Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Grundig UMS 555
- Can record CD tracks and radio to MP3 format, support for USB and SD/MMC cards, easy to use
- Sound range is limited and geared towards pop and modern rock
Overall it's quite a respectable unit, which will suit casual users.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Grundig's UMS 555 is an attractively designed Hi-Fi system. Although audio quality isn't great, its small size and collection of nifty features, along with its relatively low price, make it an attractive option for users looking for a simple CD and MP3 playing system. The integration of a USB and SD/MMC card slot is one of the unit's biggest advantages, which allows recording from CD straight to MP3 format.
A limited sound range is probably the unit's biggest drawback. Audio is quite clear at moderate listening volumes, although it does suffer when the volume is cranked. For the unit's price range, its quality is respectable; however, treble tends to be quite flat and is often overpowered by a more dominant mid-range. The UMS 555 does quite a good job with punchy bass, but slower and more lingering lower frequency tracks aren't handled as well. The overall performance of this product is well suited to most pop and modern rock songs; however fans of classical or jazz will find that it is unable to do these genres as much justice.
Still, what the UMS 555 lacks in audio quality, it makes up for in utility, with the ability to record tracks off CDs straight to MP3 format, to either USB devices or SD/MMC cards. This feature is integrated quite well, and can be accessed with a single-button press on the remote. Although it's not a hugely original or powerful feature, the simplicity of its integration and use make it a valuable addition to the product.
The interface is relatively simple, with a well laid out remote and buttons on the unit itself. Navigating the menu can be a little tricky, with the small LED screen on the front; however, the overall simplicity of the system means that this isn't a commonly accessed feature. The EQ includes five presets as well as a custom option, which is nice to see on a system at this price point.
Grundig has included an impressive amount of versatility in the UMS 555, with its ability to play radio, CDs, MP3s and WMAs on either USB memory, data CDs or SD/MMC cards. Other options such as random/repeat, a headphone jack, and sleep timer round it off nicely.
Overall the UMS 555 is a relatively versatile product. Considering its price point the sound quality is quite reasonable, and it brings some nifty and useful features as well. It's far and away from a high-end audio product, but should be well suited as a bedroom or kid's room unit.
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