Small table radios are nice to have in the kitchen or bedside table, but in the living room you need something that gives you richer and better sound. Like the stylish and retro-inspired music system from Tivoli Audio.
A system we have actually reviewed before, but now the second generation of Music System Home is here, but some important upgrades.
The music system, reminiscent of a miniature version of bygone radio cabinets, with sloping feet in art deco style, has received both AirPlay 2 and Chromecast.
This means that you can easily stream music over the wi-fi network at home, from an iPhone, iPad or an Android mobile, either directly or via the app.
The music system also has FM, AM and DAB + radio, of course also Bluetooth – and the system is available in a version with CD player, but that one does not have AirPlay 2 or Chromecast built-in, and is controlled from the old Tivoli Audio Wireless app
This edition, which is the second generation Music System Home, supports streaming from Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music or other streaming services, and of course TuneIN online radio.
With AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in, the onboard system can be wirelessly connected to other sound systems or speakers in the home, whether you have Apple or Google’s multi-room solution, and then you can easily stream music to several devices in the house.
Ease of use and sound
The Tivoli Audio system comes with a cheap remote control in cheap plastic, but can be operated nicely from the front where you have source selection, playback and station selection, volume adjustment and the simplest setting options available. Like setting the alarm.
You can switch from radio to Bluetooth with a light touch to the input selector, but it is with your mobile phone that you get full advantage of the system. In the app, you can choose music from your favorite streaming service, stream over wi-fi which provides better sound quality, and choose which connected devices to play.
With both analog and optical digital input on the back, it can be connected to external audio sources – like a turntable with a built in phono-stage, and act as a speaker for the TV instead of an its inboard speakers. Or a sound bar. The Ethernet connector is used to connect to the network at home via cable.
The Tivoli system can also be connected wirelessly to the Tivoli Model Sub, a flat and compact subwoofer that can be hidden under the sofa.
There is a lot of good to be said for the compact system from Tivoli. For many, it is a small system that covers all their needs, if it is a compact music system you are looking for. The sound is not bad either, that is, it is first and foremost rich and powerful. The system fills a living room effortlessly with more than enough sound for most people. It is even possible to enjoy the sound of movies or TV series, with the Tivoli system.
Two 3.5-inch bass elements with 20 w power, and two 0.75-inch treble drivers, do the best they can. But there is a lack of sophistication and finesse. There is a lack of detail, and the two tweeters do not seem very vivid, in what appears to be a dark, slightly woolly and unfocused soundstage.
Instruments and vocals lack timbre, and although the bass putput is good here, it lacks a lot of dynamic contrast in the soundstage. Compared to the Pinell Supersound 701, in the same price range, we lack air and focus in the soundstage.
Tivoli’s Audip Music System Home, has become far more usable than its predecessor. With AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in, it has become even more usable for more people. It can work both as a stereo and TV speaker, and then you can stream your favorite music from your mobile, or switch to radio whenever you want. The system looks good on the shelf, and is so compact that it is easy to fit in your living room.