Top positive review
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A Truly Outstanding Micro System
on August 12, 2011
I have been listening to this system for two days now with every kind of music, and I have nothing but good to say about it. I have been a stereophile since the 1970s. In the 90s, I owned a system worth many thousands of dollars. I had Apogee Stage flat panel speakers supported by a top line Velodyne subwoofer. The electronics were all American made and were top of the line. I tell you this to let you know I am used to critical listening. Due to cramped living quarters, I had to get rid of this large expensive system. After some time living with only a Bose Wave that my wife had gotten as a gift, I decided to look for a small system that had good sound but would fit in my new living room. I searched the net, read all the reviews of such systems, but found that most of them were too large. The system had to fit into a bookcase area that was 12 inches deep by 28 inches wide by 14 inches high. All the systems with highly reviewed sound were just too deep. They would end up hanging off the front end of the bookshelf. I finally happened upon the Sharp XL-D259N on Amazon. Over 30 reviews uniformly sang the praises of its sound quality. It consisted of a three blocks: a central unit with radio tuner and CD player plus an iPod dock, and a pair of two way, bass reflex speakers. No measurement on these three cubes was more than 8 and 3/4 inches, length, width or depth. I have never before bought any piece of audio equipment without listening to it, but because of the uniform praise this system's sound received and the extremely reasonable price through Amazon, I decided to take a fling. I used my accumulated points from my Amazon Visa card and got it for free. I didn't even pay postage. So I figured "How much can I lose?" Am I glad I took the plunge! This little system is incredible! The sound is open and spacious. I couldn't believe it was coming from those two little boxes. Bass reflex speakers are often muddy sounding especially in the low end, but not these two little giants! Speaking of low end, these little boxes produce a prodigious amount of base for their size. And it is clean base. The Bose sounds like the base is coming from the bottom of a barrel. This system just sounds natural. The midrange is excellent and the highs do not get strident even if you turn the volume way up. i suspect this little unit has very low distortion. It is rated at 160 watts per channel, but that is dynamic power, probably at 10% distortion. I really don't know how much RMS power the amp in this system puts out plus or minus 3 db, but I don't care. All I can say is it's enough. I can play it as loud as I want with any type music, and it always supplies clean and undistorted sound. The amps are very well matched to the speaker drivers. I do listen to FM radio occasionally, so I went out and bought a little inexpensive Terk indoor FM antenna. After hooking it up, I tuned in to the local public radio station that happened to be playing some classical music. I couldn't believe what i was hearing. The sound was totally static free and almost as good as that from a CD. My wife was in the other room and asked "What CD are you playing?" This little giant has a really good FM tuner. It locks in weak stations and makes strong ones sound absolutely marvelous (assuming that they are broadcasting a quality signal). This unit has electronic base and trebel adjustment but also has some equalizer settings. They are labeled flat, game, pops, classic, vocal and jazz. It doesn't have a rock setting as such, but that is taken care of by something called X-base, that really emphasizes the base. I find it overwhelming on any type of music except base heavy rock, which it does seem to improve. For everything else, I prefer the flat setting. Like most stereophiles, I pursued accuracy in my reproduced music for many years. Using the term accuracy with rock music is an oxymoron. Most rock is electronic music that often uses a degree of distortion as part of the sound. Rock is often what the recording engineer decides to make it. Don't get me wrong. I like good rock music and listen often. I just don't worry about "accuracy" with it.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this system has an iPod dock. I can't tell you anything about it because, although I have an iPod Touch, I use it for storing data, not music.
The build quality of this little system is quite good. The large volume control on the cube is solid and moves smoothly. Most of the controls are on the full size remote that comes with the system. As others have said, "Don't lose it!" The speaker boxes appear to be made from medium density fiberboard, which may be one of the reasons they sound so good. Most systems I've seen at this price range have plastic cabinets on their speakers. Plastic just doesn't dampen resonance like MDF.
In summary, I couldn't be happier with this little mighty mouse. If you are interested in a small system that is open, clear, and accurate (and can play loudly without distortion as well), then this is the one. You get superb value for your dollar.