Sony CMT-FX350i mini hi-fi system
Sony CMT-FX350i review: This Sony hi-fi is easy to operate and supports DAB+ digital radio
- Good treble detail, good sound quality at moderate volume levels, easy operation with remote
- Poor control layout on central unit, low maximum volume
For its asking price, the Sony CMT-FX350i offers a reasonably diverse range of features. It can play CDs, FM and DAB+ digital radio, as well as music stored on an iPod or iPhone.
Price$ 279.00 (AUD)
The Sony CMT-FX350i is a mini hi-fi system that has inbuilt FM and DAB+ digital radio, a CD player and an iPod dock. If you're looking for an audio system to use in a large room it might not be up to the challenge, but for a bedroom or study it should fit the bill. It's able to pump out a good amount of sound given its size, but we have misgivings about its design and its sound quality at maximum volume levels.
Sony CMT-FX350i mini hi-fi system: Design, construction and setup
The Sony CMT-FX350i is similar to many other mini hi-fi audio systems that we've tested, such the . It has two bookshelf-sized stereo speakers and a central control unit. Setting the system up is very easy: all you need to do is to plug the two stereo speakers into the main system, connect the FM/DAB+ radio antenna and plug the system into a power point. It automatically scans for DAB+ stations upon start-up and maintains an updated list.
The system has a big volume control knob, three large buttons for playback, changing functions and stopping playback, five smaller buttons for other features, and a small bass boost button. It all seems a bit thrown together with no thought given to usability — we struggled to find a reason for the different button sizes and positions. The bundled remote control does a much better job of organising controls, so we found ourselves using it during the majority of our testing.
There's around a metre of cable to connect each speaker to the receiver. This should be more than enough for most setups, but it's easy to add extra length with some standard speaker wire. The antenna is also around a metre in length, but we didn't even need to completely unwind it to find excellent reception in our metropolitan Sydney test location.
Sony CMT-FX350i mini hi-fi system: Sound quality and volume levels
The Sony CMT-FX350i is not an especially loud system. Producing 10W RMS at maximum volume, it'll get lost in a large room — we were sitting around three metres away from it and found maximum volume to provide only moderate-to-loud sound. The system also has a tendency to distort bass slightly at high volumes, with a small amount of clipping of low notes.
At moderate volume levels the Sony CMT-FX350i sounds impressively clean and detailed. We opted to use the Rock equaliser preset with Sony's rather interestingly titled ‘Dynamic Sound Generator X-tra (DSGX) Bass Boost Function' disabled. When listening to some hip-hop test music on our iPod and DAB+ digital radio, we found the system to have good treble detail. Treble is quite directional on the Sony CMT-FX350i's speakers, though, so you'll have to have them ideally positioned at head height and facing directly towards you for the best effect.
Mid-range sound is slightly recessed compared to treble and bass, but this is a trait that most similar sized mini hi-fi systems exhibit. It still has plenty of audible detail and doesn't sound muddy. With the bass boost disabled the Sony CMT-FX350i's speakers have moderate levels of bass — not enough to shake the desk we had them sitting on, but a nice accompaniment to fill out the system's sound. Turning on the bass boost has the effect of making audio boomier and more expansive, but we also noticed a loss of clarity.
Sony CMT-FX350i mini hi-fi system: Environmental policy and conclusion
Sony's environmental policy says that the company "explores every opportunity to reduce environmental impact" and aims to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. The company's Web site details various initiatives to reduce waste.
The Sony CMT-FX350i is a decent but not overly impressive mini hi-fi system. We're happy that DAB+ digital radio is becoming more popular in low-end systems, while the inclusion of an iPod dock is another useful feature in the CMT-FX350i's arsenal.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- Sony's virtual reality suit is why people go to SXSW
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!!!SA
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Microsoft EngineerVIC
- FTSenior .Net Developer (Silverlight)VIC
- FTOracle Forms PL/SQL Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- CCITCM EngineerNSW
- FTICT Client Services ManagerQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Contract - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst (Security) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTTechnical Solutions ArchitectWA
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperQLD
- CCSystems EngineerACT
- FTBusiness Improvement ManagerNSW
- TPProject Manager - Digital Banking ProjectQLD
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- TPProject SchedulerVIC
- CCICT Strategist and AdvisorNSW
- FTSnr Salesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD