The X-SMC3-K sits in the middle of a trio of new iOS-compatible micro systems from Pioneer. The system is a slim bank of speaker mesh, coloured lights and LCD screen. Designed as a one-box solution, the X-SMC3-K offers a wealth of connectivity options: AirPlay, DLNA v1.5 via the LAN interface and an additional Bluetooth adaptor.
Also included is support for WMA, MP3, MPEG4 AAC and FLAC file formats via USB, FM/internet radio, and Air Jam, an app that allows you to play and share playlists from four different iOS devices. Added to all this is a pop-out dock for iPhone or iPod.
The Pioneer comes with a fully featured remote, which seems generous when you can control the X-SMC3-K via iTunes and your iOS device. On the down side, the menu system is fiddly to navigate, especially trying to connect to the LAN network and searching for internet radio stations. FM radio reception proved hit or miss.
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Despite these niggles, whether docked or streaming via AirPlay, the Pioneer produced a pretty good sound for a reasonably priced system. The extensive choice of audio and speaker settings seems to enhance your music choice, and the overall sound was consistent and impressive.
- Pros: Fully featured; reasonably priced; good support for various iOS devices; decent sound; access to internet radio; LCD display
- Cons: Fiddly set-up, menus and remote; optional Bluetooth adaptor costs extra; FM radio requires some tweaking; distorts at loud volumes