Well-balanced, smooth and clear sound; sleek, smart design
Remote a little frustrating; design not for everyone
Yamaha’s ISX-800 is part of Yamaha’s iPod series of speaker systems, made to dock and play both iPods and iPhones – plus CDs, digital and FM radio, and other USB and Aux audio sources.
Before testing this bad boy we had the fun task of assembling it. We prepared ourselves with our Philips screwdriver, instructions and three types of screws, but found assembling the unit was not as painful as we expected it to be.
The cables are neatly hidden away at the back, and then passed through the sleek metal floor-stand to keep the design clean.
This audio system is something that attracts your attention, but is a unit that you either love or hate. We were attracted to the look at first glance, however some friends didn’t agree at first. After looking at it for a while, and once we had it plugged in and working, opinions changed, especially after the funky digital panel lit up.
This could be mistaken for a piece of art, as the sleek half-moon-shaped stand can be removed and the square panel – which is 9cm thick and weighs in at 12kg – can be hung up on a wall. It’s a great feature for any room.
The panel is available in four colours – purple, black, green and white – and covered with textured grill cloth. When the unit is turned off, the display lights up with the time.
Your iPhone or iPod directly docks on top of the unit. The top panel also has a vertical CD player, USB port and radio – DAB, DAB+ and FM. There’s also an alarm function which features Yamaha’s IntelliAlarm as a source to gradually wake you up.
The front panel display shows the play/shuffle/repeat indicator, source, alarm, sleep and clock indicator. A remote control lets you control all the features available.
The rear panel is where you switch alarm type and display settings. Here you will also find an Aux-in terminal to plug in other sources, and a terminal for the supplied DAB/FM antenna.
Through its dual 3cm soft dome tweeters and dual 10cm woofers, this Yamaha system delivers great bass, well-balanced and smooth sound and clear vocals. All types of music genres sounded great, even at higher volumes. It filled a large room even with the volume set to
half way. With the iPhone, if a call comes through it mutes the music, and then when turns it back on when you’ve finished.
Tuning a radio station was a little frustrating. I had to manually tune it as the preset button on my remote and the unit seemed to not work well. Also, the area in which we were doing the testing tends to be a DAB black-spot, so we weren’t able to test this effectively.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
All in all this is a near-perfect lifestyle combination of design and music. With its good looks and enjoyable sound, we’d be very happy to have the ISX-800 in our house.