Panasonic SC-HC297EB-K Micro Hi-Fi Review

Summary:
Sleekly designed, but with some serious drawbacks.

Buy it online:
£104.00 on Amazon.co.uk

See on John Lewis

The Panasonic SC-HC297EB-K is a stylish micro hi-fi with FM and digital radio, Bluetooth and a CD player. This hi-fi offers a lot of features for the price, but how does it perform? Find out in this review…

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • CD player
  • USB port for playing audio files
  • 2 speakers
  • 20 watts of output
  • Bluetooth with NFC
  • Adjustable EQ with 5 presets
  • Saves 30 preset stations
  • Remote control with AA battery included
  • Aux-in

Dimensions: 40 cm high x 19.7 cm wide x 10.7 cm deep
Weight: 1.9 kg

Performance and use

The Panasonic SC-HC297EB-K is modern-looking and has a compact design, so it can easily fit in a small space. It’s easy to set up, and comes with an instructions manual (available online here).

This hi-fi doesn’t have a lot of bass, and sounds a bit tinny. There are a few preset EQ options available, but none of them have much bass. The sound is fine for a kitchen or bedroom, but the hi-fi doesn’t have much power so it’s not ideal for a bigger room.

This hi-fi doesn’t have a lot of bass, and sounds a bit tinny.

The aerial for the radio is a cable rather than a metal telescopic aerial, and some people will prefer to replace this with an external aerial. The DAB reception can be hit and miss, and you might need to adjust the position of the hi-fi to get the best reception. You can save 30 preset radio stations, though setting and accessing them is quite fiddly.

This hi-fi has lots of useful features including a remote control, a CD player and a USB port, which can be used to play MP3 files from a USB drive (but not a smartphone). The hi-fi also has Bluetooth so you can stream audio through the hi-fi’s speakers from your phone or other device.

One major drawback to this hi-fi is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack, and you can’t use it with Bluetooth headphones either.

Pros

  • Good value for money, with lots of features
  • Quick to set up
  • Sleek, attractive design

Cons

  • Not very powerful, so not ideal for a living room
  • No headphone jack
  • Not much bass
  • CD player doesn’t have a repeat function
  • Saving preset stations is fiddly

Verdict

This micro hi-fi looks great and offers a lot of features for the price. However, it has some serious flaws such as the lack of a headphone jack and limited bass. If you want a versatile and compact hi-fi for the bedroom or kitchen, this product is a good choice, but be aware of its limitations.

Similar Products

One of the most similar products to the Panasonic SC-HC297EB-K is the Panasonic SC-HC195EB-K, which is essentially a cheaper version of the SC-HC297EB-K with fewer features. The major difference is that the SC-HC297EB-K has DAB/DAB+ radio and Bluetooth whereas the SC-HC195EB-K does not.

One of Panasonic’s best micro hi-fi systems is the Panasonic SC-PM250BEBS, which is a very affordable hi-fi with DAB radio, Bluetooth, a CD player and a compact, modern design.

Another popular option is the Sony CMT-X3CD Micro Hi-Fi System, which has a sleek and thin design, offering a CD player, Bluetooth and FM radio all packed into a small box.

For some more options see our roundup of the best radio CD players.

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