Features and performance
The TSX-70 boasts an impressive list of features, including AM radio, FM radio, remote control, alarm clock, sleep timer, five station presets, aux input, and a dock compatible with both iPod and iPhone. Many of the comparable bedside speaker dock solutions in the sub-$200 price range rely on the iPod for alarm clock functionality, and few offer AM radio.
But the flagship feature of the TSX-70 is its sound. Using two 1.5-inch speakers on the front, a down-firing 1.5-inch speaker on the bottom, and Yamaha's unique swing radiator bass technology (also heard on the Yamaha NX-B02), this little system packs a surprisingly full sound.
Sonically, the TSX-70 sounds similar to the Editors' Choice-winning, in spite of a substantially smaller footprint. It doesn't deliver the kind of stereo imaging you'll hear on Logitech's unit (not to mention the portability), but the impressive frequency range is very similar, especially in terms of low-end oomph.
For better or worse, the back of the TSX-70 takes a page from home receiver design, concealing the power input, FM antenna input, AM antenna input, aux input, a tone adjustment knob, and controls for setting the alarm clock. Unfortunately, unlike an AV receiver, the TSX-70 isn't the kind of device you're likely to shove into a cable-concealing media cabinet. Instead, you'll need to find creative ways to conceal a separate AM antenna the size of a drink coaster, a 12-foot-long power cable, and a 4-foot FM antenna wire. Without the connected antennas, radio reception is very poor.
The Yamaha TSX-70 is a well-built, compact audio system with an impressive list of features and standout audio performance for its size. Unfortunately, the natural habitats for compact speakers--the bedroom and kitchen--are an awkward fit for the TSX-70 because of some small, but significant design missteps. That said, if you're looking for a small, powerful speaker for a desk or dresser, the TSX-70's tangle of cables and all-black control panel may be easier to accommodate.