A superb system - with some provisos.
This is an impressive little system (and it is pretty small, standing only around 6" high) which delivers a whopping 50 watts RMS of crisp musical power. I don't want to cover too much old ground with this review, as a quick surf on the net will give you all the personal comments you could wish for. However, there are a few small points I'd like to bring to peoples' attention - more later.
I can certainly confirm that the sound quality is impressive - it is crisp, taught, firm and has solid well-controlled bass that is astonishing considering the size of the speakers. I find the sound - and volume - particularly note-worthy when played from the DAB radio - 'Planet Rock' never sounded so good! FM reception , too, leaves nothing significant to be desired. CD playback is equally superb. Most impressive is how the volume can be turned up to max (if you can stand it) without it losing any of its clarity - the music remains solid and controlled. No distortion, no muddiness, just clean power.
Oh yes, you can also plug your MP3 player into the front USB port, and use the remote control to scroll through the tracks on there. And you can play MP3 recordings on the CD player, which means you can fit numerous albums on one disc.
And it's pretty! Mirrored fronts, with a clear illuminated display. All the controls on the unit - and they are thankfully kept to a minimum - are well-finished and feel solid and crisp to operate. The remote control has a ridiculous splash of hard-to-figure buttons, tho', but you'll soon get the hang of them! It's also a heavy little fellow, which suggest decent quality components inside.
A perfect all-rounder, then? No.
Ok, the negatives are few, but could be VERY significant for some people. First - and I suspect this is a side-effect of the way the CD player is designed to also handle MP3 recordings - is the way it 'pauses' for a half-second or so between the tracks on your CD. "But", I hear you say, "there's always a pause between tracks!" Well, yes and no. If your CD album is a collection of individual songs, then no problem - the 'pause' I am referring to will be 'lost' in the few-second gap that already exists between these tracks. However, if instead you are listening to a classical album with a number of movements which SHOULD blend seamlessly into one another, you are in for a shock, because there WILL be a 'hiccup' between them - very disconcerting. The same applies with so-called 'concept' albums, where often a whole side is taken up by one piece of 'continuous' music. If this is broken up into separate, although continuously-playing, songs then the dreaded pause will rear its ugly head each time. I've just finished listening to 'On The Threshold Of A Dream' by the Moody Blues - this album is made up of around 10-12 completely individual songs, but they also actually 'blend' into each other to make it a continuous musical treat - or at least they should do. Not with the 131 they don't...
The other main drawback is the lack of fully adjustable tone controls - once again we have to rely on the manufacturer's idea of pre-set equalisations. Pants.
The CD lid operates very smoothly and feels well made. However, adding and removing a disc is trickier than it should be due to the limited space for your fingers. The disc also needs to be pressed - 'click' - into place, so requires a yank to remove too. You do get used to it...
(Did you know that these systems aren't 'genuine' Hitachis?!)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
HITACHI AX-M131U DAB MP3 CD Hi-Fi MICRO SYSTEM
The Hitachi AX-M131u is a small stylish design hi-fi, silver and light maple colour with a mirror front finish. It looks great and would suit any room but i would either use it for a bedroom or kitchen system due to its colour and size. It is quite small compared to the other hitachi models, its dimensions are:
System (cd unit, amplifier & glass stnd): 20cm wide, 18cm high
Speaker: 14cm wide, 20 cm high
the whole system is 25cm in depth
With the Hitachi AX-M131u you get DAB radio with more station chioice, easier tuning, scrolling text information and crystal clear sound quality. There is a USB port on the front of the unit so you can plug in your MP3 player and enjoy your stored MP3 music in high quality hi-fi sound. The AX-M131u will also playback MP3 CDs, this means you can listen to hundreds of songs from just one CD. It also has 2 way speakers, 50 Watts (RMS) power output, Graphic equalizer and Bass boost.
The only bad points about this system is that you are not able to scan for DAB stations on the unit itself, you need the remote to do this. The units are very easily scratched on the mirror finish and to the top of the amplifier, not really noticable on the amplifier as the CD unit covers this, if you take care when staking the sytem this is easily avoided.
I have had a few buyers say they have problems connecting their ipod throu the usb port, i have been told that it can be solved by buying a stereo 3.5mm jack to twin phono lead and connecting from the aux.input sockets to the ipod earphone socket. May be some help to others?
30 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Excellent sounding Hi Fi
I'd had my hi fi for some years and it was in need of replacing.
It was very large conpared to the small ones nowadays and I was also having a few problems with it. I'd been around the various electrical shops comparing the sound and tone of many of them.
This hitachi model AXM131U I felt had the best sound and richest tone. It wasn't tinny sounding at all. It came with remote control , built in radio and other extra's.
It's also a very good looking hifi, and easy to use.
So I checked it out on ebay and found an electrical site which had one in stock over £100 cheaper.
I'm so pleased I chose this model it sounds, and looks great. So what more can you want.
I first saw this system in Currys priced at £179, then searched on ebay to see if one was on the site for sale.
I was very impressed by the quality and volume of the Hi-Fi for one so small that also offered DAB, USB, and AUX (record deck). As I still have vinyl records I also treated myself to a BUSH - SILVER MINI TURNTABLE MTT1-SIL. This is also small and has a built in preAMP and sounds fantastic through the Hitachi AXM131U.
The Hitachi AXM131U is the quintessential 'lot of Hi-Fi in a micro-system', and at the fifty odd quid I paid a real bargain.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Fabulous system, small in size but great performance.
The Hitachi AXM131U system is so compact, neat and modern that it fits easily in to any room without being too ostentatious. The information supplied with it was simple to use and the radio stations were easy to set.
I was so thrilled with this product, that I actually bought another exactly the same for another room in my home, which means that I can follow the same program wherever I am in the house. The tone is great on the cd player and radio and together with the Christmas present I had from my daughter (usb turntable/vinyl archiver) I am sure it will bring many hours of enjoyment.