We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Don't Buy mini hi-fi systems

With terrible sound quality and indecipherable instructions, these are the Which? Don't Buy mini hi-fi systems you really should avoid.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Buying a bad mini hi-fi is an expensive mistake to make. Which? regularly test the latest mini hi-fi systems to not only bring you the best, but also show you the worst. We can help you save time and money on your hunt for the perfect mni hi-fi – one that sounds fantastic, is a doddle to use and has the exact features you are hunting for.

Log in or join Which? to unlock our full list of Don’t Buy products on this page.

What makes a Don’t Buy mini hi-fi

Don't Buy mini hi-fis are poorly built, difficult to use, with complicated settings and minute fiddly buttons. They churn out tinny, washed out sound and the radio is patchy and unlistenable. Not only that, but it’s an ordeal to hook it up any other devices, whether it’s a wired connection or via Bluetooth.

Sadly decent mini hi-fis rarely come cheap, and you’ll need to spend at least £150 to get a good system. It can be tempting to go for what is currently on offer, but you still risk overspending if it’s a particularly poor model. We test models costing less than £100 alongside those costing more than £500, and have discovered Don’t Buy mini hi-fi systems at both ends of the price spectrum, so it’s obvious money is no indicator of quality. With our expert guidance you can figure out precisely what you want from your mini hi-fi, and then spend your money with confidence knowing that you’ve found a fantastic model which won’t let you down.

Unique mini hi-fi testing by Which?

Each year, we test the latest models from Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, Denon and Cambridge Audio. Our expert lab testing is based on over two decades of experience and put every mini hi-fi through the same set of tests, including those for sound quality, ergonomics and energy use, so we can tell you what to pick up, and what to avoid.

  • We test mini hi-fis on over 100 different criteria to ensure that we explore the full capabilities of every system.
  • Every mini hi-fi is given a Which? test score out of 100, so you can immediately see at a glance which are the best and worst.
  • There’s no bias and our tests cover a wide range of brands and prices, so you can be sure we’ll always recommend the right mini hi-fi for you.

If we declare a mini hi-fi to be a Don’t Buy, you can be sure it’s one to avoid. No matter how attractive it’s price tag may be or how much it's discounted in a sale, it's not worth the trouble and inevitable regret.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

Not yet a Which? member? Join Which? and you'll receive access to all of our exclusive online content and find out which mini hi-fi systems are Don’t Buys and which are Best Buys.