is a bit more than we'd like to spend. And a lot more than the B&O which in sound terms is good enough, so basically we'd be paying £500 just to get DAB?

Are there any other options out there?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,233
5
19,195
Arcam Solo-Mini (CD player/amp/FM/DAB) + rDAC (£299) should be achievable for about £1000 in total. Both units are very compact and 'clean' looking.

Get a nice pair of efficient bookshelf speakers like the Rega RS1s (£398 and they are not at all fussy about being near walls or corners or even on walls with brackets.)

£100 for a decent pair of speaker stands/wall brackets and if your dealer doesn't throw in some good speaker cables free of charge with that lot then he needs his head seeing to.

Total £1500 and will sound excellent. (Most Rega dealers tend to stock Arcam and vica versa).

Don't shave the pennies with cheaper speakers. (I am guessing from the alternatives you listed that won't be a problem). The Solo-Mini can do a good job with speakers costing twice as much if they are efficient (around 89 - 91 db).
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
The Arcam is undoubtedly good, and with the speakers you suggest probably the best sound for the budget. But I don't think this solution is self-contained enough to fit the brief. I guess I'm really looking for a one-piece product with speakers built-in.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
AVI ADM9.1 - read up on them. Clean and simple solution - 250w (bass) and 75w (tweeter) amps and onboard DAC all housed in one very highly rated and apparently brilliant bookshelf speaker. You already have the Mac, this could be the rest of your system. £1100 but as good as, and probably better than anything up to the price, and arguably a fair bit more too.
 

pwiles1968

New member
Mar 22, 2009
153
0
0
How about the Marantz MCR603 Digital Optical in for an Airport express, It has Network capability, CD DAB, direct iPod input and possibly Air Play or Bluetooth as optional extras ----- http://whathifi.com/Review/Marantz-M-CR603, not sure about recommendations for compact speakers but I am sure someone will have some.
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
the record spot:AVI ADM9.1 - read up on them. Clean and simple solution - 250w (bass) and 75w (tweeter) amps and onboard DAC all housed in one very highly rated and apparently brilliant bookshelf speaker. You already have the Mac, this could be the rest of your system. £1100 but as good as, and probably better than anything up to the price, and arguably a fair bit more too.

The issue is really that the output from the Mac is the secondary function; she primarily wants a simple compact one-piece CD/Radio, but with the ability to stream music to it from iTunes occasionally (so basically anything with an AUX input that can be connected to an Airport Express will work).

I realise the Mac can work as a CD and Radio but that's not how she wants to use it - she wants to be able to play her CDs and listen to the radio without even switching the Mac on.
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
pwiles1968:
How about the Marantz MCR603 Digital Optical in for an Airport express, It has Network capability, CD DAB, direct iPod input and possibly Air Play or Bluetooth as optional extras ----- http://whathifi.com/Review/Marantz-M-CR603, not sure about recommendations for compact speakers but I am sure someone will have some.

That Marantz unit looks just the ticket, but I'm not sure she'll go for having separate speakers. Is the Meridian really the only thing out there that offers CD, Radio (DAB), optical (or even regular) AUX input, and reasonable speakers in one self contained lump? Or the Beosound 1 if she can live without DAB (given that it now seems FM won't be switched off for years yet).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Looks like Pure DAB radio can be the solution for you as you can plug in Ipod and MPR player and it is has atractive design ans small in size.

Pure DAB car radio info

Hope this helps.
 

audioaffair

New member
Feb 21, 2009
100
0
0
shuggieb:

Vita Audio R4, lovely little unit.

Agreed - a little higher than the budget you set but one of the best sounding of the all in ones IMHO
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
eucalyptus:
Looks like Pure DAB radio can be the solution for you as you can plug in Ipod and MPR player and it is has atractive design ans small in size.

Pure DAB car radio info

Hope this helps.

Thanks, I think this does help in that it can rebroadcast DAB as FM so basically can add DAB if we choose a non-DAB option.
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
shuggieb:

Vita Audio R4, lovely little unit.

Thanks guys - I was completely unaware of this one, looks good. And actually the same price as the Bose Wave, and quite a bit less expensive than the Beosound 1 that would be the favoured option but lacks DAB. We'll definitely go and have a look at (and listen to) this one.
 

dave_k

New member
Aug 26, 2009
95
0
0
Not sure which unit you're referring to but the Vita Audio R4 has DAB, DAB+ and FM...
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
dave_k:Not sure which unit you're referring to but the Vita Audio R4 has DAB, DAB+ and FM...

Sorry, my sentence was badly phrased, I meant to say it was a lot less expensive than the BeoSound 1 (which lacks DAB).
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
Went with the Bose Wave in the end. I know a lot of people hate Bose stuff, but we auditioned a few options and the Bose Wave offered the best balance of sound quality and meeting the requirements (compact, one-piece unit). I must admit it's better than I expected. It also has CD player, FM radio, DAB (via a separate "hideaway" module the size of a large brick) and acts as speakers for her computer's iTunes library. So, every box checked, better than expected sound, and all up and running in a couple of minutes. My wife's very happy with her new setup, most of all with the wireless, magnetic (!) control knob - a £30 option, although they did "throw in" an iPod dock too.

Obviously it was expensive relative to the likely build cost, but still half the price of the BeoSound 1 (which admittedly has a slightly better sound and much better build quality/materials) that would likely have been first choice if DAB wasn't an issue and we didn't have anything better to spend the extra £600 on. Anyway, for its purpose (my wife's home office) very happy with the Bose Wave.

The Vita R4 was a massive disappointment. It was initially our front runner, when we left the house, on the basis of recommendations here and a great WHF review. Unfortunately we both thought the sound was poor. It sounded muddy, and developed a kind of rattle/rasp even at low volume. Added to which the removable remote control pod on the demo unit failed to work about 4 times in 5.

Thanks for all the recommendations though, that enabled an informed decision!
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
Quick update on a very old thread... I think we made the wrong decision. The Bose Wave has given us no end of trouble - it's been back for service twice so far and is about to go back again. It has an intermittent fault (fails to power on, or DAB module - which also provides power - doesn't work), and they don't seem to be able to fix it.

The fault was evident pretty quickly and has recurred every couple of days ever since. So my wife has hardly used the thing at all, and I'm wishing we'd gone with one of the recommendations on here after all. I would definitely, on the basis of our experience, caution anyone against buying Bose. Seems like the impression of poor build quality for the money was spot on.

The warranty expires in January, and the disappointment of £600 wasted is only tempered by the joy of not having to go through the service return process any more - we can finally just throw it away and try and forget about it. Can't afford to replace it any time soon though, so it's been an expensive lesson!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Absolutely - the goods weren't fit for purpose. Sale of goods Act 1979. And don't take no for an answer!
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
Well, it's going back one more time - they've promised to replace it this time (although they also promised that last time but instead tried fixing it again). So we'll see what happens when we get it back. I have a real concern that they'll just hope to keep sending it back and forth until the warranty expires, so will seriously consider the advice to demand a refund.

Would a company really issue a refund though (as opposed to a replacement) after 21 months, even if it has never worked properly for for than a few days? Would be great if they did, because we've got zero confidence in Bose and it would be great to get the money back so we can get something else - that works properly and sounds good!
 

gregch

New member
Nov 9, 2004
34
0
0
In the interests of fairness, an update: we received back the Bose Wave and DAB module, and all appears to work fine so far. The DAB module was replaced with a refurb (rather than new as promised, maybe because they no longer sell them?) unit and the board in the Wave that handles communication with the DAB unit replaced. So far, so good. Thanks for all the support/help!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS