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Onkyo CS-245DAB micro system reviewed at The Bristol Show 2012


Onkyo are renowned for making high quality, affordable hi-fi and the CS-245 is no exception. In short: The Onkyo name is as reliable as the systems the company manufactures.

Our rating

5 wow stars out of five

A few pennies have been saved here and there in the design, which counts against it. Overall, though, it's a great buy.

Where to buy

You can buy the Onkyo CS-245DAB micro system from Amazon in a black finish. They also have it in a white finish.

Onkyo CS-245DAB's contemporary & compact design

Onkyo's bright, white CS-245DAB hi-fi system, replete with DAB+ digital radio tuner (for futureproofing) scores highly on connectivity.

As well as DAB, there's an FM tuner with 30 presets, sitting alongside the forty already on the digital waveband. Being a DAB+ tuner, you can take it to Australia, say, and still be able to listen to digi stations.

Onkyo haven't scrimped too much on construction - the impressive main unit, available in black or white, is curved at its edges. Being plastic means the CS-245 ships in a white styling too, and the curved design is carried through to the speakers, which are slightly tapered to reduce vibrations and resonance.

Sneaking a copy of the Bluetones into the cd tray, the compact stature of the d-t05 speakers provided a punchy and exciting listen. Although the '05s are sealed units (meaning they don't have bass ports), they're still able to do a fine job of hitting the low notes without dragging their heels as the rythym moves on. This music machine is entirely happy with classical or pop and all variations in between.
Onkyo CS-245 in white

Listening on a pair of decent Sennheiser headphones, the cs245 shows itself to be a well-balanced component. Unplug the Sennheisers and it's obvious you won't be troubling the neighbours with a volume of wall-shaking proportions, but the CS-245DAB still delivers 2 x 15 Watts RMS. In the silence of standby mode, this drops to an energy-saving 0.2 Watts.

There'll be no lugging around big boxes when you decide to move the cs-245 from the bedroom to the living room: the abs-friendly main unit and speakers are a doddle to relocate to a bookshelf or cabinet. Neither will the top end and midrange suffer at the expense of bass, thanks to the bass-reflex design, which uses the trapped air in the speaker enclosure to keep the '245 jollying along nicely.
Onkyo CS-245 in white

The DAB tuner, with its DAB+ variant to ensure it works abroad, shows station information and scrolling text on the bright display.

Its built-in iPod/iPhone dock and USB memory stick playback functions, line-in and headphone socket are all welcome additions, giving flexibility in use.

The remote control, though comprehensive, feels rather cheap. It's clear some pennies have been saved elsewhere, too - speaker cable connections are of the spring clip variety rather than the binding posts of more expensive systems, and there's one aerial socket handling both DAB and FM signals. But these are minor points that won't worry the average listener, though we'd suggest replacing the supplied speaker cable with something a little better.

Still, to criticise too much would be churlish, as Onkyo have a habit of producing great-sounding, reliable and afforable micro systems. It's clear they've shaken the style stick at the CS-245 and, as a result, this dinky micro wouldn't look out of place whatever your decor.

If you want one delivered, take a look at the left-hand column above, where you'll find full details.
Onkyo CS-245 in white

The Onkyo CS-245DAB is priced around £250.
Onkyo CS-245 rear panel
Onkyo CS-245 detail