We’re sorry to say, but the Panasonic SC-PMX2 is unlikely to elicit even the faintest hint of gadget envy from your mates.

For a start, it sports the kind of dodgy display that proves a real pain to read from just about any distance or angle.

But for its modest price, the Panasonic SC-PMX2 is a surprisingly flexible little beast, with a nice line in personal-player support.

It can accept USB or standard 3.5mm phono connections via sockets on its front panel, while another ‘Option port’ on its top plate is ready for either a Panasonic-branded iPod dock or a slot-in Bluetooth receiver, as you need.

One benefit of using Panny’s iPod dock is that you’re afforded a good degree of control via the system’s remote control.

Dock it to me

Sounds impressive and, largely, it is. The only downer is that the Panny can only cope with MP3, albeit at up to 320kbps quality, so if you want to listen to other file types you won’t be able to use that USB in.

And the fact there’s only one Option port on top means you can’t use the Bluetooth receiver and the iPod dock at the same time. Ok, so you’re pretty unlikely to need to use both at once, but still…

Sound as a pound?

At least the SC-PMX2 sounds fairly decent. The chunky three-way speakers will go properly loud, even if they don’t always remain quite as controlled as they ought to.

But at big volumes, things can get a bit harsh and it all starts to sound a little thin. Even at saner levels we’d ideally like a bit more warmth and weight to our music.

On the upside, the DAB tuner’s a peach, with clean reception and excellent clarity, and playing CDs – how old-is that? – restores some meat to the midrange, too.

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Panasonic SC-PMX2 review

Cheap, but endowed with enough reasons to be cheerful – just watch the volume