Grundig Ovation

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Grundig Ovation
  • Grundig Ovation
  • Grundig Ovation
  • Grundig Ovation

Pros

  • Small, attractive, easy to use

Cons

  • Some sound distortion at high volume levels

Bottom Line

The Ovation would make a nice musical addition to any bedroom

Would you buy this?

When you wake up in the morning, we think you'll agree with us that it's not always nice to be greeted with the piercing shriek of your alarm clock. Do you also find that on a Sunday morning, you'd like to listen to some music, but the idea of going downstairs to switch on the HiFi just seems far too much effort? Well, Grundig has the solution to both these problems in the Ovation: a micro CD player and radio. Of course, you don't have to keep it in your bedroom, it would work equally well in the kitchen or anywhere else you choose, but it's definitely best suited to a smaller room.

The Ovation is one of many "lifestyle" devices that have flooded the market in recent years. Companies such as Bose and Bang & Olufsen have made a hefty profit flogging stunning pieces of gear that unfortunately cost a not-so-small fortune. Sitting slightly lower down in the market is Grundig with its Ovation range of players. While the Ovation's performance can't match those much more expensive players, in our minds unless you're a lotto winner, it's a much better buy.

Grundig has spent some time ensuring that the design of the Ovation is aesthetically pleasing yet also functional. The Ovation sports a somewhat minimalist design, with lots of sharp lines and circles in various shades of silver. This minimalism is especially prevalent on the remote control as all the buttons are identical, which at first glance can be a little confusing. Once you've got used to where the various functions lie, this isn't such a problem. The remote control also comes with its own stand, the inclusion of which seems as much to show off the remote as it does to provide useful storage. In true show-off style the Ovation also sports a snazzy multicoloured backlight. At first we were slightly irritated by its constant flashing, but this thankfully stops and can be set to any colour of the rainbow that you desire.

Typically, very small CD players offer very small sound. The Ovation bucks this trend by including a dedicated bass speaker with volume levels that defy its diminutive proportions. The lower frequency sound can become slightly distorted on bass heavy tracks at higher volumes but for the most part we found the sound to be crisp, clear and powerful. Testing across the whole spectrum of musical genres we found that rock, pop, classical and dance music all sounded pretty good. We were particularly surprised with the Ovation's powerful renditions of heavier styles. This is in part helped by the inclusion of a five mode equalizer with presets for classical, pop, rock and jazz. A bass boost function is also a useful addition, though we found that for some genres of music this pushes the sound too far, leading to some nasty distortion.

The Ovation doesn't sport an overwhelming number of functions. You can play CDs or you can listen to the radio. That's pretty much it, though the ability to play MP3 CDs is also welcome. Despite this apparent lack of functionality, the Ovation is an attractive device that will sit nicely in any home, also having the bonus of good performance and a price tag that won't break the bank.

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