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Customer Review

20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Use Mode 2 for best performance, June 6, 2013
This review is from: Panasonic SC-NE1 Compact Wireless Speaker System with Bluetooth (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Panasonic SC-NE1 is a tabletop or wall mountable audio system that is specifically designed for use with bluetooth devices such as the iPhone or Android device. While it does have an auxiliary audio in jack, from the first time it is turned on, it is ready to pair with a bluetooth device. The LED display prompts you to pair up.

That process takes approximately 15 seconds, and from then on it simply works. When in range of the device my iPhone would immediately pair with it. There was no drop out, even from several feet away.

Audio quality is somewhat subjective. I compared this system to a Tivoli Audio Model 2, and a Cambridge Soundworks Model 88 (a classic). These are small table top systems I had handy. In order to compare fairly, I used the aux in jack on the Panasonic. The Model 88 and the Panasonic are the most similar, both being "one box" solutions - although the Model 88 is many years old now (vintage). The Tivoli Audio costs about $100 more and has two speakers.

The Panasonic's strength is in pop music with a low end. Mr. Scruff sounds good, and the low end is reproduced at a decent volume with no evidence of strain. The Tivoli doesn't offer this kind of low end emphasis - it's strengths lie in the midrange (vocals, guitar) which it reproduces quite well. The Panasonic does almost as well, and surpasses the venerable Model 88 in this regard. On vocal performance (The Roches first album) the Model 2 was better than both. But the sonic signature of all three of these systems are quite different, and the Panasonic does well overall.

When using bluetooth to play back music, it is apparent that there is a compromise for going wireless. There is a kind of sonic smear where details in music are lost. After checking the manual, I discovered that there are two priority modes for bluetooth connections - one is for connection quality, the other is for audio quality. The default is Model 1. Switching to Mode 2 (audio quality) helps enough to be noticeable. Changing modes is through the included remote, which is used for all configuration of the speaker system. Prompts are handled by a single line LED display. The remote does not have the capability of controlling a bluetooth device (pause, skip, etc).

The Panasonic is not a small device. It measures 22-7/16 x 8-1/8 x 3-15/16 inch and weighs 5.95 pounds. Packaged with the speaker is hardware for wall mounting. You supply the means of attaching the brackets to your surface (such as toggle bolts). The cord comes out parallel with the device so the speaker sits flush against the wall.

This system's main value is in it's simplicity of use. It is very "set it and forget it". I unplugged it for a couple of weeks, and when I plugged it back in, it paired immediately with my iPhone. In less than a minute I was playing music through a speaker system with no fiddling. Audio quality is agreeable, and it will play at sufficient volume - not quite windows rattling - but enough to be heard clearly in the next room. Styling is subdued and blends in. Overall, it has much to commend it.
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