- Good bass, tiny speakers, nice surround
- Flat mid range and treble, not a 'big' sound, receiver lacks features
If you live in a space constrained environment, Sony's DAV-IS10 may be a great home theatre solution for you. While the audio quality isn't incredible it is definitely above average, and the tiny speakers will fit in basically any location, bringing surround sound to even the smallest of rooms.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
Sony's DAV-IS10 is a home theatre system with a difference. Designed to operate in space constrained environments, its satellite speakers are absolutely tiny. Despite this, it offers all the features of a regular home theatre in a box, including DVD playback and HDMI connectivity.
Our main concern with having such tiny speakers was the sound quality. Were they going to produce adequate audio to fill a lounge or entertainment room? The short answer is yes, although that comes with some caveats.
Accompanying the speakers is a subwoofer, which is a much more standard size. Throwing this into the mix means bass response, one of the key areas of concern for tiny speakers, isn't left lacking. We found the bass to be the best part during our music tests. It is powerful and booms out sound, without being bloated at all. It is quite slow and reverberates nicely which gives a smooth tone.
In fact this slow decay is apparent across the whole musical register, although the mid range and treble aren't as impressive as the bass. The treble in particular is fairly lacklustre with a dull timbre and a distinct lack of emphasis. Piano-based tunes sounded quite plain on this system.
The mid range offers reasonable detail but there was a bit of distortion and a general lack of clarity in some areas, such as heavy guitar riffs. However, we did feel that the surround capabilities of the system were excellent and it really helped immerse us in our music.
This was similarly evident during our movie tests. The surround sound produced by the DAV-IS10 is great and really enhanced our enjoyment of the film. Unsurprisingly, the bass heavy sound was well suited to most films, with explosions and gun shots filling our test room. There was great detail and separation here, with individual bullet shells and raindrops distinctly falling to the ground one at a time.
Barely measuring more than 3.5cm at their widest point, the speakers are quite a feat of engineering. While the sound they produce isn't massive by any stretch of the imagination, their loudest volume is still much louder than most people will need. The tiny design makes them perfect for space constrained locations such as apartments, as they can be placed virtually anywhere (bookshelves, table corners, etc.).
Of course not all of the unit can be so tiny; both the main receiver/DVD player device and the subwoofer are larger although they are still fairly compact when all things are considered. The main unit is fairly standard for home theatre in a box packages, which acts as a DVD player and receiver in one. It sports component, composite, optical and HDMI outputs, ensuring all options are catered for.
The sound modes on offer are a little limited, but they'll be adequate for most users. There are a few basic front-only and full surround options, as well as ProLogic Movie and Music.
The setup process was one of the most simple we have ever done, thanks to the speaker cables being built into the speakers and having proprietary connections on the other end. They plug into the subwoofer, which then in turn connects to the main unit. All in all we were up and running in about 15 minutes which is very speedy for a home theatre system.
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