The sound quality in the Panasonic SC-ALL05 is just not comparable to the rest of the range. It will happily rock the household, sat discreetly in the kitchen – but this isn’t a ‘main’ device.
I recently wrote about the Panasonic SC-ALL7CD – and, despite the rubbish phone software (which has had a few updates since), the unit is pretty good. Today, I’m looking at its sister unit – the Panasonic SC-ALL05. It retails at £179.00 – although you can find it a bit cheaper at Amazon.
This is an interesting speaker because it is completely waterproof with an IPX7 Rating. Meaning it can be fully submerged in water up to 1m and still work. I’m not sure why you’d do that, but still – you can happily use it in a bathroom or kitchen. It’s also got a battery in it, for upto 6 hours of wireless playback. Most bathrooms don’t have a mains supply nearby – so you can take your tunes into the shower with you.
On paper – yes it does.
In reality – not so much.
Ours lived in the bathroom for a while – and, when it was charged, and working – yes – it played music. It was pretty cool having the music streamed around the house. A lot of the time, it would ‘fall off’ the network, and the Panasonic App couldn’t see it. Other times, it would lose charge, because, by default it’s set to be in a low power ‘standby’ mode. This can be switched off, however, it exacerbates the falling off the network issue.
I’ve since moved it into the kitchen, and it’s connected to the mains (via the PSU that resembles a laptop one). It seems to be a LOT happier with this, it stays on the network (mostly). So when the SC-ALL07CD in the lounge and the ALL09 in the Office wake up, the Panasonic SC-ALL05 does too. They all sing merrily. It’s great.
The Panasonic SC-ALL05, once working, isn’t the audio delight that the ALL07CD is. Not by a long shot, the sound is a very muffled and flat. The highs and lows are muddied in a pool of ‘meh’. Adjusting the equaliser within the app doesn’t bring much joy either. I imagine the waterproofing contributes to this. The sound just doesn’t have the definition of the other ‘All Sound’ units. But, if it did, it wouldn’t be waterproof.
It’s just ‘fine’
It’s fine for a boogie in the bath, or a Cha-Cha while you chop – but, for that kind-of cost I think I want more than ‘fine’. The technology within the All Sound collection is so good, and the App is improving. The bottom line is, the sound quality in the Panasonic SC-ALL05 is just not comparable to the rest of the range. It will happily rock the household, sat discreetly in the kitchen – but this isn’t a ‘main’ device.
It would be awesome if the WiFi wobbles could be fixed in a firmware update. Sure, it won’t fix the sound quality, but it will sugar-coat the pill. If you’ve got an ‘All Sound’ home, it would of course make sense to have the waterproof speaker in the bathroom, or kitchen. Just, don’t get the Panasonic SC-ALL05 as a standalone unit for the lounge – there are better options.