Sanyo DC-DB10 mini hi-fi system

This Sanyo hi-fi system looks a little bland, but plays CDs and FM radio well

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Sanyo DC-DB10
  • Sanyo DC-DB10
  • Sanyo DC-DB10
  • Sanyo DC-DB10

Pros

  • Good FM and CD radio quality

Cons

  • Questionable design, some DAB+ reception issues

Bottom Line

Sanyo's DC-DB10 mini hi-fi system is small and simple. It has good sound quality, but we found its DAB+ digital radio reception to be imperfect. Its $199 price tag is slightly high for the design and quality of the system.

Would you buy this?

The Sanyo DC-DB10 is a mini hi-fi system with digital (DAB+) and FM radio, and a CD player. Sanyo charges $199 for the receiver, two 4.5W bookshelf speakers and a remote control, which we think is a tad high for the design and features you get.

Sanyo DC-DB10: First impressions

The Sanyo DC-DB10 is lightweight (3.32kg) and small (395x170x233mm). At first glance, it looks like Sanyo tried to revive one of its stereo systems from the 90s and threw in DAB+ digital radio support — we aren't sure whether this old school design was deliberate or not.

We’d advise you to keep it away from your stylish LCD flatscreens just in case its generic design is contagious. Luckily, it’s small enough to be tucked away behind something bigger and probably more pleasing to the eye. Its bright blue screen will, however, most likely act as a beacon for curious children.

Sanyo has decided to keep the retro element going with a matte black paintjob, dark wooden speakers and a bright blue dot-matrix LCD screen with huge pixels — similar to the 'classic' Nokia 8250 mobile phone's screen. You use bare wire terminals to connect the speakers, and the antenna lead uses a similarly old-school connector rather than RCA. While you get stereo analog audio inputs, the lack of an optical digital audio connection means the system doesn’t offer a high quality input option.

Sanyo DC-DB10: Features

Users can assign presets for both digital and FM radio to easily navigate between their favourite stations. The top-loading CD player is convenient to use, and beats a slot-loading system if you're often changing discs. However, the CD motor drive was quite noisy during operation.

The system also has a sleep and wake up timer function, and DAB real-time clock synchronisation which eliminates the need to manually set the time when the system loses power. Annoyingly, the device can’t be completely switched off unless you unplug it. There is no physical power switch but the device has a low-power standby mode. During our tests we found that trying to adjust the volume is a task best left for the remote control. The volume knob does not rotate, instead functioning as a jog dial to incrementally increase or decrease audio levels.

Sanyo DC-DB10: Audio performance

During our audio playback tests, the system delivered a solid listening experience — especially considering the mediocre 9W speaker output. The speakers can easily be driven to high volume levels without noticeable distortion. We found the speakers were competent in the high and mid treble ranges, but this came at the cost of lower bass.

Interestingly, the difference in quality between FM and DAB+ digital radio was considerable. FM radio playback was considerably louder and, to our ears, more enjoyable than digital. We wondered whether the system had a weak digital tuner — we also opted for FM mode after a number of drops in reception during DAB+ radio playback.

Conclusion

Sanyo’s DC-DB10 mini hi-fi system doesn’t quite settle in comfortably in the modern market, and the DAB+ feature feels like a last minute add-on. For its $199 asking price the Sanyo DC-DB10 will provide you with a decent listening performance, if you stick to FM radio or CD.

Sanyo's environmental policy

According to Sanyo's corporate philosophy the company "will conduct business activities which are not only in 'compliance with the environment related laws and regulations' but also aimed at 'Symbiotic Evolution' of life on Earth and society through creating a culture and environment which future generations can be proud of." Earlier this year the company launched dedicated section of its Web site about the environment and corporate social responsibility.

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Read more on these topics: mini hi-fi, hi-fi systems, sanyo, home entertainment

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