Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Superb sound for size of unit - excellent product
on 22 September 2012
I bought the Panasonic RC-DC1 clock radio/dock as a replacement for a failed Pure Siesta and was amazed by the improvement, particularly in sound quality, for around the same price.
The Panasonic is a compact unit with a relatively small footprint. The construction standard seems good, as expected from Panasonic. The unit is quite easy to set up (setting the clock and radio presets) following the instruction manual (although the clock froze the first time I tried).
The outstanding feature of this unit is the sound quality, which is extraordinary for a clock radio of this size - I found myself judging the sound quality in Hi-Fi terms. The sound is well-balanced, covering virtually the whole frequency range (yes, this small unit does have bass). The mid-range is smooth, giving voices a silky quality, and there is a sparkle to the treble, which adds a sense of space and detail to the sound. The upper bass is quite punchy, but you can't expect much deep bass from a unit like this and it does sound rather boxy on bass-heavy music. The overall effect is a warm, dynamic sound that is highly listenable - I found that you can use this unit for serious bedroom listening (so it merits more than just casual background listening). The sound is well suited to Pop, Easy Listening and Classical music.
The auto-tuning on the FM radio locates stations well, and the reception is excellent and very stable. My only criticism with the radio is that there is sometimes a crackle when I bring my fingers close to the buttons (perhaps the unit is susceptible to static).
The buttons are well laid out on the front and sides of the unit, which makes them easy to remember. However, when pressing a side button, the unit tends to move, so it's necessary to grab both sides. Also, the 'Alarm Off' button on the side is difficult to pinpoint when groggy, although the large 'Snooze' button on the front is easy to hit.
The alarm options are good, with two separate alarms. Each alarm has a flexible set of options, such as weekdays-only and weekend-only. I have only used the radio alarm (so have not tried the buzzer and iPod as alarms), which allows you to preset the radio station and the volume for wake-up - I think that the radio alarm gently increases to the preset volume, rather than coming on suddenly. If not silenced manually, an alarm will shut off automatically after an hour.
A minor niggle is that the unit requires a battery to be purchased and inserted to allow settings (time, alarms and FM presets) to be retained while the power is disconnected - for example, during power cuts.
The clock display is nice and big, and it has three possible brightness levels. I found the lowest level to be the most suitable, making the time clearly visible in the dark without lighting up the whole room.
The iPod/iPhone dock works well and benefits from the excellent sound quality of the unit. A limited amount of control over iPod operation is available from the buttons on the unit. No iPod/iPhone plastic adaptors are supplied (but can be optionally fitted), as I think Panasonic expect the iPod/iPhone to be secured using a prop at the back of the docking bay.
I feel very enthusiastic about this product - to me, it is such a successful design (especially in terms of the sound) that I hope Panasonic will continue to make it for a long time to come. They could perhaps enhance it by making a DAB version. I can strongly recommend this unit, particularly to people who are fussy about sound quality.