Geneva Model S mini hi-fi system

Geneva Model S review: A mini hi-fi with plenty of power and a fashionable design

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Geneva Model S
  • Geneva Model S
  • Geneva Model S
  • Geneva Model S

Pros

  • Modern and minimalist styling, good sound quality

Cons

  • The touch-sensitive buttons are tricky to operate

Bottom Line

The Geneva Model S is an expensive, high quality mini hi-fi system that incorporates an iPod dock, FM and DAB+ digital radio. It's very stylish and its sound quality is excellent.

Would you buy this?

The Geneva Model S is a DAB+ digital radio, iPod dock and FM radio all rolled into a single speaker cabinet. It's a pretty simple mini hi-fi system, and it includes an easy-to-use remote control. Sound quality remains good at low, moderate and high volume levels.

Geneva Model S: Design and features

The Geneva Model S a very stylish piece of home entertainment technology — like the Geneva Model M, it's a single enclosure with all the components inside. Our test unit was finished in a rich tomato red that looked excellent, but piano black and candy white models are also available. The speaker box comes with an optional stand that raises it three inches, but this is largely an aesthetic choice rather than a functional one.

A motorised dock in the middle of the Geneva Model S buzzes into action and rotates out when the iPod mode is activated. This is a cool novelty, but we're a bit wary of what will happen if the motor breaks after a few years of use.

The touch-sensitive buttons on the top of the Geneva Model S mimic the style of Apple's classic iPod MP3 player, with a clicking scroll wheel and a small range of buttons for playing, pausing, skipping tracks and changing modes. The buttons are nice enough to use, but their positioning on the top of the player at the rear means you have to stand over the Geneva Model S to operate it.

The bundled remote control is far easier to use. It takes a bit of getting used to — the power button is labelled with a plus sign, and all the buttons are the same sized — but the tactile buttons are excellent. It also allows users to quickly tweak treble and bass audio, making sound warmer and sharper if wanted.

Geneva Model S: Sound quality

We largely used the FM radio in the Geneva Model S as a fall-back — when listening to an iPod or the DAB+ digital radio, we were consistently impressed. The Geneva Model S goes some way to justifying its high price tag with undeniably excellent sound quality for its size.

It's only a small cabinet but it has excellent clarity and dynamic range at moderate volume levels. The full-range speaker inside the Geneva Model S is able to hit high treble notes with ease, producing crisp and slightly bright audio, but can simultaneously extend quite low in the frequency range to produce reverberating bass. It doesn't quite have the power of a dedicated subwoofer or larger speaker system, but it's on par with other high-end pint-sized speaker systems we've heard like the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin.

What's most impressive is the way it sounds balanced and doesn’t lose composure even when operating at high volume levels. It reaches its maximum volume before introducing any distortion, and it is more than loud enough to fill a medium-sized living room or bedroom.

Geneva Model S: Conclusion

It's an expensive piece of equipment, but the Geneva Model S is a well-designed mini hi-fi system. Anyone happy to spend $600 on an iPod dock or digital radio should (hopefully) be used to the finer things, and the Model S doesn't disappoint.

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Read more on these topics: ipod dock, mini hi-fi, mp3 player accessories, ipod docks

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