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Cocktail Audio X10 with internet radio reviewed at The Bristol Show 2012

Summary


A huge array of features - plus internet radio and colour screen - makes the X10 a fab audio solution.

Our rating


5 wow stars out of five

With so much on offer, it's difficult to find fault at this price.

Where to buy


You can buy the Cocktail Audio X10 system from Amazon without a hard drive. They also have it in 500 GB and 1 TB (terabyte) versions.

You can also buy a wi-fi dongle and matching speakers for your X10.

Cocktail X10 brings internet radio, CD ripping and music streaming into the mix.

Wouldn't it be handy to store your CDs in one place so that you can access any track you like without searching through endless clear plastic boxes? A system that offers entertainment from radio stations based around the world would also be a fab feature to have. But you'd still like to check out the new CD you've just bought without too much hassle.

Step forward the Cocktail Audio X10, the all-singing, dancing show-off of a music system, which will rip your tunes to its hard drive, find thousands of internet radio stations for your streaming delight and play your current collection straight from CD. You can't beat a neat, colour screen to help you navigate through your music collection and the world's radio broadcasts; the X10 is well-equipped. It also offers one-button access for searching out your favourite internet stations.

What's not to like? Very little, apparently. The remote - with its straight-to-search button letting you pick BBC stations at just a few keystrokes - is a godsend and a moment of inspired usability in an otherwise busy arrangement of buttons.
Cocktail Audio x10 main unit

Being able to rip in high quality formats like flac or wav is a huge draw, too. There's support for 24 bit high-res files and OGG and mp3 are selectable in a variety of bitrates. The built-in hard drive is available in a variety of sizes to suit even the most extensive music collector. This and the clear album-artwork-sporting display adds to the appeal.

A cover on the side of the X10 lets you pop in your own hard drive in less than five minutes - you don't have to remove the back cover to delve inside, so your warranty stays perfectly intact.

Having two USB ports becomes obvious - one is there for an optional wi-fi dongle (at £30 extra), allowing you to site the Cocktail Audio X10 anywhere in the house and the other for an external hard drive or USB memory stick.
Cocktail Audio x10 top

Text addicts will find no problem with the alphanumeric keypad on the remote, but if frustration ensues as you channel-hop through a multitude of jazz, rock, classical or pop stations, plug in any old usb keyboard or switch to your iPhone or iTouch, where an app providing a virtual keyboard is waiting. You'll be keying in your preferences in no time.

The Cocktail Audio X10 is no meany on the sound front, either, incorporating 2 x 30 Watt amplification and a host of connectivity options. There's a headphone socket (located around the back, but you could bring a short headphone extension cable around to the side if this worries you), 3.5mm line out socket, optical out, line in socket, ethernet socket, PC "flatbed scanner"-type USB socket and 2 regular-flavour USB ports.

With so much connectivity, we'd better mention that the X10 can play music across a network and make recordings of analogue tapes and vinyl records when connected to the player.

Boot-up time is reasonably quick - the X10 checks for firmware updates before getting fully up and running and the internet radio (badged as iRadio) links are managed through the Reciva portal. Reciva are pretty good at ensuring links to radio station streams are kept up-to-date.

Swap out the Cocktail's CAP10 speakers for something more stylish and the X10's appeal becomes obvious - it's a great-sounding system with no end of ripping and playback options. It's this versatility that wins the day.
Cocktail Audio x10 rear panel

The X10 starts at around £300 for a system without hard drive. See the left-hand column above for where to get it.

Cocktail Audio x10
Cocktail Audio x10 screen