The Sony Mini MUTEKI iPod Dock Hi-Fi System is a mini hi-fi that looks just like the boombox you owned a couple of decades ago — it seems like Sony has simply re-released a classic design with a few updates. The Sony Mini MUTEKI iPod Dock Hi-Fi System looks more than a little dated in some ways, but it has good audio quality and a number of welcome features.

An Apple iPod dock sits on the top of the device, as well as a USB input and auxiliary audio input — so you're able to use any audio device including Sony's own MP3 players. Although the Mini MUTEKI is large — measuring 600x385x395mm — it is lightweight, which makes it easy to transport. It has two carry handles on the front which make it easier to carry.

One throwback to the disco era is the Sony Mini MUTEKI iPod Dock Hi-Fi System's inbuilt red and blue LED lights. They flash in sync with whatever music is being played. It is a fun effect, but gets tiresome after a while. Thankfully it can be turned off if you tire of it.

An equaliser with a healthy range of music genre options helps to improve audio quality to match your music. We found the settings appropriately matched the genres, with rock music sounding best on the Rock preset and classical music benefiting from Classical. Radio listeners will be pleased with the inclusion of an AM/FM tuner with 20 FM presets and 10 presets for AM.

The Sony Mini MUTEKI iPod Dock Hi-Fi System's audio performance is good, but not outstanding. We'd say it's less impressive than the Altec Lansing Mix iMT800 boombox, but it can definitely handle the needs of a house party or outdoor barbecue.

Bass tones can easily be boosted at the touch of a button, providing an extra kick to music at the cost of some clarity. The 220W output power of the MUTEK means it is able to provide impressively loud volume levels. We only noticed a small amount of bass distortion at higher volumes, but treble and mid-tones sounded muffled. It all depends on what music you're listening to and how the equaliser complements your tunes.

The Sony Mini MUTEKI iPod Dock Hi-Fi System is a decent boombox, although it looks a bit retro for our liking and it's too large to have sitting on your desk. For outdoor use or in a large space it is well suited.

Next: our expert verdict >>

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Sony Mini MUTEKI: Specs

  • Main Unit 362x437x465mm
  • (2) Speakers: 362x437x465mm
  • Main Unit: 18kg
  • Front Speaker: 8.5kg
  • Rear Speaker: 8.5kg
  • CD Play Mode(s): Normal
  • Shuffle
  • Program
  • Repeat
  • Equalizer: 3 Band
  • CD Play Mode(s) : Normal
  • Shuffle
  • Program
  • Repeat
  • Equalizer: 3 Band
  • Station Preset(s): 30 (10 AM, 20 FM)
  • Cinema Space/Surround
  • CD
  • LINE IN1
  • LINE IN2
  • Tuner
  • iPod
  • CD
  • Band: FM/AM
  • External Antenna: Yes (75 ohm)
  • Battery Type: AA / Manganese (x2) (remote)
  • Output Power: 180W x 2
  • Battery Type: AA / Manganese (x2) (remote)
  • Output Power: 720W Total (180W x 4)
  • Game Mode
  • Analog Audio Input(s): 3
  • Audio Line IN: 3 (analog)
  • Headphone Input(s): Yes (6.3mm)
  • Mic: In (x 2)/Volume
  • Speaker Terminal: Rear
  • Composite Video Output(s)
  • Headphone Input(s): 3
  • Phono Input(s): Yes
  • Main Unit 362x437x465mm
  • (2) Speakers: 362x437x465mm
  • Main Unit: 18kg
  • Front Speaker: 8.5kg
  • Rear Speaker: 8.5kg
  • CD Play Mode(s): Normal
  • Shuffle
  • Program
  • Repeat
  • Equalizer: 3 Band
  • CD Play Mode(s) : Normal
  • Shuffle
  • Program
  • Repeat
  • Equalizer: 3 Band
  • Station Preset(s): 30 (10 AM, 20 FM)
  • Cinema Space/Surround
  • CD
  • LINE IN1
  • LINE IN2
  • Tuner
  • iPod
  • CD
  • Band: FM/AM
  • External Antenna: Yes (75 ohm)
  • Battery Type: AA / Manganese (x2) (remote)
  • Output Power: 180W x 2
  • Battery Type: AA / Manganese (x2) (remote)
  • Output Power: 720W Total (180W x 4)
  • Game Mode
  • Analog Audio Input(s): 3
  • Audio Line IN: 3 (analog)
  • Headphone Input(s): Yes (6.3mm)
  • Mic: In (x 2)/Volume
  • Speaker Terminal: Rear
  • Composite Video Output(s)
  • Headphone Input(s): 3
  • Phono Input(s): Yes

OUR VERDICT

The Sony Mini MUTEKI iPod Dock Hi-Fi System is a little retro, but it delivers the good audio quality for outdoor party music. There are more attractive and better performing boomboxes on the market, but the Mini MUTEKI might appeal to some punters.

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