Except for the Gigajuke range of HDD-toting systems, this CMT-HX90BTR is Sony’s most expensive micro, although it’s comfortably cheaper than rivals like the Yamaha M-430 and Denon D-M37DAB. Despite that, it’s also got features the others don’t have, like Bluetooth.
It’s a good-looking system, with a glossy finish and minimalist fascia, but as soon as you touch it the cheap materials reveal its budget credentials.
Of course, when you’re buying a micro with speakers, a dock, and the aforementioned Bluetooth, it’s very possible that you won’t care how it feels. What you should care about, though, is how it sounds, and it’s here that the Sony really lets itself down.
The sound is disappointingly flat. The richness and variation in the tracks are lost, as the Sony struggles to find the detail and dynamics of the recording. It’s not a particularly open or spacious delivery either, and the system gets confused easily.
Like the main unit, the speakers feel cheaper than they look. They’re also largely responsible for the slightly bland delivery, offering little in the way of attack and dynamic range. Unfortunately, because they use Sony’s proprietary connectors, they’re a pain to replace.
There are plenty of connections on the front, but the back of the unit is rather sparse, offering only a DM Port (for the dock), radio connections and speaker terminals. A stereo RCA input on the back would’ve been nice.
On the plus side there’s decent bass weight and depth, and the treble avoids harshness. The DAB and FM tuners are nicely clear, too.
Finally, the Bluetooth function can be handy, but a wired connection sounds better, so this isn’t enough to save the Sony from middle-of-the-road mediocrity.