Sound and Vision - The Bristol Show logo

Yamaha Restio reviewed at The Bristol Show 2012

Summary


Its unique design and availability in 4 colours to suit your decor makes the Yamaha Restio - literally - stand out from the crowd.

Our rating


4 wow stars out of five

With the bass turned up, the Restio sounds a bit distorted at high volumes. Other than that, it's a great sounding system.

Where to buy


You can buy the Yamaha Restio from Amazon in a black finish. They also have it in white, purple or green finishes. A stand is supplied with all colours.

If you want to wall mount the Restio, Amazon also sell the wall bracket.

Yamaha Restio stands tall and sounds great

Yamaha's demo room is like a big box of tricks; open the door and their designers magic up a unique and quirky music system right under your nose.

Take, for instance the company's Restio. Powered off, it barely makes its presence known in the room, hugging the wall atop its slender, silver stand. Only its gently glowing digits and mesh grille suggest this may be more than just a clock or sculpture of some kind.
Yamaha Restio context photo

As the wand-like remote brings it to life, its twinkling blue lights reveal the picture-frame form is adorned with DAB (in a DAB+ flavour too, for use abroad), FM and CD player. Using Yamaha's 3D DSP circuitry, the team have managed to pull a convincing soundstage that leaps out from the system. Given that the picture frame measures no more than 410mm square and 200mm deep, this is no mean feat. Four drivers sit behind the Restio's metal grille to cover the audio spectrum.

Reign in the bass via the remote (it has a tendency to distort at higher volumes) and the Restio puts in a dazzling and surprisingly catchy performance. In fact, we dare you to stop tapping your foot along to the Restio as the wide soundstage follows you around the room. A three-band equaliser is on-hand should you want to tweak the sound to your liking.
Yamaha Restio music system

The alarm wakes you gently, filtering out sudden changes in volume from your iPod, the radio or cd. Or, you can select a sound and music together - in case your chillout music has a hard time waking you from your slumber. The glancing nature of DAB radio displays is put firmly to the test. Here the Yamaha's white on blue display is tucked away on top of the unit so as not to jar with the retro digits of the clock numerals on the front. It makes checking the track name or station tuned a tad difficult; it's a bit of a shame the display isn't on the front with the option to dim it completely so as not to spoil the aesthetics.

Speaking of the clock, a glowing "analogue" hour-hand moves around digital numerals displaying the minutes, if you select this display mode. Another quirky touch from the Restio, though we found this way of telling the time a little confusing (hide it from your kids - show them a real analogue clock) and went for the all-digital option.

A row of buttons and the CD slot is located along the top edge of the unit, ideal for skipping a track or changing source as you wander by. A port lets you play music saved on your USB memory stick - another useful feature.
Yamaha Restio music system

Dragging yourself out of bed at some unearthly hour to find the snooze button on top of the unit is no mean feat; luckily the remote control duplicates essential features like sleep and slumber timers. An auto-dimmer, another must-have so you aren't bathed in light from the display as bedtime approaches, has also thoughtfully been included.

Want to ditch the (supplied) half-moon stand and fix the Restio to the wall? No problem, an optional bracket is available.

Apart from its looks, the Restio scores in many other departments. Chuck in a CD brimming with your own garageband mp3s or WMA tracks, or perhaps one from your own collection and the Restio'll happily play it. Alternatively, dock your iPod and the system will take care of the musical side of things whilst you, err, restio?.

While there's DAB (and DAB+ on offer if you emigrate abroad, where DAB+ stations are often broadcast), download an app to your iPhone and you'll have access to thousands of internet radio stations, too. And you'll be able to see more easily which track the presenter is playing, via the iPhone or iPod's display.
Display of Yamaha Restio

The Restio is available in four colours - purple, black, green and white. It measures 410mm square x 997mm tall (with stand) x 295 deep (with stand, 200mm without) and is a reassuring 12kg.

The Restio's unique design is not let down by its sound. With a sonic performance to match its out-there looks, the Yamaha Restio is like a piece of contemporary art: just about affordable and likely to be a big talking point in your home.

It's priced around £500 and you can find out where to buy its 4 variations in the left-hand column, above.