Yamaha CRX-M170

The Good Smart design; great sound; easy operation; solid speaker-wire bindings.

The Bad Hefty size of the unit -- though it's justified by the relatively powerful amplifer stage inside.

The Bottom Line Though hardcore audiophiles are quick to dismiss integrated units, the CRX-M170 demonstrates that packing a CD player, amplifer and DAB radio into the same unit doesn't always result in compromised sound. Most listeners will be impressed by this mini system's fidelity and power output

Editors' Rating
7.5 Overall

Review

Yamaha CRX-M170

Though it may seem like a relative newcomer, Yamaha famously manufactured Japan's first piano over 100 years ago. The Yamaha brand has never enjoyed the elite status of Linn or Arcam, but the company has forged itself a good reputation for home-cinema equipment -- Yamaha surround amplifiers are the mainstay of many entertainment systems. We're often impressed by the quality of Yamaha's component choices, and the CRX-M170 is a case in point.

The CRX-M170 integrates a 50W stereo amplifer with subwoofer output, a DAB radio and a CD player into a single unit. This is a mini system that will capably replace your existing hi-fi system in one fell swoop. True audiophiles will want to source separate components for each stage, but if you're looking for a one-stop replacement for your creaking, 15-year-old hi-fi, you'll be surprised by what this fairly compact unit can deliver.

Design
There is a well-established approach to the design of stackable mini systems, and that seems to be: make it look small from the front, and to hell with the rest. This means that once you get into the mid-range models of mini-system, there's not much difference between the physical space a mini-system occupies and the space a full-size system takes up. The CRX-M170 certainly looks mini from the front, but the depth and height of the unit makes this just as big as a traditional hi-fi component. If you're thinking of stacking this on a bookshelf, think again -- our shelves certainly weren't wide enough for the 359mm-deep chassis.

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