Panasonic SC-PMX802 Overview: A flexible micro system

Verdict

Trusted Reviews Recommended

A flexible micro system able to enjoying your shiny plastic discs in addition to digitally streaming tracks, the PCMX802 is an eloquent performer – though it might shore up its ‘Hello-Res’ ambitions if it had entry to extra options.

Professionals

  • Heat, interesting sound
  • Versatile participant
  • Takes up little area

Cons

  • No MQA, aptX-HD, LDAC assist
  • Not beneficial to be used with different audio system

Availability

  • UKRRP: £499
  • USATBC
  • EuropeTBC
  • CanadaTBC
  • AustraliaTBC

  • Chromecast built-inStream Hello-res audio from laptops, smartphones and tablets

  • CD playbackCan play shiny plastic discs

  • JENO engineAllows playback of Hello-Res audio

Introduction

Look on-line (or in these issues they name newspapers) and up to date stories counsel CDs are out, streaming is in, digital downloads are someplace or different, and vinyl has spun round sufficient instances to be again in vogue.

It’s into this often-capricious market that Panasonic launches its SC-PMX802 hi-fi system, catering to those that are hanging on to their shiny plastic discs (and nonetheless listening to radio); however accommodating streaming by means of AirPlay 2 and Chromecast.

It’s a hi-fi system that bends an ear to the previous, with a concentrate on the current – however the query is will we nonetheless be utilizing techniques corresponding to these sooner or later? If a hybrid of streaming and bodily media that takes up little area suits your wants, this versatile system appears to make the case that micro hi-fi techniques will probably be round for some time but.

Design

  • Compact measurement
  • Disc tray for CDs
  • LCD panel

Panasonic’s system is, properly, miniature in measurement. It takes up much less area than a stereo amplifier or music streamer would on their very own, measuring 114 x 221 x 267mm (HWD) earlier than you embrace the audio system.

The silver end offers the unit a classy look – it additionally is available in black. On the fascia are two small management knobs, bass and treble, and a quantity dial both aspect of a show. This exhibits primary line readings – ‘CD’, ‘Community’, ‘AirPlay’, operating time – with a blue mild that I suppose is there to point that it’s on. Regardless, it’s simple to learn up shut and sufficiently big to see from a distance.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 CD display

Additionally on the entrance are playback controls, and beneath them is a CD disc tray and eject button. Loading discs doesn’t take lengthy, nor do they make a lot noise when being learn. With vents on both aspect and one on high of the SC-PMX802 to push out warmth, Panasonic recommends inserting the audio system a minimum of 10mm away from the primary unit for air flow, so you’ll be able to preserve the audio system tucked in tight. The unit will get reasonably heat with use, which is completely tremendous.

The audio system are compact items with a pleasant black wooden end and a baffle that may be magnetically hooked up (or indifferent) to disclose the drive items. The system is optimised with these audio system in thoughts, and when you’re considering of including a pair they wanted to be rated at 3 – 16ohms. Somewhat than a visible assertion it’s a neat and tidy one, and the cable that connects the assorted elements is skinny and unobtrusive, just like the one which comes with the bigger Q Acoustic M20 HD system.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 remote

The distant is of the sort Panasonic ships with its Blu-ray gamers, though smaller and with out an ‘eject’ button. I suppose leaving that out is smart, actually, as when you’re going to stand up and alter the disc, why trouble to have an eject button on the distant? It doesn’t cease me from selecting up the distant and searching for the eject button each single time, although. Previous habits die exhausting.

The distant makes use of line of sight and is tightly packed for buttons, however not in a manner that may frustrate with Panasonic’s Blu-ray remotes. The response from button presses aren’t too inflexible and stiff, both.

Options

  • Constructed-in Chromecast
  • Hello-Res audio functionality
  • Technics JENO engine
  • AAC restrict for Bluetooth streaming

Panasonic pushes the SC-PMX802 as a flexible community participant, and with AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Bluetooth, there are alternatives for iOS and Android customers to stream. Community set-up is thru Google House, with DLNA streaming, multi-room throughout the Google ecosystem, in addition to Google Assistant – though that isn’t built-in.

Downloading firmware updates took a while – the preliminary replace took properly over the 20 minutes talked about within the handbook – however, finally, the unit and Google House synched up with each other on the second try.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 rear area connection

Chromecast helps audio as much as 24-bit/96kHz, presenting the Panasonic SC-PCMX802’s Hello-Res credentials – a minimum of wirelessly. There’s no MQA assist and, like different Chromecast-enabled gadgets, the Tidal Hello-Fi tier is downscaled to CD high quality. Bluetooth is simply v4.2, and playback hits a ceiling of AAC; a scarcity of aptX-HD or LDAC barely disappoints in mild of these Hello-Res aspirations.

In any other case, there’s a 3.5mm jack for headphones and a USB 2.0 enter that enables for music playback as much as 24-bit/192kHz and DSD 5.6MHz. That very same USB enter additionally helps WAV, FLAC, AAC and MP3 information. Across the rear are speaker terminals, AUX RCA in, Audio in, Ethernet, and an optical out that opens up the SC-PMX802 to different gadgets corresponding to moveable audio gamers, PC, DVD participant, and so forth.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 SB-PMX70 speakers with baffle off

Operating the present is the JENO Engine – Technics’ top-of-the-line providing – whereas the three-way audio system function a 14cm cone woofer, 1.9cm silk dome tweeter and a 1.5cm piezoelectric tremendous tweeter. I’m not acquainted with the latter, however it seems to supply a extra environment friendly high-frequency efficiency.

