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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few pointers
I'm delighted with my SC-HC57. I won't rate it five stars because it has had a few glitches; nothing serious, but you should know about them.

I will try to give you the things I wanted to know before I bought this unit.

FEATURES AND FORM:

This little stereo is about 18 by 8 by 3 inches. It seems solid and sits securely on a table. It comes...
Published on August 11, 2012 by Bill

versus
127 of 136 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment for upgrading to HC57 from HC55
I also have a HC55, the previous generation of the HC57. I purchased the HC57 due to the AirPlay function, and thought it would be an upgrade version of HC55, but all I can say is that the HC57 is a big disappointment for me, it is turned out to be a cost down version of HC55. There are the reasons:
1.The speaker is different, the HC57 have 2 woofer units in each...
Published on August 10, 2012 by Rui Liu


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127 of 136 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment for upgrading to HC57 from HC55, August 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I also have a HC55, the previous generation of the HC57. I purchased the HC57 due to the AirPlay function, and thought it would be an upgrade version of HC55, but all I can say is that the HC57 is a big disappointment for me, it is turned out to be a cost down version of HC55. There are the reasons:
1.The speaker is different, the HC57 have 2 woofer units in each side of the speaker, the HC55 have 3, the HC57 took off the high frequency tweeter, making the sound less vivid compare to HC55, that's quite awful for a Stereo System. I believe Panasonic just put the HC35's speaker system for the HC57.
2.Very plastic feeling compare to HC55, Panasonic also took off the top chrome finish , making the buttons all plastic, that's also eliminate the door sensor function, which I think is a very cool feature that HC55 has.
3.The HC57 is also much thicker than HC55,bulky in my view.
4.No more bluetooth function, as before, I can sync my iphone music through bluetooth, and the sound quality is extremely good, and I can answer phone call through the HC55, making the HC55 a hand free bluetooth device.
5.No more AM function compare to HC55.
6.The AUX-in port also being budgeted out.

Moreover, the bluetooth function also works better than the wifi based airplay. Both of your HC57 and your source, iphone, mac etc must have good wifi signal, which limited the product placement. The bluetooth allow the user to have superior sound quality as long as everything in the same room. So, go for the now cheaper HC55, you won't regrat.

updated 8/27
I am not sure if it is the problem of my TP-LINK router, the AirPlay function works badly in my home, often time, my iphone couldn't find the device, and iTune also failed to connect with erro message. Also, comments said, the HC57 also took off the capability to play mp3/CDR discs. Packed everything and will return it to Amazon
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few pointers, August 11, 2012
By 
Bill (Gaylord, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I'm delighted with my SC-HC57. I won't rate it five stars because it has had a few glitches; nothing serious, but you should know about them.

I will try to give you the things I wanted to know before I bought this unit.

FEATURES AND FORM:

This little stereo is about 18 by 8 by 3 inches. It seems solid and sits securely on a table. It comes with a safety hook you can attach to the wall to keep it from falling over, and a set of wall mounts to stick it to the wall without a table or shelf.

It includes a small remote control with battery, a power cord, and a wire FM antenna. It doesn't use a "wall wart" transformer, thank Goodness, just a power cord that plugs into a socket on the back and then into the wall outlet. The FM antenna connection is a coaxial cable socket; the included wire antenna is a cheap thing that just clips to the center spike on the coaxial socket, but it works well enough to pull in strong local signals.

The area between the two speakers is one rectangle of translucent "smoked" plastic that looks like glass. When you hit "iPod" on the remote, this will slide to the right and a connector cradle for your iPod will slide forward. Turn it off and the iPod connector and iPod will slide back inside the unit and the cover will close.

Hit CD and the cover will slide open to the left this time, exposing a CD player. This works in a predictable matter. You have to fit the CD into it and snap it onto the player's spindle. This would be easier if the CD player were horizontal rather than vertical. It is a bit awkward. But that is the trade-off for having such a convenient and compact unit. I think the trade-off is worth it.

