Although mini hi-fi systems might be pricey and unreliable, our goal is to prevent you from being out of money or receiving a useless item. Unlike other review sites, we purchase every tiny hi-fi we evaluate on the market, just like you would, and then bring it to our lab for in-depth testing.In our mini-hi-fi testing, we examine everything from basic, low-cost versions that cost less than £100 to expensive, feature-rich devices that cost more than £500.
For you to decide when it’s worthwhile to spend your money and when it isn’t, we test models from the top companies on the market, including Panasonic, Sony, Cambridge Audio, Denon, and Pioneer, and examine a wide range of models for each.Whom do we consider to be Which? Mini hi-fis from Best Buy provide great sound quality and are simple to operate; there are no lengthy user manuals to slog through or unduly difficult procedures to switch music sources. You can be confident that it is a truly fantastic tool.Every component of the tiny hi-fi is examined in-depth in our lab tests, which include:

How simple it is to use and set up

Whether you’re listening to jazz, rock, pop, or classical music, how well it sounds.

What handy functions it has, such a radio, CD player, and the ability to stream music. We also examine whether you can connect a mobile phone or MP3 player to your speakers and play music through them. Since we have tested tiny hi-fi systems in our labs for more than 20 years, we are aware of the characteristics that set the best models apart.

We also draw attention to the worst scores in addition to the greatest. Avoid purchasing small hi-fis to avoid accidentally purchasing an expensive dud that you’ll need to replace shortly.What techniques do we employ to identify the top portable hi-fi systems?If you buy a little hi-fi online, there is no way to know how it will sound until you have set it up in your living room. You won’t get a true picture by even trying to evaluate a system on the manufacturing floor. Along with our expert hearing panel, our thorough lab evaluations involve over 100 different checks and measurements.

This allows us to rate each crucial component of a tiny hi-fi system in-depth so you can know what to look for and what choices are available to you. We rate each miniature hi-fi using the following standards:

The audio is of outstanding quality.

By listening to recordings from a selection of test tracks intended to put each system to the test, our professional team assesses sound quality.
Arrangement and ergonomics

Then, using the hi-fi systems’ various features and functions as you would, we examine each one to see how simple and intuitive it is to use and whether there are any obvious drawbacks.

usage of energy

Each tiny hi-electricity fi’s usage both while it is off and when it is playing music at a normal volume is measured. This is translated into a star rating to show how much your electricity costs are anticipated to rise as a result.

Reviews of little hi-fi systems

Review of the Denon CEOL N10 (with Denon SC-N10 speakers included)

£549.00 View merchants

Exam resultsShow Context

73%

key attributes

Bluetooth separate speakers

Impressive sound system, overall

Look no farther if you’ve been looking for a portable hi-fi that streams music. The Denon CEOL N10 performed admirably in each of our testing; it has superb audio quality and is simple to set up and operate. There is a tonne of opportunity here to design the ideal audio system for your house. It deserves to be a Best Buy.

Pros

excellent sound quality
several features and connection possibilities
excellent app

Cons

For some Panasonic SC-HC2020 reviews, it will be too complicated.

Typical price: £249.00

Exam resultsShow Context

69%

key attributes

internal speakers
Bluetooth

 

Conclusion: Excellent all-in-one compact hi-fi

A successful compact hi-fi system with built-in speakers and excellent sound quality is the Ruark Audio R3. It only just misses out on acquiring a Best Buy. For a built-in speaker system, where high-quality models are somewhat scarce, that is a very impressive outcome. This is a lovely, solidly constructed compact hi-fi that performs admirably and is well worth purchasing, provided you are not deterred by the price or the fact that the accompanying software requires some understanding.

Pros

Good to hear
Simple to use
several features
flexibility in connections
Built-in-speakers

Cons

It’s difficult to use the companion app.
Expensive

Tenor John Lewis Review of a Hi-Fi music system

Typical price: £249.00

Exam results Show Context

68%

key attributes

Bluetooth

Verdict: Rich in intriguing and practical features

The Tenor Hi-Fi Music System by John Lewis is a compact hi-fi that is jam-packed with functions. Although the sound quality is subpar, the sleek design and built-in speakers make it suitable for daily listening. To learn more, read our whole review of the John Lewis Tenor Hi-Fi Music System.

Pros

Simple to set up and utilise
several features
very loud
integrated wi-fi
A clever and small design

Cons

mediocre audio quality
If anything breaks, you can’t purchase individual components.
JVC UX-D750 review

Typical price: £149.00

Exam resultsShow Context

68%

key attributes

Bluetooth separate speakers

 

Mini hi-fi verdict: incredibly user-friendly

This small hi-fi is incredibly easy to use and simple to set up, and the sound quality is almost good enough to make it a Best Buy. It has a large volume range and very balanced music coming from both speakers, however occasionally it can sound a little artificial.

