Yamaha has entered the digital radio market for the first time, and in Australia has launched the AU$599 TSX-120 and AU$749 TSX-130, which adds a CD player and USB port to the mix.
The TSX-120 is a desktop audio system that features an integral iPod cradle, DAB+ and FM tuners. It also has an auxiliary input for additional MP3 player connection and twin speakers with 15 Watts per channel of power output.
The design of the TSX-120 is simple and neat. At the top of the system, around the iPod dock, is a wooden veneer that can be used to store such things as your glasses or car keys. It has a decent display at the front with a user-friendly layout and set-up, which would make the Yamaha TSX-120 a great secondary bedroom or kitchen music system. However, this system lacks Wi-Fi internet radio and media player on-board.
The TSX-120 sounds great when using both DAB+ broadcasts or via iPod or MP3 player and is really simple to use. To get straight into setting things up, the TSX-120 auto scans and presets 30 DAB+ and FM stations. A decent card-type remote control is supplied, which also handles basic iPod functions as well as source switching between the Yamaha's four modes. To adjust the sound, four DSP modes switch between Normal, Mild, Heavy and Live depending on what you're listening to. For general use we preferred the Normal setting, though FM rock and pop benefited from the Heavy setting, adding a bit more substance to the sound.
DAB listening is equally impressive, and the Yamaha's modest output and small speakers still manage to generate decent volume levels — ample for a bedroom or smaller room. The sound is rich and full, thanks to the cabinet acting as a bass reflex device and lends dynamic weight to the small drivers' output. Voices also benefit from this, which sounded both substantial with a natural inflection.
The Yamaha benefits from a decent aerial, but the supplied cord proved sensitive enough to receive both FM and DAB stations. This, of course, will depend on where you live and what your radio coverage is like.