"If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63."
If you just want a user-friendly system then look no further.
- Remarkably simple and easy to use
- Not very powerful, USB input is flawed (as usual)
As a basic CD, MP3 and radio player the XL-UH25H does its job admirably. If you’re looking for thrilling sound quality or advanced functionality, though, you’d best look elsewhere.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
The XL-UH25H sits in the lower end of Sharp’s mini hi-fi line-up, with little separating it from more expensive models. It’s simple to set up and simple to use, but its more advanced features are just a gimmick. If you just want a user-friendly system then look no further, but sound quality isn’t one of the system’s strong features.
Like Sharp’s other models, the XL-UH25H is a series of small, unimposing enclosures. The control unit isn’t particularly tall — measuring a mere 13cm — and seems to be designed to stack on top of the system’s speakers. The speakers themselves have been thoughtfully designed to be placed either horizontally — with a similar height to the central unit — or vertically. The signature high gloss black finish can be seen on the fascia of the control unit, but the speakers themselves are finished in a matte black finish.
Rated at a measly 10 Watts RMS per channel, this micro system doesn’t have very much power hidden away. The speakers themselves might be perfectly capable, but the hi-fi deck itself isn’t able to drive them to particularly loud volumes — no louder than is sufficient to fill a small room — before significant distortion sets in and starts causing problems.
Three main playback modes predominate, just like its older brother the XL-UH2080H. The system’s AM/FM radio works like any other; reception is good and tracking through frequencies happens quickly and accurately. The same can be said for CD playback, with the XL-UH25H quickly tracking to start playback and seek through audio CDs.
USB playback isn’t spectacular, however. This is the main failing of the device: its inability to handle complex folder structures and complicated artist, album or filenames. Our test music was inordinately difficult to navigate through, enough so that we abandoned using the USB port altogether. In all fairness this problem is symptomatic to almost all budget mini hi-fi systems — perhaps some good advice would be to think of the USB port as a novelty, rather than feature you'll use every day.
You can boost the system’s sound with one of five settings: Rock, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Flat. There's also the ubiquitous ‘X-Bass’ bass boost setting, although this really doesn’t do much for bass response except to increase distortion levels. While the speaker equalisation might boost bass and treble levels, it doesn’t hide the fact that the XL-UH25H has small speakers and not much grunt to power them with.
The speaker enclosures are quite light, exposing their budget components and build quality. While this has its upsides — the speakers could easily be mounted on a wall — the downside is sound quality that’s best suited to radio broadcasts or low-quality music.
Treble isn’t too bad, with a 2in tweeter driver in each speaker. We’re not sure whether this was a shortcoming of the speakers or the amplification, but treble response became incredibly harsh and ringing at higher volumes. This made music very fatiguing and difficult to listen to for extended periods.
Mid-range isn’t too terrible but certainly plays second fiddle to higher frequency sounds. This is a product of small speakers in a small enclosure and can’t really be avoided — apart from special situations like the complicated enclosure of the JohnBlue JB4 Mk2.
A similar situation can be found (or heard) with bass response. Even with the Rock equaliser setting and X-Bass enabled, bass response was very poor. You simply shouldn’t expect any kind of decent low frequency enhancement from these speakers.
Don’t get us wrong — the sound quality is more than acceptable for radio, casual CD listening or compressed music playback. If you just want a simple system that sounds passable, does what it’s expected to do with few unnecessary frills and is decently priced, consider Sharp’s XL-UH25H.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
- 2 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- 3 Nokia 8 Sirocco review: A unique flagship that's more of a mutation than a market-leader
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
Latest News Articles
- Nvidia to bring Shield TV to Australian market
- Bang & Olufsen announces release date for AirPlay 2
- Sonos introduce cheaper, smarter Sonos Beam soundbar
- Computex 2018: ASUS mesh router with built-in Alexa smart speaker confirmed for Australia
- WWDC 2018: Apple TV 4K gets new features and screensavers with tvOS 12
PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
- Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- Computex 2018: Nvidia launches new AI-focused hardware and software platforms
- Computex 2018: Everything you missed at Asia's biggest tech tradeshow
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?