Pros

very simple to use and has a big remote
acceptable maximum volume
Playing audio from other devices, such your smartphone or tablet, is simple

Cons

not very
Even still, the sound quality may be higher.

Review of John Lewis Cello

Typical price: £200.00

Exam resultsShow Context

64%

key attributes

internal speakers
Bluetooth

Conclusion: Flexible small hi-fi system

The John Lewis Cello’s high degree of functionality, simplicity of use, and fashionable appearance may easily satisfy those seeking an all-in-one compact hi-fi solution. However, when compared to the greatest small hi-fis with built-in speakers available on the market, our expert listening panel considered the sound quality to be a little underwhelming. There are instances when the bass can be overpowering, and it doesn’t really create much of a stereo effect. In this price range, you can find excellent-sounding small hi-fis with a tonne of options and connectors. For the top selection, check out our Best Buy tiny hi-fis.

Pros

many functionalities: CD player, Internet radio, and USB port
two alarms

Cons

The audio may be of higher quality.

Review of the Denon D-M41DAB (with Denon SC-M41 speakers).

£399.00

lowest cost (not in stock)

Exam resultsShow Context

64%

key attributes

Bluetooth separate speakers

 

Conclusion: An excellent bundle, but not perfect soundThe D-M41DAB doesn’t sound as good as the greatest compact hi-fis currently on the market, but it is a highly capable unit in a sleek package with plenty of flexibility, so it might be worth a look if you’re not picky about hi-fi sound quality.Pros

Numerous functionalities
FM radio and DAB+ player
Separate speakers are typically present.
good looks

Cons

Sound quality falls short of the best small hi-fis.
unkempt remote
Not the simplest setup

Panasonic SC-PM250EB-S review

£93.03 View merchants

Exam resultsShow Context

57%

key attributes

Bluetooth separate speakers

conclusion: Fair hi-fi

This little hi-fi may be inexpensive, but it never goes beyond the ordinary. Most of the time, the sound is disappointing, and the model’s build doesn’t have any sense of care. It is advisable to stay away from this one.

Pros

Inexpensive
Simple to set up

Cons

Sound is mediocre.

Panasonic SC-HC302 review

£149.00 View merchants

Exam resultsShow Context

57%

key attributes

internal speakers
Bluetooth

 

 

competitors are superior.

With the same widely used design as other models, this Panasonic small hi-fi is adequate but not spectacular. Although not terrible, the sound quality falls short of that of more conventional compact hi-fis with separate speakers. The weak menu and confusing remote control will also let down anyone looking for convenience. Instead, we suggest looking at our Best Buy and Great Value compact hi-fis.

Pros

easy setup
radio with a large selection of presets
hanging on a wall
supports music streaming through a mobile application.

Cons

Sound quality for a tiny hi-fi is not impressive.
shoddy menu and remote design

Denon DT-1 review

Typical price: £179.00

Exam resultsShow Context

53%

key attributes

Bluetooth separate speakers

 

good sound, but not much more, is the verdictWhen it comes to sound quality, the DT-1 is virtually on par with Denon’s higher-end versions. The high-fi has few modern features and a lower build quality as a result of the amazing audio quality. Additionally, although having fewer features, they are more challenging to operate due to design flaws. Instead, we’d suggest taking a look at our tiny hi-fis, which scored higher.Pros

Can preserve radio station settings, good sound
snooze alarm

Cons

Using a remote control can be difficult.

Review of the Panasonic SC-HC200 without DAB

£79.99 View merchants

Exam results Show Context

50%

key attributes

internal speakers
Bluetooth

 

Conclusion: Difficult to operate and unimpressive soundThere is a good reason why this small hi-fi has one of the lowest launch prices of any model we’ve ever reviewed. Even casual listeners won’t be particularly thrilled with the sound quality for a tiny hi-fi system. It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get a decent compact hi-fi in this price range. For the sound quality you deserve, look at our top-scoring small hi-fis. You’ll need to spend a little more money to obtain really amazing sound.Pros

Cheap\sBluetooth

Cons

Unsatisfactory sound quality

Review of the cumbersome Sony CMT-X3CD

£149.00 View merchant

Exam resultsShow Context

44%

key attributes

internal speakers
Bluetooth

Verdict: Sound and thin in stature

We’ve tested a few of these little, thin tiny hi-fis, and we haven’t been too impressed. Our judgement hasn’t altered as a result of the CMT-unimpressive X3CD’s sound, which will only let us down. Don’t buy it.

Pros

slim and narrowly profiled

Cons

Sound is average.
Misplaced buttons and display

Sony CMT-S20B review

Typical price: £95.00

Exam resultsShow Context

40%

key attributes

distinct speakers

conclusion: Not for audiophiles

 

It’s not that simple to use, and the sound quality is a little disappointing. There isn’t a Which? Top Shop.

Pros

USB input DAB radio

Cons

poor usability
lack of a line-input for a headphone jack
Discouraging sound