Sony RDH-GTK33iP Mini Muteki
Home Audio Docking Station
$449.00 through Sony’s Australian Online Store
Now you may be wondering what I am doing writing up a review for a sound system over my normal assortment of reviews on video games and anime. Well, they say that variety is the spice of life and now that my research thesis is all out of the way I have a bit more time to spend on diversifying a bit. I am actually a rather avid music listener… not to the point where you would see me rocking out in my car while driving with the music blaring out loudly but comfortably walking around with my iPod turned on “Shuffle Mode”. Thanks to the team at Sony Australia I was given the opportunity to spend the last week or so with their recently released RDH-GTK33iP Mini Muteki Home Audio Docking Station – something I have never considered having around my house but is now something that I will very much so miss having in my house.
Now before I go on, allow me to bore or entertain you with a few specifics on this beast of a music player. The player comes with 420W RMS (210W + 210W) and provides the power to fill the room with deep sound, has support for the iPod and iPhone as well as specific Walkman devices, supports USB Flash Drives for those who do not own a supported device, FM/AM Radio and Multi-colour LED speakers with multiple settings to shift randomly or play alongside music. Alongside these features, they also provide you with Bass Boost and Equalizer features if you desire to use them.
As this is not my specific field of reviewing I don’t have any fancy tools to measure just how the sound quality is nor is it possible for me to record the sound quality to actually let your ears decide how it sounds. Instead I shall leave you with the testimonials of myself and visitors to my household this weekend to speak for it. I found the sound output quality to be of a very high standard with everyone else who became unknowing “Review Commenters” also complementing it for its quality before anything else (and well before the “Oooh! Look at those flashy lights!“).
The quality remained consistent irrespective of the volume it was set on so I could see it being an appropriate choice for the casual music listener who wants to listen to music while doing other things around the house or the person who wants the music just a tad louder to party to. While the quality would differ a bit depending on the music quality stored on your iPod or other music device, the system was tested with a varying degree of genres, ages of music and hell I even threw in a few J-POP soundtracks I own and all in all it sounded great!
During my testing of the sound system, I pooled together a few different audio devices for which to test – an 8GB iPod Nano, a 120GB iPod Classic, the included radio adaptor (FM Radio Support) and a 1GB USB Flash Drive which I have owned since the days you would buy them for about $80-100. As you can see in the above images, to the right of the system is a comfy little slot to store your portable media device in, and comes with a nice little top holder for the device which is nice unless you have an iPod cover for which it does not hold suitably in. Navigation through the portable devices is done via the device itself and leaves you the room to either use the buttons on it or through an included remote to navigate and select the song. The remote worked well at far distances but up close it was pretty hit and miss when button pressing. Did I mention it charges your iPod while you are playing music?
The USB device support isn’t laggy and within a few seconds of plugging it in and selecting the device on the LED screen you are ready to go! There was no shuffle option I found but all interactions can once again be done by either the remote or buttons on the front of the device. Going down this route I would have appreciated a bigger and clearer LED screen to view the songs on but it worked well enough. Radio support is also included for AM and FM radio and quality will depend on the station, but I tuned into most of my local radio stations and found no reason for concern.
The system looks awesome with a very robust and bulky design but one that would suit many functions – from sitting on a bar top for a weekend blaring out music from every era of music to a party without feeling out of place. The system suits both standing vertically and horizontally, however with the limitations of older music devices – you may have difficulty reading your iPod Classic’s screen as it does not swivel around. While some may call it a gimmick, after the music quality comments usually turned to the Multi-coloured LED speake. Featuring a vast array of colours, you can set it to blare different colours at random or in time to music – which was actually really cool when you found songs that had a clear beat which the system could follow – but worked well irrespective.
The design might not be of the cutesy or homely design you would expect to find in ones home…. considering this is mean’t to be a beast of a sound system…. it certainly has a design to match!
Areas for Concern
While this is a really enjoyable and high-quality piece of equipment to have around the house and I am saddened that I haven’t been able to have my hands on this for longer… there were two main areas of concern to me which may or may not be applicable to everyone else. The first being that the power cord was very short… and between the surface it was kept on for most of the week and the power point relatively close to the system… I required a power adapter which would not be optimal if you planned to have more than one in a small area. The second peeve was its transportability… the system comes in at 17.8kg and if you were wanting to say…. but it back in a box for whatever reason and wanted an extra pair of hands to help you (or want to be really really careful) – transport could be a bit of an issue.
But these are minor issues and didn’t do much at all to damper my experience with this system.
This was actually a bit of a surprise arrival for me so I wasn’t exactly prepared to do testing of the Mini Muteki…. but I had a great experience with it – proving easy to set up, had great audio output and added that extra oomph with its coloured lights. This is something I could recommend if you are after one with both quality and efficiency and is something I would consider looking into purchasing in the future.