I have tried the stereo with my "iPod," which is actually an iPhone 4, plugged directly into the iPod bracket; playing the FM radio; playing the CD; playing from the iPhone wirelessly via Apple's AirPlay, and playing wirelessly to AirPlay via iTunes on my desktop computer, which is a Windows 7 PC. Everything has worked.

WITH AN iPHONE:

Set the iPhone to running its "Music" application and it will work like an iPod when you put it in the iPod cradle. It will charge the battery while in the cradle. The remote control will let you scroll up and down through your music collection and select things and play them.

On the other hand, using the iPhone streaming via AirPlay across the room, the iPhone becomes the remote control, in several ways.

First, the various music applications I have on the iPhone all can play via the SC-HC57. I am using the native Music application, TuneIn Radio, Radio Paradise, Pandora, and Slacker. On all of these except Slacker an icon to select replay via AirPlay appeared as soon as I added the SC-HC57 to my WiFi Network. On Slacker it still plays via AirPlay if that is what I was using before. Perhaps there's an icon for AirPlay in Slacker somewhere, but if so I haven't found it.

Second, Panasonic offers a free application called StereoRemote, which duplicates your little infrared remote control on the screen of the iPhone. You might want to do this because the WiFi remote, thus created, has better range than the infrared one does. Also, this application allows you access to the tone controls. Some people have reported that this stereo comes from the factory with the bass set too high; the StereoRemote ap allows you to adjust this to your taste, as well as to select from several preset equalization schemes.

WITH THE PC

So far I haven't found how to play sound from my PC to the SC-HC57 except from iTunes. iTunes works fine. As with the iPhone, there was no icon to select AirPlay speakers until I got the SC-HC57 onto the network, but once there the necessary icon appeared.

CONNECTING TO WIFI:

The manual and online advice strongly advise you to use the WPS pushbutton connection scheme. I have a Belkin wireless router which is, supposedly, set up to allow this. I couldn't get it to work. In fairness they advise you to put the SC-HC57 right next to your router when connecting this way for the first time, and I did not.

Also in fairness, when I tried their "Method 2" to establish a connection, the first several times I tried, that didn't work either. Then I unplugged the SC-HC57, plugged it in again, and Method 2 worked fine for me. Since I did the same thing each time I gather that I was running up against what we highly elite computer savvy power users know as "just one of them there things." Point being that if at first you don't succeed, be sure to pull the plug and start over from scratch before you give up. It worked for me.

To connect using Method 2, as I did, using a wireless router with a WPA-PSK security setup, you will need to know the pass phrase (long password) for your network and your network's name.

I did this with the iPhone sitting within inches of the SC-HC57, to make absolutely sure there were no signal transmission problems due to weak signal.

1. "Press SETUP on the remote control repeatedly to select NET SETUP and then press OK." Just like the manual says. Be sure to press the OK button on the remote within a few seconds, or it times out.

2. "Connect your iPhone to this unit's wireless network called "Setup____"...

What this means is that when you are using this method, the SC-HC57 actually establishes its own WiFi network hot spot, exclusively for the purpose of letting you configure it. You will need to go to settings on your iPhone and look at WiFi. Under WiFi you should see your home network's name (your iPhone will probably be logged into this already by default), any other networks in range, and a network called SETUP1234 or something like that, where the number after the word SETUP is different for each SC-HC57 unit. Tell your iPhone to connect to that SETUP network, whatever it is.

3. "Start Safari on your kPhone and type '[...]" into the URL address field and display the page." Just like it says in the manual. This is the SC-HC57's setup page.

4. "Select 'Search wireless network.'" Just like it says in the manual. This should bring up a list of any WiFi networks available in the area, including your home network. Assuming you know the name of your home wifi network, you should be able to find it listed here.

5. Select your home wifi network from the list of available networks. Enter your password- in the case of my network, this was a pass phrase, but same thing, basically. Select NEXT.

In my case this was pretty much all that was needed. The manual says you need to tell what encryption method you're using, but when my SC-HC57 searched out my home network it correctly identified what I was using and told ME. So that was simpler.

