JVC NX-F3

The JVC NX-F3 is a home entertainment system with great sound quality

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JVC NX-F3
  • JVC NX-F3
  • JVC NX-F3
  • JVC NX-F3
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Good sound quality, very good DVD upscaler, good variety of connections

Cons

  • Build quality, slight treble distortion at high volumes

Bottom Line

The JVC NX-F3 is a home theatre system that provides rich bass, clear treble and fantastic DVD upscaling to 1080p. We don't like the low build quality of the controller unit at this price point, but there's little else to fault this package on.

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The JVC NX-F3 is a 2.1 speaker home entertainment system with an excellent DVD upscaler, good sound quality, a large variety of connections and simple installation.

The package comprises of one controller unit, a 150W subwoofer and two 50W speakers with two 5.5cm cones each. From afar, the NX-F3 looks unobtrusive and stylish but up close the plastic casing of the controller unit feels flimsy. Putting the system together is a very simple affair with every connection colour-coded.

Aside from the DVD slot, other connections include a USB port on the bottom-right of the fascia, analogue/stereo RCA connections, Digital Optical Audio in/out, composite video in/out and component video in/out. You can also transfer audio to your USB key thanks to the JVC NX-F3's music ripping capabilities, but this is limited to 1x speed and 128kbps MP3s.

In terms of audio quality, the JVC NX-F3 is a strong performer. The two speakers deliver mid- and upper-range acoustics with surprisingly good clarity — the Buena Vista Social Club's "Chan Chan" sounded fantastic as the music moved between Spanish guitar solos and smooth soaring vocals. Even the chopped-up vocals of Fedde Le Grand's mix of Ida Corr's "Let Me Think About It" had a smooth quality as the speakers defined each note without breaking a sweat. The clarity provided is good news for movies, especially when it comes to dialogue. Our main gripe was that the treble slightly distorted with a hint of static at high volumes.

Bass performance from the 16cm subwoofer is also good, delivering deep, rich audio and doesn't overpower other frequencies. The well-known lobby scene from The Matrix was reproduced with natural results while the lilting bass line of David Bowie's "Jean Genie" sounded deep and powerful.

An issue that comes with any 2.1 speaker system is what to do about the 5.1 or 7.1 channel audio offered by many DVD and Blu-Ray movies. While it is unfair to directly compare 2.1 speakers to 5.1 or 7.1 home theatre systems, manufacturers usually try to mimic the surround sound effect to make up the gap. Although the stereo sound is of a high standard and the JVC NX-F3 tries to simulate a larger sound stage when it detects a multi-channel signal, the results are not good enough to replace 5.1 or 7.1 channel speakers.

A highlight of this product is its built-in DVD up-scaler, which upscales without blurring or loss of definition. The JVC NX-F3 has a HDMI output and can upscale DVDs to 720p, 1080i and 1080p, meaning you can connect to a large-screen plasma or LCD screen and expect good visuals. We found that even old titles such as The Matrix were displayed with clarity and few if any artefacts.

If you're looking for a home theatre system that provides punchy audio, a fantastic DVD upscaler and a good variety of connections, the JVC NX-F3 is a solid choice.

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