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Where to buy

You can get the Sony CMT-BT60 lifestyle audio system from Amazon at around £220, or from John Lewis. Amazon also have the higher spec CMT-BT80WB for around £320, as do John Lewis.

If you're after a hi-fi system, the Sony CMT-SBT100B audio system from Amazon is around £220. They also have the higher spec CMT-SBT300WB for around £400. John Lewis also stock both the '100B and '300WB models, the latter for a more reasonable £330.

If your budget can't stretch to a Bluetooth system, the simpler Sony CMTS20B micro system from Amazon is around £100. John Lewis also stock this model online - find it here.

DAB radio reviews

Read more reviews and information about the latest kit on our news pages.

Bluetooth and NFC compatibility big draw for Sony DAB micros and lifestyle systems

Bluetooth is gradually making inroads into DAB hi-fi and lifestyle systems, thanks to its almost universal use in smartphones and mid-specification tablets.

Instead of a wired connection from your 'phones headphone jack, Bluetooth allows you to pair with some Sony audio systems, letting you stream audio from Nokia Music, Amazon Cloud Player, TuneIn or UK Radioplayer - or from music files stored on your 'phone - wirelessly, vastly improving the sound than that through the 'phone's built-in speaker.

Sony streamlined their range over summer, to offer streaming over Bluetooth to some of their new products. The traditional-looking Sony CMT-SBT100 and 300 micro system models and sleek CMT-BT60B and 80WB lifestyle systems attempt to rejuvenate a CD collection, whilst bringing audio compatibility up-to-date with wireless Bluetooth® streaming.
Sony CMT S20B - DAB micro system

The Sony CMTS20 all-in-one audio system sits at the cheaper end of the spectrum and - whilst dispensing with Bluetooth® - still offers USB and a 3.5mm audio input connectivity, allowing a connection to be made to your Smartphone via a standard cable.
Sony CMT-BT80W lifestyle system

The top-of-the-range £329 CMT-BT80WB (in white) packs in a CD player, USB playback, DAB and DAB+ tuners, Bluetooth®, NFC, Wi-Fi, DLNA, AirPlay and iPhone/iPad/iPod connectivity over USB. Smartphones sporting NFC (near-field communication) can instantly connect with the BT80, simply by touching the top of the system with the 'phone. The system also supports high quality AAC and apt-X Bluetooth® technologies: if your audio source is able to stream using AAC or apt-X, the Sony will happily oblige by delivering a better quality sound to your ears.
Sony CMT-BT60b audio system with DAB and DAB+

Those of us who don't own an Apple device, but have our playlists and music files stored on our Android or WindowsPhone device can opt for the CMT-BT60 instead, which removes AirPlay, direct Wi-Fi and DLNA streaming from NAS (Network-attached storage) in favour of a simplified line-up of features. You'll still be able to play audio from services such as Nokia Music and Amazon Cloud Player through the system, via Bluetooth. Charging (but not playing files) via USB is also possible.

Both systems offer both DAB and DAB+ digital radio reception - the latter helps make the Sony universally usable from Australia to the UK. There's even good ol' FM and AM (mediumwave), when you need it.

The CMT-BT60B (in black) shaves £70 off the price of the '80 - a reasonable saving if you don't need the all-dancing package of its bigger brother. There's still 2 x 16 Watts of audio power - enough to fill an apartment without too much trouble. There doesn't appear to be a headphone socket on either model, but both have a remote control.
Sony CMT-SBT100B micro system

For a more traditional-looking set-up, the £220 CMT-SBT100B ups the power with 2 x 25 Watts, but features the same wireless streaming over Bluetooth® and NFC as the lifestyle systems above. The '100B packs a host of features including CD player, FM, AM(MW) DAB and DAB+ tuners, Bluetooth® and NFC streaming (the latter just needs a tap from your NFC-enabled smartphone for audio to immediately appear through the system), and USB for charging.
Sony CMT-SBT300WB micro system with DAB

If you need a bit more power, the £320 CMT-SBT300WB raises total output to an impressive 2 x 50 Watts and adds DLNA, AirPlay, Wi-Fi and iPod over USB connectivity. There's further support for AAC music and Bluetooth® apt-X codec, should your shiny new 'phone be able to handle this more recent profile.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that both the '100B and '300WB have a headphone socket; indeed all systems have a 3.5mm input, if you want to connect a MiniDisc player, tape deck or other handheld mp3 player directly.

There's little doubt the Sony systems offer fantastic connectivity without the need for cables trailing across the room. With the lifestyle systems featuring Magnetic Fluid Speakers and flagship S-Master amplifiers, Sony still achieve affordability - not bad when you consider simple speaker docks can reach dizzying prices. Check out the left-hand column above for where to get your hands on these systems.

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