Gear4 CDM-100 review

The Gear4 CDM-100 is a fairly compact CD micro system that features a top-loading CD player, universal dock for iPod, built in FM/AM radio and audio line-in port for non-iPod music players.

Styled in black and silver, the CDM-100 comes with a LED display that doesn't glow too harshly at night along with a neat row of buttons, headphone socket and line-in port. A remote control is also included, which means you can control the unit in a bedroom, for instance, without getting out of bed. A 24 / 12 hour clock with alarm and sleep mode adds to bedroom appeal.

Build, at this price, is good, the top-loading CD player lid doesn't feel it will snap with use and we liked the small plastic cover, which protects the universal iPod dock when not in use. Speakers line up well with the unit and these can be separated and displayed on a shelf or stand. The dock comes with 3 adaptors, which can make docking your iPod overly fussy.

Sound wise, the CDM-100 is better than okay without being outstanding. Compared to similarly priced systems we have heard it stands up well but clearly can't match more expensive players. Generally, you get what you pay for and this applies to the CDM-100, which is aimed at the value end of the market. With the volume up loud the unit shows its limitations although at lower levels things improved. We felt the presets - Flat, Classic, Rock, Pop and Jazz – were more gimmick than sound enhancement although this will be very much be down to personal taste.

FM/AM radio reception is good although reception will depend on location. The supplied aerial lead hangs out the back and like many aerials looks a little flimsy. The ability to preset 30 programmable stations is a bit of a plus if you can be bothered to store them. Controls are generally pretty intuitive, helped by a clear remote control that is detailed without going overboard. A DAB radio version, the CDM-D150, will be available from August. The Gear4 CDM-100 is available from www.gear4store.com and stores across Europe.

OUR VERDICT

£90, cheaper if you shop around, gets you a perfectly acceptable CD micro system that's price point should give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to sound. The Gear4 CDM-100 shone best in smaller rooms, a bedroom or loft space ideally, and at levels that won't wake the neighbours. If you want something that showcases your MP3 collection fully, around the house, you'll need to dig deeper in your pockets and look elsewhere.

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