Depending on what encryption system you're using, though, and whether you use dynamic or static IPs and all sorts of computer geek stuff, you might have to enter more information. If you know what all of those are, you also know how to set them, I have no doubt.

PROBLEMS:

I did all the above and everything worked fine. Then I turned the SC-HC57 off. When I came back later, it would not connect to my WiFi network. I got out the remote again to reconnect it; got as far as starting NET SETUP when it suddenly locked back onto the signal and worked fine.

There is a setting available in SETUP for "Network Standby." If you turn this on, starting an application on your iPhone or computer that calls for the SC-HC57 to play will cause it to wake up and play, even if you have turned it "off" (or to standby, as I believe it actually is). I turned this feature on. It works fine, and since I turned it on I also haven't had a problem with the SC-HC57 losing contact with the wireless network. My crackpot opinion is that since the SC-HC57 must be listening to the network all the time to know if anything else is trying to call it, it must remain at least nominally connected to the network even when turned off, when you have the Network Standby option turned on. In any case, turning this on seems to have solved that little problem for me.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product, May 13, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is a terrific modern stereo system. It looks great and feels solid. Grippy rubber stuff on the bottom keeps it firmly planted on the counter, and there is a wall mounting hardware set if you want to hang it.

The sound is surprisingly full given the size of the unit. Out of the box, Panasonic has the bass boosted and I think it's too much. There are plenty of adjustments for tone, and it was easy to set it to better suit my kitchen environment.

I am particularly impressed with the Airplay feature. Since my wireless router doesn't have the WPS button, I had to use "Method 2" in the setup instructions. This involves connecting to the stereo using WiFi on a computer/iPod/iPad etc. and then pointing that device's browser to a specific IP address. This gives a menu for having the stereo search for your wireless router and then for entering the WiFi password. You can also set the stereo's Airplay name. Once finished, iTunes on your computer/iPod/iPad will see that name as a choice in the Airplay menu. You can adjust the stereo's volume from iTunes and any adjustments to volume, stop/pause, or track selections on the stereo remote will be reflected back to your computer or handheld device. Very, very cool. A standby features allows the unit to wake automatically from sleep if requested by an Airplay device, and a remote App for the iPod/iPad mirrors all buttons on the stereo remote it is out of range (it is an IR remote).

The iPod dock lives behind a sheet of glass-smooth plastic that slides to the side with motorized coolness to allow the dock to automatically move forward. I've docked an old generation 1 iPod Touch. With either the iPod itself or the stereo remote, you can move among the iPod menus to select tunes or playlists. The stereo also charges the iPod and indicates if the iPod is still charging when you power the stereo down.

The CD player lives behind the same robotic panel. It plays as you would expect. Sounds good and the CD mechanism doesn't make any noise.

Using the radio requires connecting the little wire antenna provided. The system will automatically scan and fill presets for all available stations. Sounds good and is easy to setup once you read the instructions.

The software in the unit can update itself once you've connected it to your WiFi. Mine didn't require an update.

I really like this system and hope Panasonic sells a lot of them. I might have to get a couple more for other rooms...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing product, May 1, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I bought the HC-25 which was available at Costco. But then I came across this model on the panasonic website. The fact that it had airplay and CD/ipod combo sealed the deal. Setting up Airplay was child's play, took about 5 mins. I had to take it close the my wireless router and press the WPS button on both.
The sounce is very rich and pleasing. I can airplay my iTunes library, youtube and even pandora. I can control the volumne from my ipod as well.
This is exactly what I was looking for.
There is an Ipod dock, but I dont I will be using it at all.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely satisfied, May 21, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
The ability to stream Pandora and iTunes from an iPhone or iPad may just seem like a novelty that you wouldn't actually use, but in our case it the reason this unit gets used instead of just sitting there. Then add the ability to control the volume and adjust the sound from the IOS app and you have the ability to easily control those annoying variations in volume from song-to-song.

