TEAC likes nothing better than stuffing hi-fi and cinema boxes into one unit, and it’s been busy in the workshop again to produce the DR-H300DAB – a DVD and CD player with a DAB receiver.
It’s not a complete do-it-all solution – there’s no Wi-Fi or a hard-disk for storing digital music – but that doesn’t stop the TEAC from being a compact and hugely impressive box.
There’s one main reason for this: it sounds better than most other players out there. And we’re not talking slightly, we’re talking lots.
When teamed with Tannoy’s Mercury F1 Custom speakers – fair £110 foils for the TEAC’s price and talents – this is proper hi-fi in every sense, even when you’re playing compressed MP3 or WMA music files.
It’s got spaciousness, accuracy, weight and agility to burn: where rivals from Pure and Sony are overly shrill or excessively stodgy, the TEAC-Tannoy combo simply thrills.
And while it’s a little retro, we found ourselves warming to the TEAC’s all-metal fascia: it certainly feels well made and the slim disc drawer operates with a quiet, upmarket smoothness.
Is that enough to make up for the spec? We’d say yes – after all, you can always hook in something like an Airport Express if you want to stream from your computer – but if not, consider this: the TEAC can also play DVDs, and comes complete with Scart, component and HDMI outs.
It even packs in a 720p and 1080i video upscaler. However, the picture quality is good rather than great – the scaler can introduce some jagged edges and colours tend to be a little lurid.
Nevertheless, tweaking the set-up improves things a lot, and the solid all-round performance from such a relatively cheap box makes it a perfect lounge or bedroom companion.