Tivoli’s iYiYi offers good features, and decent sound, but is let down by a difficult interface. The retro-styled unit is available in white with silver trim or black with black trim, and offers a good, sturdy build.

The front of the iYiYi hosts buttons for power, source (AM, FM, iPod, or Aux), RDS (Radio Data System), clock set, alarm and sleep, as well as five buttons for radio presets. The dials are rubber-coated, giving the unit a sturdy and user-friendly feel.

Setup is confusing, and even the Sleep button isn’t entirely straightforward. It’s actually easier to turn on the alarm or sleep mode from the remote. Still, despite these shortcomings, the iYiYi’s alarm clock is usable.

The built-in alarm is pretty annoying, though. It starts out with a single, quiet beep, but after a few seconds the beep gets louder and faster. It switches off and on each minute for an hour unless you switch it off.

Again, setting the alarm to wake to radio or iPod isn’t exactly intuitive. Another minor complaint is that the system beeps whenever you set or enable the alarm. It’s not unusual to need to set or turn on an alarm after your other half has gone to bed, in which case beeping the alarm on after a night in the pub could well earn you a stint in the doghouse.

On the plus side, the iYiYi gives clear, extended treble response and good midrange, with a decent amount of warmth and good bass. However, the amount of additional bass response isn’t as much as you might think.

You get a bit of bass kick, and lower extension, but you shouldn’t expect booming bass. This system focuses on tight, detailed presentation. The iYiYi can also go quite loud, but some distortion is apparent at the highest volume levels.

And the iYiYi suffers from the same issues with stereo separation (or lack thereof) as most of the other units we tested. The iYiYi doesn’t offer bass or treble controls, either.

OUR VERDICT

It’s a classy looking, decent sounding speaker system, but as an alarm clock it doesn’t quite deliver - the interface is a pain, and the built in alarm is irritating.

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