Attractive; good sound
Needs external antenna
Pioneer has been making audio equipment for a long time and it has great experience in making systems that can fit almost every need. The HM21DAB-K would make a great addition to almost any lounge room. As well as supporting iPad and iPhone connectivity, FM radio and DAB, it also boasts a CD player for your legacy music collection.
The HM21DAB-K looks like a traditional, micro hi-fi system. It comprises a central main unit and two detachable speakers. The easiest way to control the system is to use the bundled remote control that allows you to toggle inputs and manage basic functions such as toggling power and adjusting the volume.
iPod and iPad connectivity is covered in a clever way. Rather than providing a docking station with either a 30-pin or Lightning connector, Pioneer ships the HM21DAB-K with a plastic dock with a hole in the bottom that allows you to pass a cable through. There’s a USB port on the front of the main unit so connecting a device or switching cables doesn’t require dismantling your set-up.
Our main hassles with setting up the HM21DAB-K were that it required a coaxial antenna connection out of the box and we couldn’t get the device to tune in all the available DAB stations. Once we connected our external aerial everything worked as expected. If you’re considering this device, note that you’ll need an antenna splitter. You can buy these from most electronics stores.
Sound quality was very good through whatever devices we connected. The audio was crisp with nice bass and clear tones.
For the price, the Pioneer HM21DAB-K offers good sound quality, lots of connectivity options and looks great. The need for an external antenna connection is annoying, but can be overcome without too much trouble.