Panasonic SC-HC3 micro hi-fi system
This slim hi-fi system from Panasonic packs a surprisingly powerful aural punch
- Well-rounded sound, iPod dock, looks good
- Uneven sound at maximum volume level, display is too small
Panasonic’s SC-HC3 micro hi-fi is a great product. It’s attractive and has an integrated iPod dock. It has especially good sound quality considering its slim design.
Price$ 389.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
The Panasonic SC-HC3 is an attractive and slim micro hi-fi system that has an integrated iPod dock . It delivers good sound quality for a small system, although it probably doesn't have enough power for party duties.
Unlike the majority of micro hi-fi systems on the market, Panasonic has elected to give the SC-HC3 a minimalist look. A dark translucent plastic and brushed aluminium face is flanked by the two integrated stereo speakers; all the buttons are located on the top of the system. The fascia is motorised, sliding to the left to reveal a vertically mounted CD tray, and sliding to the right to allow access to the cavity in which an iPod can sit. Pushing the eject button for either the iPod or the CD tray slides the door in the appropriate direction.
When an iPod is playing, you’re able to see its display through the translucent section of the door. Inserting an iPod is easy thanks to a pivoting dock connector, although the connector itself is flimsy and allows the MP3 player to move slightly while seated.
We were expecting a credit card-style remote control, but Panasonic has included one that looks like a scaled-down version of the remote used by its current plasma and LCD televisions. The remote's navigation buttons are able to control the iPod’s menu system.
The Panasonic SC-HC3 has a bright, single-line monochrome display. We would have liked it to be significantly larger and to display more lines of information; it will be almost impossible to read from the other side of a medium-sized room. It also doesn’t show any iPod information, so if you’re searching for a specific song you’ll have to get up close.
As well as the iPod and CD playback options, an AM/FM radio tuner is also built in. We found reception generally good with the bundled antenna, and it has 30 presets. A 3.5mm auxiliary input is also included for connection to an external audio device.
The Panasonic SC-HC3 has a great design and plenty of input options, but what surprised us most was the sound quality. Usually slimline speakers have acceptable treble and mid-range performance but suffer when it comes to simulating lower frequencies. The SC-HC3 is different: Panasonic has engaged in some clever enclosure design, with two passive radiators at the rear of the speakers creating a warm and rich mid-bass sound. Combined with the strong treble performance, the sound emanating from the SC-HC3 is pleasant and warm.
An adjustable equaliser, several presets and virtual surround options allow tailoring of the sound to suit different musical styles. One small short-coming is the player’s low maximum volume before distortion creeps in; despite the 40W RMS rating, at higher volume levels bass becomes bloated and booming and treble tends to be harsh. It’s not a patch on a proper hi-fi setup, but the Panasonic SC-HC3 has impressive sound quality given its slim design and small stature. At medium volume levels, we’d say it’s the best micro hi-fi system we’ve heard.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 2 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 3 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 4 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 5 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
Latest News Articles
- Google quietly kills its Nexus Player as Chromecast overshadows Android TV
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTBusiness Analyst (Superannuation)NSW
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer - Cisco, Aruba and SecurityNSW
- CCCA Gen Model Management-Oracle RDBMS, Oracle Solaris, TTNNSW
- CCFacilities ManagerACT
- CCData/ Business AnalystVIC
- CCProject Manager XPLANNSW
- CCData Centre Solutions Architect - Red Hat, Wintel & VMwareACT
- CCProgram SchedulerVIC
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- FTBiztalk DesignerNSW
- CCBusiness Intelligence Business AnalystSA
- CCTesting Resource ManagerVIC
- FTChange ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCSoftware Engineer - Linux with NV1 clearanceVIC
- CCSenior Project Specialist - Network IPVIC
- FTPython Data EngineerWA
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160902/JP/709Asia
- CCBusiness Analyst / SalesforceNSW
- FTUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- FTBusiness Development ManagerVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Oracle) 160902/AP/625Asia
- CCNetwork Implementation EngineerNSW
- CCDevOps EngineerVIC