Nonetheless hearken to the actual wi-fi? The Panasonic SC-PCMX802 has DAB/DAB+ assist, with an aerial among the many included equipment. Presets for radio and programmable playback – CD and USB – could be carried out on the distant.

Sound High quality

  • Assured, expressive sound
  • Bass lacks extension
  • Easy vocal supply

Since Panasonic recommends the perfect audio system for the system are those that include it (there are claims of injury to the amplifier and even inflicting a hearth), you’re somewhat locked into the system because it comes.

However, the SC-PCMX802’s efficiency grew on me over the course of testing, suggesting you’ll need to mattress this method in over a interval. At first, I’d have described the Panasonic as sounding barely broad and comfortable, missing a level of definition; the treble relaxed and bass a little bit underwhelming. Over time a barely hotter, richer character got here into focus, and with tweaks to bass and treble, a extra nice and fascinating listening expertise was doable throughout a variety of sources.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 SB-PMX70 rear bass port

There are limits to the system’s bass prowess, nonetheless. The SC-PCMX802 doesn’t have the extension to essentially add welly to low frequencies even with the rear bass port firing towards a wall, and tweaking the bass (-4/+4) is welcome however going full beans results in a slight hardness to the unit’s bass output, which presents some extra punch if not essentially extra depth.

Twiddling with the treble brings out some extra refinement and a few perceptible sharpness to high-frequency tones. Play the theme from the Hawkeye Disney+ present (Tidal, Chromecast), and the twinkly Christmas tones have a barely larger pitch than they did pre-tweaking.

The system’s sense of dynamism is successfully parlayed in John Williams’ The Drive Awakens rating, bringing out the movement of Williams’ brass and string writing within the Principal Theme and The Assault on the Jakku Village.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 SB-PMX70 speakers side to side

The Ballad of Howie Bling from Daniel Lopatin’s Uncut Gems soundtrack is stuffed with synthesized devices that evoke a dreamy 80s really feel, and the micro system captures that tone properly. It proves a very good match throughout a variety of musical genres, with the ballad described with spaciousness as voices flit right here and there by means of the soundstage, whereas the snare drums snap with crispness, and the heat of the speaker’s sound generates a comfy, wealthy sound.

A constant function of the SC-PCMX802’s efficiency is the way in which every instrument is separated from the opposite, present by itself in a stereo picture that’s properly organized and larger than the confines of the audio system themselves. There’s a richness to the Panasonic’s presentation that doesn’t get in the way in which of vocal readability, a stream of Zara McFarlane’s Every little thing is Linked album (Tidal) opens the gates to a clean and soulful vocal efficiency.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 bass and treble dials

Comparable could be mentioned for Jessie Buckley’s flip as Rose Lynn on the Wild Rose soundtrack (CD), the stresses of every observe delivered with readability in her Glaswegian accent, which feeds into the emotion of every observe. Whether or not it’s one which requires a good quantity of energy (Nation Woman) or extra solemn tone (Peace In This Home), the Panasonic places in a well-judged efficiency.

Transferring to extra less complicated tracks and the guitar strums that open Ry Cooder’s soundtrack to cult 80s movie Paris Texas (CD) have a exact and pure pitch to the guitar strings, every observe allowed to linger earlier than the subsequent one begins. This provides to the album’s somewhat elegiac and wistful tone.

A twist of the quantity dial provides extra vitality and measurement to the Panasonic’s supply, however with some fast-paced tracks it could come throughout as a little bit formulaic and one-paced. It isn’t a very large-scale efficiency that dominates a room (a minimum of with out buying and selling subtlety for bombast), neither is it one with enormous quantities of energy behind it. As such, the SC-PCMX802 is a system you’ll need to get cosy to than sit far-off from.

Panasonic SC-PMX802 volume dial

Newest offers

Must you purchase it?

If you would like hi-fi comfort in a small type issue CD, radio, Hello-Res playback and streaming multi functional bundle and with audio system accounted for. That’s fairly handy.

If you would like set-up flexibility In case you don’t need to use the audio system that include the Panasonic, its beneficial to make use of audio system with a 3 – 16 ohm ranking. In case your audio system don’t suit you seemingly want to have a look at one other micro system.

Last Ideas

The Panasonic SC-PCMX802 is a tremendous micro system – when you’re after a small, Swiss military knife of a system. CD playback and Chromecast provide a clean, barely wealthy presentation that appeals.

As a Hello-Res system, the SC-PCMX802 is reliant on Chromecast and USB playback. The shortage of any higher-quality Bluetooth codec or MQA means you gained’t get higher-quality audio by means of music streaming companies corresponding to Tidal. Nonetheless, you get a really assured sounding system at an asking value that appeals.

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FAQs

What’s a hi-fi micro system?

A hi-fi micro system is a compact unit, often packaged with a pair of matching audio system, that may play CDs, stream music and encompasses a DAB/DAB+ radio tuner.

Can I join the Panasonic SC-PMX802 micro system to a TV?

Sure you would by means of its optical connection. There isn’t a HDMI enter to obtain a sign from a TV, nonetheless.

Does the Panasonic SC-PMX802 assist MQA?

The PMX802 will not be MQA suitable, enjoying streams as ‘regular’ audio.

UK RRP

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