Despite having a lacklustre software interface, the Panasonic SC-ALL7CD delivers the goods on sound quality.
When I was growing up, the musical hub of the home was a very expensive Pioneer separate system. A giant beast with a 6 CD Changer and Vinyl Turntable on the top. It sounded beautiful, and was the centre of every party my parents had. Separate systems are still very much available, but aren’t as ‘in’ as they used to be. With space at a premium, and people sourcing their music ‘online’, these behemoths aren’t needed for a killer sound. Over the coming weeks I’ll be looking at three different Panasonic AllCD Wireless Speaker Systems – first up the Panasonic SC-ALL7CD.
The Panasonic SC-ALL7CD packs a lot of tech into a small footprint. As well as having a CD player, it supports Internet, DAB and FM Radio. There’s a USB port so you can play music from USB devices. It will also allow Bluetooth streaming and use Qualcomm AllPlay online services – such as Spotify and Napster. You can play music directly from your phone with the Panasonic AllPlay App too. It has 4Gb of inbuilt storage so can also store up to 25 CD Albums. It supports Hi-Res audio on top of all this.
You can ‘restream’ any of those sources to other Panasonic AllPlay Speakers on the same network. This means you can have the music in every room where you have an AllPlay device.
The Panasonic SC-ALL7CD has a smart looking single line dot matrix display to show the status of the device. It’s fairly minimalist, and does make setting up the device a tad frustrating. Cycling through just one line of menu at a time is a pain.
A lot of the control of the device is done by the Panasonic Home Streaming App – which is terrible. I’ve got a Panasonic Home Hub and the control app for that is just as poor. For such a powerful device, Panasonic have dropped the ball with the accompanying App – it’s clunky and frustrating. After getting the hang of its stupid interface, you can just about get everything working as you want. For something so expensive, the App should be flawless – it’s not.
It happily works via WiFi, or through Ethernet, and the device is in a constant low power standby mode. This is great if you decide you want to ping some Spotify to it – you don’t physically have to power it up. It’s just ‘there’ to send the music to. It works well with Spotify, for someone who uses Google Play Music, it’s a shame that isn’t supported. This is worked around by using Bluetooth to send the music over. Although this means the phone can’t stray too far from the unit.
If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the Panasonic SC-ALL7CD. Nothing that compact could produce rich sounding playback – could it? The pair of 20w Nanosized Bamboo Cone Speakers pack a surprising punch that filled our large lounge. Testing with a large selection of CDs and lossless FLAC files produced a decent sound and a smile on my face. Despite not having a separate sub speaker in the case, it gets the throbbing lows very well. You can crank this up loud and it’ll guarantee your neighbours will be knocking.
Despite having a lacklustre software interface, the Panasonic SC-ALL7CD delivers the goods on sound quality. Thankfully the bones are there for an incredible product, the software can easily be improved. This premium priced product really deserves an experience all around, whilst it produces a lovely sound, the software is appalling. It’s not a total loss, you WILL get used to it, but at a RRP of £379.99 – why should you? Look past the terrible app, and you’ll have a fantastic start to a wireless multi-room sound system.
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