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We’ve just finished up giving Panasonic’s SC-HC18 Hi Fi system a going over and we can say it really is an impressive little piece of kit. Extremely easy to set up like a lot of Panasonic’s devices, the HC 18 impressed us on numerous levels.

It’s always nice to see a company put real effort into producing something a bit different, and Panasonic has certainly done that with its SC-HC range of all-in-one micros. The HC18 has a nice little USP with it’s motorised panel on the front, which opens to reveal a vertical CD mechanism. In its neutral position, your CD is covered by the front panel. It also comes with a handy little remote for controlling the device from a distance and it worked well during our testing.

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The unit’s fairly slim, wall-mountable design makes for a funky look. Panasonic isn’t concerned only with styling, though, and the ’30DB combines two, full-range, bamboo cone drivers with two passive radiators to create what the company calls a ‘dynamic and clear sound’.

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Playing Damien Rice’s 9 on CD, we’re prepared to agree with the ‘dynamic’ part. We’re not talking hi-fi quality shifts here, but the dinky unit has a good stab at conveying the ebb and flow of the acoustic tracks. The ‘clear’ bit is a little less convincing, though; there’s a degree of fogginess to the delivery that leaves the vocals of The National’s Bloodbuzz Ohio sounding a bit heavy and indirect. Overall, considering the width and depth of the device, we were more than pleased with the audio quality and the HC18 would easily fill a decent sized room with sound.

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When it comes to the FM radio side of things, the display unfortunately proves frustrating though, with its short, single line of text cutting-off most of a station’s name when you flick between them. I know it’s something small but It would be nice if it was just a little bit wider.

We appreciate the funky styling frills and the device’s design really is stylish and understated. The HC18 would fit well into any sitting room, bedroom or even kitchen setting and although it doesn’t offer jaw dropping audio levels, the HC18 clear highs and smooth lows make it a perfect fit for music lovers aural fix.

More info for the SC-HC18 can be found on Panasonic’s official website

John Reilly

John is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheEffect.Net. His favourite gaming series is Uncharted and his favourite film is Interstellar. He is also known to quote 'Father Ted' and Keith Lemon more than is normal.

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