"Great Features and Design!"4.5 starson by Justin-Lee
Pros: + Great sound, great features, incredible values
+ Form factor is excellent
+ Design is sleek and stylish and quite compact
+ Able to stream audio from your iPhone
Cons: - Unable to stream from iPad so far
Summary: The 30-pin dock worked well with my iPhone, and with an older iPod Touch, but it seems to not be completely compatible with some 3rd party accessories, in my case a dock extender I bought for my girlfriend's iPad. The extender works on all the other dock devices I've tried it on, but it doesn't work on the SC-H55. An early iPod Nano also wasn't recognized.
Bluetooth is an alternative to using the dock, and both my iPhone 3GS and the girlfriend's iPad 2 paired quickly and reliably. I was unable to pair my Samsung Galaxy Tab via this means though. Of course, there's no telling whether this is the fault of the Samsung or the Panasonic, but wide Bluetooth compatibility may be an issue if you're not primarily a user of Apple devices. All sound-generating applications on my device play via Bluetooth, the music app, Pandora, NPR, etc. Panasonic markets an internet radio app, but based on my reading of the reviews for that, folks are just as well off with the apps they usually use rather than this paid add-on. More often than not, I have my phone plugged into the charger on my kitchen table, sending audio to the SC-H55 12 feet away on the other side of the kitchen; it works great.
Given the right placement of the SC-H55 and its radio antenna, decent reception is possible, but its receiver is not as strong as some stereo devices I've used. If you're in an area with marginal reception to begin with, don't expect this unit to be the answer to your prayers. In the age of internet radio, though, I suspect this isn't as much of an issue for many people.
The blue LED display, while quite legible, conveys only the most basic info about the device's functionality. Don't get me wrong, it does the job, but it won't win any awards in the user interface department.
So besides these minor quibbles, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
The sound is more than adequate, but don't expect to feel the bass in your chest. For casual music listening and spoken word I find the sound to be very good, and though I don't mess around much with the eq settings, they can be useful for getting better sound from particular types of audio.
The form factor is excellent, it is less obtrusive than a toaster or microwave on a kitchen counter, and can be wall mounted with the included hardware to be even less intrusive.
The sliding door works well 90% of the time. When it fails to recognize my hand motion, I just use the button on top or the remote to open it. It remains to be seen how well this door will hold up over time, but there don't seem to be too many moving parts involved, so it will come down to the motor's longevity.
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In summary, for the cost, the SC-H55 packs a lot of nice features and good sound. I heartily recommend it to all.