REVIEW | Sony MHC-V83D all-in-one entertainment system

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Sony has been known for some great home hi-fi music systems over the years, and today we’re going to take a look at one of its new all-in-one audio systems. It features hassle-free Bluetooth connectivity and a plethora of other functions. We’ll see how it stacks up against other speakers, and whom it’s intended for. 

Features

The MHC-V83D is feature-packed and comes as a successor to the MHC-V81D from a couple of years ago. The unit is a vertically stacked speaker rack, with 4 tweeters, 2 mid-range drivers, 1 sub-woofer, and a built-in amplifier. The speaker placement is such that there is a 360-degree field of sound.

Connections include Bluetooth and USB, as well as analog and HDMI cable options. What’s interesting is that it includes the now old-school disk tray that allows for CD and DVD playback. (The latter of course requiring a hook-up to a TV).

Controls are through a spill-proof touch-sensitive top surface, which also has air gesture controls. TAIKO mode allows for the use of the top panel for drum-beat play along. The same also doubles up as a party game when you have company over. Interestingly with all that covered, we are still just scratching the surface. If you enjoy karaoke, there are 2 mic inputs, as well as a guitar input.

No party would be complete without lights, and the unit features party lights, which do a great job of lighting up the room. There is also a DJ mode for various effects, beats, and voice cheers. Connecting to other home audio devices, it’s possible to create a party chain of sorts, with synchronized playback across devices, or 2 devices for stereo mode.   

The Sony Music Center app allows for control from your mobile device, as well as deep customization of the lights and other features. This app and the party chain functionality works on WiFi.

Need to move the device to your TV room to enjoy the live basketball telecast? It’s as simple as wheeling it over with its in-built handle and castor — truly making the MHC-V83D a handy all-in-one device to have at home.

Design and Aesthetics

The MHC-V83D is an evolution of the MHC-V81D. While the V81D had flat sides and rear with just curved corners, the V83D is a cylindrical column design. The speaker layout has also been changed a little, with the mid-range speaker count being dropped to 2. Aesthetically it’s a bit funkier than the older model, which continues to be available from various retailers.

At just under 3.5 feet in height and around 23 kilograms, it’s both smaller and lighter than the older model. That said, with the inclusion of the wheels and handle, it’s easy to move between rooms. Putting it into its packaging though and moving it between levels is an ordeal and is probably a task for two persons.

The party lights look really good and can transform a room. The light effects have a few presets and allow for additional customization via the app.

Performance

The MHC-V83D sounds good and gets quite loud without distorting if you crank it up. Sony lives up to its 360-degree listening experience, wherein sitting anywhere around the unit sounds good. That said, sitting directly in front of the device does make the vocals more prominent.

The bass is powerful thanks to the included subwoofer and sitting a few feet away on the couch, I could feel the bass reverb on the couch surface. Sony’s included Mega-Bass mode lets you crank up the bass and set the mood for the party.

While it’s unfair to compare such a unit to high-end dedicated speakers if you’re an audio purist and like clear accurate reproduction, this isn’t meant for you. Comparing it to my daily setup, which are Signature Series Tower speakers and a Sub-woofer from Polk Audio powered by a Yamaha receiver, there is a very noticeable difference in quality.

In addition to the reduced fidelity which I expected, my main gripe was the all-around lack of depth to the music. Note though that the entire MHC-V81D device with all its bells and whistles retails for the same price as just a pair of the Signature Series speakers, which are dependent on a lot of other equipment to be music ready. 

Similarly, compared to a dedicated 5.1 home theater, the latter would surely mean better positional sound, thanks to the separated speaker placement. But it would also entail a lot of setup and wiring work, versus the ease of use of the Sony MHC-V83D.

When there is no input for a prolonged duration, the device goes into standby mode, which is convenient. After the initial Bluetooth pairing, the unit is quick to reconnect to known devices when you enter the room. In terms of ease of use and connectivity simplicity, the Sony MHC-V83D is just outstanding. 

Value

At an SRP of P28,000, Sony is giving you a lot of device for the price. Though the official pricing is P30,999 it can be found at retailers for a little less. With its massive feature list, it’s ideal for parties, but can also be used around the home with a TV for movies and serials, or a computer for gaming. 

Also, it would be a great addition to say an events room at a hotel or restaurant for music playback or karaoke. Which could also quickly convert to a disc player for say presentations for office events at restaurants. Given the feature set, the possibilities are endless.

Closing Words

The Sony MHC-V83D is a jack of all trades; there is really a lot it can do, and having all that functionality built into one seamless device is pretty awesome. The mobile app for added control is the cherry on the top. It’s easy to set up and perfect for those who want the feature set without the hassle. On the other hand, if you’re an audiophile and demand the highest fidelity or are specifically looking for positional home-theater audio, this isn’t for you.

  • Model: MHC-V83D
  • Price: P30,999
  • Verdict: Feature-packed, and easy to use
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