Akai AISS010 home theatre system

This piano black home theatre system includes plenty of integrated features

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Akai AISS010

Pros

  • Integrated DVD player and iPod dock, decent speakers with adjustable equalizer

Cons

  • Cheap button and fascia feel, distortion at higher volumes, poor virtual surround effect

Bottom Line

If your décor suits the style of this system, the Akai home theatre system provides plenty of basic functionality at a reasonable price.

Would you buy this?

The Akai AISS010 home theatre system is a powerful stereo speaker system with in-built subwoofers. It has plenty of integrated features such as an iPod dock, USB port and DVD player that make it attractive to those wanting a simple unit for watching movies and playing multimedia.

The Akai AISS010 is certainly not a small unit. While this makes it quite challenging to transport and to move around at home, it has the advantage of being a very sturdy base upon which to place an LCD or plasma television.

The AISS010 home theatre system has a glossy piano black finish, with chrome accents on the various buttons and speaker surrounds. While this looks quite stylish on its own, we’re dubious as to whether it would blend perfectly with the different gloss levels of televisions from various manufacturers. It’s also a fingerprint magnet, so you’ll need to have a cleaning cloth handy to keep it in pristine condition. The buttons are probably our least favourite aspect of the system, with a very cheap feel that detracts from the experience of using the home theatre system.

Technically speaking, the Akai AISS010 houses eight speakers in its body — two tweeters, four mid-range cones and two subwoofers situated in the stand’s legs. For the most part it functions as a stereo system, with good natural separation between the left and right channels.

The Akai AISS010 home theatre system’s treble response is acceptable, with high female vocals and brass instruments sounding clear and crisp, although slightly too recessed and quiet for our liking. Mid-range is well represented with each channel’s dual woofers giving a smooth and rich sound to the acoustic guitar and deep male vocals we auditioned the system with. Bass is the stand-out performer, with the dual sub-woofers combining to give a resonant kick to music and movies. Low-range sounds don’t extend particularly deep though, and at higher volumes bass becomes ragged and booming, reverberating messily and disrupting other frequencies. An adjustable equaliser helps to tune the sound to specific tastes.

We did notice some distortion at higher volume levels, with audio sounding clipped and harsh. The player is only rated to 80W RMS at 10 percent distortion levels, far short of the 1000W ratings of 5.1 home theatre systems such as the LG HB954WA.

An iPod dock integrated into the centre of the Akai AISS010’s top face was what we used for most of our audio testing, with the dock accepting connections from all the models we tried including the Apple iPhone 3G, Apple iPod Touch (2nd generation) and Apple iPod Nano (4th generation). All the necessary plastic brackets are included to ensure a snug fit for your iPod. We’re a little iffy on the placement of the dock though — it may cause problems if your television has a particularly deep base on its stand — and we would have preferred a pop-out dock similar to that on the aforementioned LG HB954WA home theatre system.

The integrated DVD player is equally trouble-free, playing all the Test Centre discs. Picture quality was as good as we’ve seen from a non-Blu-ray player, with the video signal being fed out via HDMI or a variety of analog connectors. USB video playback of compressed formats was of similarly acceptable quality, with DIVX and MPEG4 compatibility.

Despite a few problems, if you’re looking for a unit that’s easy to operate and has a wide range of basic features included, the Akai AISS010 home entertainment system is a decent choice. If it suits your décor and television, give it a once over.

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