Sony RDP-M15iP Review - Sound Quality and Verdict Review

Sections

Just as it is a bit of a half-way house in design terms, the Sony RDP-M15iP is also a mixed bag sonically. The dual drivers give the dock a decent sense of scale and decent volume for a battery-powered device. As is common with smaller docks, the sound becomes slightly strained at high volumes, but this can be compensated-for somewhat with the on-box sound settings.

There are three sound modes available here, selected using a button on the top. The standard flat frequency response mode is on by default, but presses on this button activate the bassier and more high-end focused modes. You can tell which mode is on by the indicator light on the button. An orange light denotes the bassy mode and a green one the treble setting.

The treble mode gets a bit brash-sounding at high volume, but gives the most detailed listen at lower volumes. The orange mode, by contrast, is immediately the most exciting and the go-to pick for parties and barbeques, beefing-up the sound with an extra portion of bass and low-end warmth. Using this mode, the bass response is very good for a 5cm-thick dock – it may be long, but the RDP-M15iP is pretty thin.

It lacks high-end fidelity though. Decent home docks in the £100-150 price, like the JBL OnBeat, offer enough high-end detail and insight to give a near-audiophile sound at low volumes. The Sony RDP-M15iP, though, sounds much less refined, left with a comparatively “2D” representation of music. This is one of the key differences between low-end and mid-range audio tech – the added dynamics and sonic sophistication is rather like adding another spatial dimension to the sound, and you’re stuck in 2D territory here.

If you need a home dock and nothing more, you’d be better off with something other than the Sony RDP-M15iP. The wireless, and rather charming, Roth Charlie 2.0 is available for as little as £40 and provides better sound quality, as does the £100 Klipsch iGroove. We’re loath to forget the internal battery of the Sony though, since it’s a very handy feature for a dock of this size – one that’s also capable of blasting out music at a decent volume. If you’re going to spend most of the time running the speaker off its battery rather than the AC adaptor though, it’s a handy, relatively-high quality portable solution.

Verdict

With a clever design and decent built-in battery, the Sony RDP-M15iP is the perfect device to take out to a park with friends, or perhaps on a camping holiday. If the battery doesn’t mean everything to you though, better sound quality is available for the same price. It’ll pump out tunes at a decent volume and has good bass presence for its size, but lacks musicality and detail.

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Design 8
  • Sound Quality 6
  • Features 7
  • Value 6

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.