In the age of MP3, iPods and portable music we sometimes forget about the humble HiFi. The Samsung MM-G25 is a low budget Micro HiFi with a great deal of features including MP3 playback via USB and CD ripping.
I hadn’t even realised it, but I don’t play CDs anymore. In fact, in order to review this unit, I had to go rummaging through my storage boxes in order to find all my CDs. Long ago, I converted them all to MP3. This unit can play CDs and even cassettes (don’t get me started on how long it’s been since I’ve even seen a tape).
The system has a total RMS of 120W and as such is capable of a good amount of volume without deafening the neighbours. It’s not a high end system by any means and the sound quality is a bit of a mixed bag but for its price tag it’s a good option for basic music playback. The speakers sound great at moderate volume with a good mix of low and high end and are capable of impressive bass. At higher volumes, they begin to distort. There are graphic equaliser presets which can improve the sound quality and you are able to individually set treble and bass to your tastes.
There was also a little loss in detail at times too. Some of the finer details like percussion lost out to heavier sounds like electric guitar and vocals. The music used in the test was widely varied with everything from Bass-heavy Rap and Hip Hop to quiet vocal performances, loud rock numbers and classical instrumental tracks. When it comes to classical, the sound space was good but some of the instruments tended to overpower others. In all honesty, you can’t really expect a unit like this to have perfect fidelity so for its price, it does well.
The CD ripping feature worked well enough, although it was a little confusing to know what was going on at times as the screen on the front panel doesn’t offer up a great deal of information about the progress of the transfer. Songs are transferred at 128Kbs which is reasonable but not particularly mind blowing. An option for 320Kbs would have been good in order to create the best quality possible. When using the USB mode to rip CDs, there is some white noise interference from the internal circuits as you access the drive. It isn’t all that annoying and only seems to happen during the ripping process. This may be a fault with our test unit but should be mentioned nonetheless.
There was also a little lag time when switching to different modes, particular when accessing a USB memory stick. This is most likely due to the fact that it needs to scan the entire drive in order to cue up songs. You don’t have to have the songs on the root directory of the drive at all, which is good. No matter where they are, the Micro HiFi will find them. However, it doesn’t use the ID3 tags of the songs to display what is playing but instead uses the first few characters of the file names and only displays them when first playing a track.
The CD player and tape player work as you would expect. There were no issues with either. There is also an FM radio option but no AM. The front of the unit has 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks and there is an RCA auxiliary port at the back if you want to connect exterior devices.
The MM-G25 is attractive in its design with a gloss piano black finish on the unit itself and the speakers. The speakers have a main driver cone with a tweeter above it. The front panel has a volume button encased in a soft red glowing LED, a top mounted playback controls and an eject and power button. The tape deck is also at the top of the unit.
The MM-G25 retails for $229 which makes it ideal for use as a fairly cheap basic sound system. It isn’t going to provide high fidelity audio but for a system for the bedroom or something for the kids, it’s a good option.