I tested the beat 275 for a month back at the start of the summer, now its time to share my findings. Upon receiving the stereo I was rather impressed, for the low price tag of £45 it was fully packaged and very good looking, Not like one the Chinese import units that tend to come in a plain white box with the units product code on. The box promised a lot and it certainly didn’t let me down.
The unit says it is capable of playing almost any media file, a bold statement but one that is very true. The unit can handle quite an impressive list of formats; CD, SD-Cards, MP3, Aux in and USB in. Some of these formats are not supported by units twice the price. I found the USB connection to be the most useful as it allowed me to connect my iPod to the unit. It does not have full control from the unit itself and you have to select songs from the iPod however considering the price of the unit this is something that can easily be overlooked.
The appearance of the stereo is quite impressive, it has the look of a far more expensive unit. The controls are very easy to use with the menus being intuitive. My grandad who is in his late 60’s is technically classed as a technophobe however he managed to pick up the basic control and function within a couple of minutes. All this is helped by the clear colour dot matrix screen.
Where most cheap stereo’s fall down is the quality of the sound they produce. This is one of the Beat 275’s strongest areas. For the £45 price tag you are getting a very strong unit, I ran it alongside a Cerwin Vega 15” sub and the clarity of the audio was highly impressive. It was easily on par with units in the £120-150 price range. The unit also features the now standard equalizer allowing you to fine tweak the sound to the type of music you like listening to.
It is very hard to find a fault with a unit costing less than £50 especially when it is crammed full of features like the Beat 275. I suppose the only downfall of the unit is the fact that Beat is still a new brand. Given the choice between this and a Sony most people will go with the best known brand, perhaps this is where the product will struggle.
In Summary, if you want a good solid bargain stereo then the Beat 275 is perfect for you. If you want a stereo that is crammed with features and plays a multitude of formats, the Beat 275 is for you. Put simply the Beat 275 is the stereo for everyone. If I had to pick one of the stereos I have tested in the past 6months to keep, this would be the one.
Cap Rating: 5/5
We’ve all been there, going on holiday and not looking forward to the 6hr car journey with the kids. Keeping children entertained can be a challenge when there is plenty to do but on long journeys it can be an absolute nightmare. I have scoured the net and found 3 of the best gadgets for keeping the little ones happy on the long summers drive.
First we have something that no family car should be without. In-Car DVD solutions have become very popular over the last few years, so much so that car manufacturers are now offering this as a standard piece of kit in the high end models. Not everyone has a top of the range car and companies have now made excellent after market products to emulate the standard options. The new generation of DVD Headrest Screens offer a multitude of features including games, movie playback from most file formats and even linking external sources such as iPods and Playstations. These kits typically cost between £200-300.
Music can really lift the mood of a journey, singing along to your favourite tunes whilst on the open road takes some beating on the fun factor. What can detract from this is fiddling about with CD’s or tapes, this is where the iPod car kit comes into play. There are multiple solutions however the most popular is to fit a kit to the standard stereo In the vehicle. Products like Dension’s Gateway series or the Dice kits are the best on the market and will allow you to connect the latest iPod’s to your vehicle and play your whole music library. These products vary greatly in price depending on the vehicle the kit is being fitted to, expert advice is essential when looking into an iPod Kit.
So you’ve got your favourite tunes playing away but the kids still aren’t pleased. This is where a power converter can really be a blessing in disguise. The product itself wont please the kids it’s what you can do with it that will. With a good quality converter you will be able to run laptop’s, games consoles or pretty much any electrical device. When combined with the In-car DVD solutions you can make the rear of your car an entertainment hub with all the home comforts available on the move.
Keeping family entertained on a long journey is a real challenge, I listed 3 of the best gadgets available but there are plenty I haven’t. Have a look round and you will be pleasantly surprised at what is out there. With the right set up you will never have to play eye spy again.
Its been a little while since I used the Sony DSX-S100 for the first time however it impressed me so much that I felt it deserved a full review. I used the unit in early August when we first received the item and with days I realised how good this stereo really is.
The DSX-S100 is the most basic of Sony’s new TuneTray range but don’t let this put you off, this unit is on par with others in the range. Priced at around £110, the build quality cannot be beaten on value for money.
The TuneTray feature is the greatest asset of this car stereo. This allows you to mount any iPod or USB device inside the stereo hiding it from view and keeping your dashboard area nice and clear. All control is direct through the stereos controls and I must say the iPod control is excellent. I have used many different stereos claiming to have full speed iPod control and this is the only unit I have found to achieve this for under the £200 mark. When combined with the remote control it makes navigation extremely easy and is a pleasure to use.
My favourite feature is the Zappin, this allows you to hear the chorus of a tune rather than having to listen to the full build up. You can keep skipping and listening to the tracks until you find the one that you want, it will then play the full song from the start. This saves a lot of time and fuss when trying to find a song that you fancy listening to.
It is hard to find any real bad points to this stereo, for the price it gives you exactly what you expect and more.
In conclusion the Sony DSX-S100 is an absolutely fantastic piece of kit. I will guarantee that you will not find a better iPod solution for less than £150. If you choose to buy this stereo you will not be dissapointed!