Diminutive yet distinguished
- Stylish, good connectivity, decent midrange and treble performance
- Short speaker cables, no bass response
The XL-UH2080H is a mouthful of a name for such a small hi-fi system. It performs its tasks admirably, as long as you don't expect it to blow you away with booming bass.
Price$ 259.00 (AUD)
Sharp's XL-UH2080H hi-fi system is small but it packs quite a punch. The little component system is user-friendly and simple to set up (despite being slightly restrictively cabled) and has plenty of inputs. The system doesn't have the volume to fill a large room effectively, but for smaller rooms and reasonable listening levels it provides a well-metered sound.
The system looks like every other micro hi-fi system on the market — a central unit with two bookshelf speakers. It's quite stylish, thanks to a black gloss finish on the speakers.
Released alongside the XL-DK227NH (which features an iPod input), the XL-UH2080H boasts a power rating of 32 Watts RMS per channel. This doesn't sound very powerful, and it's not. Don't despair, however, as there are advantages that go hand-in-hand with this. While it might not have sufficient volume to fill a large room, the system's maximum level is sufficient to fill a medium-sized space with sound, and it does this without distorting or losing clarity.
The XL-UH2080H's three main modes are radio, CD and USB playback, and it handles all three with ease. Extra attention has been given to its USB mode, so the USB host can handle complicated folder and file structures.
It's quite an easy system to use. Once the system is turned on it's simple to choose one of its modes, using either the controls on the face of the unit or the bundled remote. Oddly enough, although there's a button to start playing a CD or song via USB on the unit, there's no option to skip forward or back. That's entirely the realm of the remote, which also handles the advanced sound settings.
The system comes pre-loaded with five equaliser settings — Rock, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Flat. There's also a bass expansion setting, to push the bookshelf speakers out of their comfort zone.
That isn't to say the speakers aren't quite capable without equalisation. When listening to rock music they're a little out of their league in terms of bass and midrange. They're definitely best suited to listening to the radio and MP3s, but do an adequate job at more taxing tasks.
Treble is a strong point of these speakers. It's generally one of the easier ranges to reproduce, thanks to the simple components needed — no excessively large speaker drivers or complicated enclosures. In this unit it's successfully handled by the two-inch tweeter driver in each bookshelf speaker; it sounds consistently crisp and bright throughout all volume levels. It's a credit to these drivers that even at high volumes they remained composed and smooth, without sounding nearly as harsh and painful as other mini hi-fi systems we've heard.
Midrange is acceptable. It's certainly less obvious compared to treble, but it's still audible at normal listening volumes. It does get slightly bloated at higher volumes, however, leading to the sound becoming somewhat boomy and indistinct. The bass reflex tubes built in to the back of the cabinets help with both midrange and bass volume levels, but they have to be placed directly against a wall to achieve anything.
Bass is all but nonexistent. It's unrealistic to expect such small cabinets to have low frequency response — unless they're specifically tuned to do so, compromising all other frequencies. However, there is a subwoofer pre-out on the back of the control unit, so you can upgrade by buying an active subwoofer. This is actually quite a bright idea from Sharp, because a dedicated subwoofer would fill this system's missing frequency ranges perfectly.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- CCProject Manager - Telco Networks EngineeringVIC
- TPTechnical Business Analyst - DigitalQLD
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- TPAnalyst Workplace SupportVIC
- FTTechnical Support RepresentativeNSW
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)WA
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW
- CCDesktop SupportNSW
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC