Always rely on Sony to make gear that’s easy to understand and kid’s-play to rig up. The DAV-X1 can be delivering sound and pictures in no time, even if you’ve left your granny to assemble it.
The picture is immediately enjoyable, with vivid colours, great contrast and fine stability. The sound, however, is quite abrasive, managing to be both inhibited and unruly for films, music and radio. And the Sony develops a very broad soundstage without managing to convince you that sound is coming from anywhere but in front of you.
The hard-edged character of the sound calms down after a good few days’ playing, but can’t disguise the digital origins of its amplification. This is not an effective system in terms of (pseudo) surround sound, though the top-drawer images mean you’ll be happy to own it for a long time.