Sony HTDDW1500 MU.TE.KI
- Great value, powerful, feature packed AV receiver
- Big and bulky
A great entry to home theatre and an ideal partner for a High Definition television
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
Sometimes one just isn't enough. How many people do you see riding round on unicycles?. And it wouldn't be much of a pop duo with just one Veronica. Sony has taken this mantra to heart with their oddly named MU.TE.KI 6.2 home theatre system. The .2 should give the game away: Sony has bundled not one, but two subwoofers with this system. However this inclusion is just the tip of the iceberg for one of Sony's most powerful home theatre systems to date.
The MU.TE.KI is so big it actually comes in two separate boxes. Each front speaker stands nearly a metre tall, which combined with four smaller speakers, a large AV receiver and the pair of subwoofers, makes for a hefty package. It's worth noting that the MU.TE.KI is not a typical Home Theatre in a Box (HTIB) as Sony has left out the DVD player, so you'll need some kind of external source to pair with the system.
One potential problem with the unit is the aesthetics. The MU.TE.KI is a very bold system, with metal grilles and an industrial colour scheme complementing the large proportions. It appears Sony has strived to make a powerful looking system, and they've certainly achieved this aim. This kind of styling may be welcome to some, but for those seeking a subtle, polished system, the MU.TE.KI is not the answer.
Setting up the system is made slightly harder than necessary by Sony's refusal to colour code the wires. We always find this is a helpful inclusion, especially when there are eight pairs of wires to be connected. One nice feature for the novice is the automatic calibration microphone. Simply plug the microphone into the AV receiver, place it where you plan to sit and press a button. After a fair amount of nasty hissing from the speakers the system is all set to go, with the speaker levels and distances all adjusted. The system isn't foolproof, however, as we found the smaller speakers weren't tuned completely to our satisfaction, and the subwoofers also have to be tuned manually.
The next step is to plug in your various DVD players, games consoles and external devices. The MU.TE.KI comes replete with virtually every connection under the sun, certainly enough for a system in this price range. In addition to two component inputs, a pair of optical digital jacks, coaxial and a multitude of regular composite connections, the MU.TE.KI has two HDMI inputs. HDMI is quickly becoming a must have on any system so its inclusion is certainly welcome. The only thing really lacking is S-Video, but with the advent of High Definition its exclusion shouldn't be a concern.
Backing up the wide range of inputs is an equally wide range of audio features. When watching movies the standard sound modes such as Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 are included but these are also supported by some interesting proprietary modes from Sony. Four Digital Cinema Sound modes are included, which are supposed to replicate the acoustics of Sony's film studios. These basically cover action movies, orchestral soundtracks, headphones and general films. While the MU.TE.KI sounded good, we couldn't notice that great a difference between each mode. But as each of Sony's environments can be combined with the various Dolby surround processing modes, there's plenty of room for acoustic adjustments.
Similarly, music can be played through the Pro Logic or Neo processors, or the user can opt for one of Sony's equalisations; namely Classical Concert Hall, Jazz or Live Concert. These do make a noticeable difference to the music and it's well worth fiddling around with the various parameters. Our one complaint with the configuration process is the lack of an on-screen menu. Scrolling through the seemingly endless list of options on the AV receiver's one line LCD screen is far from intuitive.
Once the MU.TE.KI is properly configured both movies and music sound great. While the acoustics are perhaps a little flat, lacking the richness and depth of high-end systems, it's still a pleasure to listen to. The eight speakers provide a nice soundscape with the surround field clearly identifiable. Watching the battle scenes from LOTR: Return of the King was a heart pounding experience, with every sword slash ricocheting round the speakers, and every impact causing an earthquake from the subwoofers. High volume is another area in which the MU.TE.KI excels, with the powerful amplifier making the most of the oversized speakers and subwoofers. Despite their size, even at high volumes the balance between low and high frequency audio is maintained.
The quality of visuals aren't sacrificed either, primarily through Sony's support of High Definition content through both Component and HDMI. Each input can be reassigned for ease of access, and a handy synchronisation feature allows pictures to be shifted in cases where the audio is out of time. The package is rounded off nicely with the inclusion of an AM/FM radio receiver.
Overall we found very little to dislike about the MU.TE.KI. Audiophiles may scoff at the sound performance, and the design certainly isn't subtle, but for anyone seeking a reasonably priced, future proof, and powerful home theatre system, you can't go wrong with the MU.TE.KI.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
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
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- FTPart Time - IT Service Desk AnalystVIC
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - Six Sigma Black BeltVIC
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- FTFull Stack Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCSharepoint Business AnalystACT
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTInfrastructure Solution ArchitectSA
- CCProject SpecialistVIC
- FTPre- Sales Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTHead of ApplicationsVIC