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  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • Outstanding bass, Compact design, Crisp and clear sound, MP3 support, Great Value


  • No alarm clock function, Can't be wall mounted

Bottom Line

The NX-03 comes recommended as a basic, yet powerful system which supports MP3 playback and provides excellent bass levels thanks to its omni directional subwoofer. At this price, it's excellent value for money.

Would you buy this?

The TDK NX-03 is an enhancement of the popular NX-02 system thats adds better sound quality and bass to an already impressive stereo unit.

Unlike the NX-02, the NX-03 isn't an all in one unit. It comprises of four pieces that include the main unit, two speakers and a rather large wooden subwoofer. The NX-03 is definitely a winner in the style department and its extremely thin design means that it could find a home in even the smallest rooms. The unit is finished in a brushed silver aluminum and black plastic, which complements the system well.

The convenience of a stereo system in multiple pieces like this one is the fact that you are able to customize the positioning of each component in your room. For example, you can have the speakers wider apart than usual and the subwoofer lower to the ground in order to experiment and provide the best quality sound. However, there is always a downside and in this case, the NX-03 can't be wall mounted like its smaller counterpart. Still, it is fairly compact and measures only 216mm x 165mm x 78mm so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a spot for it.

The NX-03 utlises the same NXT technology seen in the NX-02. Basically, NXT uses complex vibration modes over the entire panel surface, which allows the speakers to be so thin while still providing quality sound - at least according to TDK. This unit uses a more conventional black metal speaker grille rather than the clear Perspex technology, but we were extremely surprised with the sound quality. For most part, the speakers provided crisp and clear sound with no evident distortion and the volume levels were extremely impressive - quite loud, even at only halfway.

The unit itself uses a flat, clear sliding CD door which you'll have to be careful with - it slides almost directly in line with the speakers when they are set up next to each other, so it is wise to sit the speakers about a centimeter or two behind the main unit. The right side of the front panel houses all of the controls, which are fairly straightforward and easy to use. Above these is perhaps the most annoying feature of the NX-03 - the LCD display screen. It works fine, but when the unit is switched off the display is still backlit, meaning it glows at night and this is quite frustrating if you set it up in your room like we did. Why you can't switch the backlight off and on should you wish is mystifying. Instead we were forced to cover it with whatever we could find.

Where the NX-03 really takes a leap forward is the 15-watt omni directional subwoofer, which is larger than the speakers and unit combined! Powered by a five-inch driver which is designed to produce distortion free, deep bass response, we were extremely pleased to report that the sub does not disappoint. We tested it in a multiple of positions, but found the best place was on the floor, the deep low-end bass vibrating beneath us as we were fully immersed into our music. For the price, the NX-03 is an extremely powerful system and offers great value for money. No, it's not the best sounding unit out there, but it does provide a substantial quality without breaking your budget.

The NX-03 plays CD/CD-RW (with support for MP3 playback) and also includes an AM/FM radio with 20 presets. We did experience some issues with a couple of copied CD's, although this was likely an issue with the burn, rather than this unit itself. The MP3 functionality worked well, and we had no issues whatsoever with any of its functions. We also really liked the ability to connect a PC or other external audio equipment (such as an MP3 player) to the NX-03. We tested this connection by hooking up the system to both our PC and an iPod nano and the sound quality was on par with the standard CD function.

Other features of the NX-03 include a Sleep Timer, four pre-selectable equaliser settings (Flat, Rock, Pop or Classic), a slimline remote control, Electronic Shock Protection (ESP) and a detachable FM Antenna which allows connection to an external antenna. Annoyingly, TDK have once again neglected to include an alarm clock, which is disappointing considering the NX-03 is ideal for placing in a bedroom.

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