The speakers are not powerful enough to fill a large space ( e.g. Loud pool party) but are more than adequate when used indoors as background music.

I thought the process for setting or changing radio presets was more difficult than it needed to be, but other than that have no complaints. Highly recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, May 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
This stereo both looks and sounds great! I waited for this model to come out for the Airplay, which the SC-HC55 doesn't have. My modem doesn't have a WPS button, so setting up Airplay according to Method 2 in the owner's manual isn't exactly straightforward, but I did it get working on my third attempt. Other than that small setback, this is an amazing product.

For such a small unit, the sound quality is full and rich with no distortion. I use it in my great room which is 30' x 50' with a 26' ceiling. Both CD's and the radio sound incredible (I don't have an iPod, so I don't use the iPod dock). Besides the remote control, I can use my iMac to control CD tracks volume, etc. All said and done, I am very pleased with my purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, fairly compact. Airplay is a joy to have, May 13, 2013
By 
Michael (Fairfax County, Virginia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This unit looks good. Fairly compact and feels sturdy.

The sound is great. Room filling (normal size that is). And fairly easy to set up and use.

I like the Airplay part. Makes life less complicated to be able to hook up wirelessly to this system and play my music on it.

Very nice unit with great sound.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks and sounds Great, April 22, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I wanted something to put by my cd collection so when I have people over they can listen to my cds as they look through them. Rather an old school idea in such a cloud/hard drive sort of world. But I love music...and I'll always have a collection of physical cds. Something I can pass down through generations. This was easy to wall-mount and looks great (as it matches my shelves) and it sounds great (I have only used the cd player and the radio but the other functions such as wifi and ipod dock should sound just as good). I like the sliding door, hopefully that will hold up to repeat usage. so far so good. The speakers are very nice, and may scare you a bit when you take it out of the box, but the proof is in the performance, and this delivers strong (balanced) sound, not a lot of bass as it does not have a subwoofer, but it sounds great despite it's size. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves music and want to listen to it the old fashioned way or to those who are children of the ipod generation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly easy to set up, November 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I wasn't looking for a sound system replacement, just a shelf unit, so I am quite happy with the size and output. What I mostly wanted was something to use with my iPod, iTunes on my computer, and internet radio. The best part is the way it sets up. I have a new-ish router and iTunes 10.2 so my existing hardware and software is up to date for this device. It is absolutely true that, in order to use WPS to connect, this device has to be about 3 inches (in my case) from the router during the initial connection. I first tried it 25 feet away (in direct line of sight through an open doorway) and was told "fail". The same happened at a distance of 2 feet. The third time, I picked up the unit and held it 3 inches from my router and had immediate success. Go figure! But imagine my happiness :-) I had read many reviews here before buying so I was prepared for alternatives. I unplugged the HC57, moved it to where I wanted it, and turned it on again to see if the connection held, and it did. Turned it off and on again just to be sure.

Playing through iTunes from my computer (I do this because these speakers are much better than my computer's) was blessedly simple also. There is an icon in the lower right corner of the iTunes window where the playback option for the HC57 was already detected and available for selection. Yay!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HC57 is wave of the future, February 3, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System with iPod Dock, Wireless Audio with Airplay, Wall-Mountable (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Outstanding little system. Being able to access my entire CD collection at any time, with the push of a button (and never having to open another CD box) is gold. I see this concept taking off in the next few years eg: receivers with onboard storage vs having to stream from an external source. A least I hope so. The HC57 was easy to set up, even though I had to use the manual method 2. The sound is remarkable for such a tiny unit, although don't expect audiophile quality (but it's only $120). There are some annoying quirks, like it blasts at full volume when you first start airplay, and there's no separate Airplay button - documented by other reviewers. For that reason, I'm docking it one star.

Note that although the instructions don't say it anywhere, you have to download Apple's (free) remote app, in order to control ITunes from your iPhone/pod/pad. Without that, the HC57 is sort of useless, since you'd have to go back to your computer every time you wanted a new song. But with the app, it's all on your iPhone - gold.
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