Philips AZ1330D boom box review: Philips AZ1330D boom box

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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?

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5.3 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 6
  • Performance 5

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.

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.

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.

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