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Philips AZ1330D boom box review: Philips AZ1330D boom box

Philips AZ1330D boom box

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Donald Bell
Donald_Bell.jpg

Donald Bell

Senior Editor / How To

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

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3 min read

The Philips AZ1330D ($110) is a portable speaker system that includes an iPod dock, AM/FM radio, CD player, and an auxiliary input. There's no denying that Philips has done a thorough job of cramming every conceivable feature into the AZ1330D boom box (what, no 8-track?), but the overall performance of the system leaves us disappointed.

5.3

Philips AZ1330D boom box

The Good

The Philips AZ1330D boom box provides an impressive range of features at an affordable price.

The Bad

The Philips AZ1330D has lackluster sound quality, a remote with limited range, and a bulky design.

The Bottom Line

A boom box, such as the Philips AZ1330D, can have all the features in the world, but if it's hard to carry and it doesn't go boom, what's the point?

Design
The Philips AZ1330D boom box has a glossy, streamlined design that would not seem out of place on Darth Vader's bookshelf. The entire AZ1330D system measures 14 inches by 5.5 inches by 10 inches, without an iPod in the dock. The design of the boom box is deeper than we expected, yet it's still compact enough to fit within a bookshelf or on top of a dresser. With a weight of 5 pounds (without batteries), however, the Philips AZ1330D is hardly the most portable speaker system we've seen. Ultimately, the Philips AZ1330D is geared toward someone who wants all the features of a full-fledged stereo system, yet isn't willing to commit the money or the space. Additionally, we found that the precarious iPod dock, fragile front-loading CD tray, and uncomfortable handle make the Philips AZ1330D unsuitable for children or outdoor use.

Features
The AZ1330D boom box is no slouch on features. Philips has managed to squeeze an AM/FM radio, iPod dock, CD player, and auxiliary input all into one easily manageable space. What sets the Philips AZ1330D apart from most of the competition is its ability to play MP3 and WMA data CDs (although DRM-protected WMA files are not supported). While playing MP3 or WMA CDs on the Philips AZ1330D, track information is displayed on a large, 2.5-inch LCD screen just above the iPod dock.

Radio and iPod playback on the Philips AZ1330D is nothing special. There's no built-in tone control or stereo enhancement to shape the sound quality, although there is a button marked DBB that acts as a bass booster. Overall, we found the controls for all of the AZ1330D's various features to be intuitive and easy to find.

Performance
Despite an impressive list of features and an attractive price, the Philips AZ1330D is far from perfect. First and foremost, the sound quality of the Philips AZ1330D is dearly lacking for low-end oomph. Comparable iPod speaker systems such as the Griffin Amplifi or Altec Lansing iM600 blow the Philips AZ1330D out of the water when it comes to sound quality.

The Philips AZ1330D's radio reception was average for a system of this size. The radio function allows for up to 25 station presets, although saving presets is not so intuitive. We also noticed a surprising jump in volume when we switched from iPod or CD playback to the radio.

Our final disappointment with the Philips AZ1330D is the crummy range on the included remote control. We found that the Philips AZ1330D's remote had a range of around 15 feet before punking out. The remote control also lacks a Power button, so you'll still need to get off the couch to shut the AZ1330D off.

5.3

Philips AZ1330D boom box

Score Breakdown

Design 5Features 6Performance 5